It’s been exactly one week since our return home from Germany. Even though I’m pinching my pennies, I would like to say that this trip was well worth it.
Not only have I taken a lot of great photos and memories, but information and life experiences that not everyone gets to have. I wanted to go to Germany the previous summer and almost didn’t go this year, because I knew I couldn’t afford to go. And if you’re a journalism student contemplating whether to study abroad, I suggest take the opportunity and run with it.
Honestly before we left I wanted to go simply because I wanted to experience something new. But I never realized the knowledge I would walk away with.
At every media appointment we asked, “What would you say to a journalism student aspiring to work for you?” And a response that stuck with me is if you have the chance, travel and experience different cultures. There’s only so much you can learn in a classroom about a foreign language. Get out and apply that knowledge.
For many of the media professionals I realized that they have a very different mind set on future plans. It seems like there’s no rush to find a job right after graduation, but it’s more important to work on becoming a well rounded journalist. Having the knowledge of what works in other countries is going to set a journalist apart from the rest.
For me it’s always been pick a career, have a set plan, go after it and basically follow the course. But after visiting Germany I feel the best thing to do is take as many opportunities as I can now, I have the rest of my life to get settled into a job. The trip has made me more open minded and aware of career options that I might have overlooked in my life.
While we were waiting to get on the plane to travel from Berlin to Munich, an article was published in the Denver Post titled, "20 years later, Berlin Wall fences in just memories". The article is all about how much things have changed within just 20 years time. The author, David G. Molyneaux, was in Berlin about the same time we were and rode around in Trabi car, just like the one we saw in the DDR Museum! I just thought it was cool how there was an article about the culture and history that we just experienced. If anyone wants to see the article let me know! Its a 2-pager!
Well, Amsterdam was a little bit of a surprise I guess you could say, but a good one over all. I will admit that I wasn’t too thrilled about the idea of having to stay over night in Amsterdam in the beginning. I already had the mindset of going home and this wasn’t part of the plan. I guess not everything is part of the plan and you just have to take it as it comes, whether it may be bad…or good. It was meant to be.
So once we got to the hotel and rested up, a few of us decided to venture out and check out Amsterdam and the famous Red Light District. I’ve always heard about the Red Light District, but I never thought I would actually get to see it in person. It was definitely an experience on its own. My favorite part about Amsterdam was the canals between the sidewalks and the buildings. It had a very close-knit feel, which I liked a lot. Another bonus of having our flight delayed was all the free stuff we received such as – hotel, food, and $250 free flight. After all that, it’s hard to still be bitter about the whole ordeal. I would like to go back some day…maybe a bike ride around the city?
For our last day in Munich, the group and I spent the day hiking in the Alps and exploring Neuschwanstein Castle. I thought this was a great way to end our two-week tour of Germany. This particular castle was owned by King Ludwig of Bavaria. He had a huge imagination and was obsessed with fairy tales. It just so happens that the Disney castle is a replica of Neuschwanstein. Sadly, all construction came to a halt once King Ludwig died mysteriously. The castle was never finished. His mysterious death was very intriguing. I can see why people are so interested by the history.
The castle is placed alongside a giant cliff. From down below, it looks small but very ornate in detail. It is without doubt an eye catcher and can’t be missed. The hike itself to the castle was just as breathtaking. After finally reaching the top of the castle, I was a little out of breath, but it was worth it! I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!
I have officially been home for almost two days now and I think my body is confused. The past two mornings I woke up at 5:30am...and I NEVER wake up that early without an alarm. I also feel very lazy and bored; I'm attributing this to my lack of walking all day and no more packed itinerary. I miss having places to go and things to do every day. I thought that I would enjoy doing absolutely nothing once I got home but the truth is that I feel slightly lost. This will all change soon as I start two classes in the first five week session but for now I miss the hustle and bustle of Germany. I miss my new friends in the group, cafes, awesome sights, new experiences, and Euros. I know that because I had such a great time in Europe I will be going back someday...hopefully soon...but for now all I can do is reminisce with photos and souvenirs. Being home has its benefits but this new life style will take some getting used to again. Until we meet for our grand reunion I say danke for the memories and tschuss!
I did want to go home on Saturday and I think being anxious to get back to Lincoln outweighed the want to stay in Germany. But when we got off the plane in Amsterdam and realized our flight was delayed until 8 a.m. the next morning, all I really could do was laugh. Then all I could do was accept all of the free things NWA gave to us. Those free things included:
*A night’s stay at the Crowne Plaza hotel *10 Euros for an airport lunch (aka-Starbucks) *Dinner at the hotel *A drink at the hotel bar *Breakfast at the hotel *Transportation *An over-night package *50 Euros toward my next NWA flight
Those were the things we received before the flight. Getting off the flight in Minneapolis we were given another packet of free things.
*10 dollars for another airport lunch (less than 10 Euros, but still) *200 dollars toward another NWA flight
So even though I got home 20 hours after my original time, I would like to thank NWA for hooking me up with Starbucks muffins, a sweet bed and 250 dollars off my next flight. Thank you.