Last night at around 9 o’clock at night I landed at Dulles International Airport, officially marking the end of my study abroad adventure. My last weekend in Prague was uneventful in a good way. I walked to all of the sites I cared to see and did some shopping too. I’m glad I waited until the very end of my trip to see the sites because I could appreciate everything with “experienced” eyes and laugh at all the Russian Matryoshka dolls (will post picture if you have no idea what I mean) inside the souvenir shops. Fyi, they have nothing to do with Prague or the Czech Republic. A wave of nostalgia hit me hard the night before leaving as I packed and cleaned up in the room, I had to pack all the gifts I bought for friends and family and in doing so I relived the memories of my trips, nights out, and too much drinking. This trip became more than I could imagine, without a doubt, I know I learned more outside of the classroom than in it, I got used to making mistakes, saying the wrong thing, and having to navigate cities without any knowledge of the language. After close to five months in Prague, I left with an understanding of basic phrases “hello” “yes/no” “thank you” and the most frequently used word in my vocabulary “sorry”. I can read and understand the menu (usually) and I can count (sort of). Since I only took two weeks of intensive Czech at the beginning of the program all of the “useless” stuff has been forgotten now. I made it by with just the essential knowledge necessary for my everyday needs, for everything else Google translator would have to do. I will surely miss that crazy language though.

By the time I got home yesterday I was running on about 4 hours of sleep and was going on 24 hours of being awake. I was tired and homesick for Prague…and I just keep thinking about how I will deal with the reverse culture shock. I’m a mega worrywart and even though I’ve been home less than 24 hours  “real life” has really started to sink in and I’m in a panic! Does UMW have a “post study abroad” self help group? I think I might need to start one.

Na shledanou Praha. (Goodbye Prague)