I came across this folder of photos the other day and thought I’d take a little trip down memory lane. Proving that vanity knows no borders, the following pictures chronicle some of my travels across Europe and the U.S. and back again throughout the past year-and-a-half.
Photo #1: Eschenau, Germany
I taught English at a high school in this town and spent many hours in the teacher’s lounge, where this photo was taken. I had to plan my arrival and departure times in accordance with the bus schedule and the bus only ran once an hour. Because the town was so tiny and there weren’t many food options, I often sat in this lounge on my laptop, editing videos, preparing lesson plans, chatting with fellow teachers or, as was the case on this particular day, passing the time playing around with my webcam in (an often fruitless) attempt to distract myself from my growling stomach. If I had some extra Euros on hand, I’d walk to a nearby grocery store and buy a yogurt, some trail mix or a fresh pretzel from the bakery.
Photo #2: Alicante, Spain
I took this photo at the airport while waiting to board a Granada-bound bus at around 5:00 in the morning. Caroline slept on a terribly uncomfortable plastic airport chair beside me while I snacked on a potato-omelet-burrito of sorts, which was all fun and games until I was attacked by a relentless bout of acid reflux that made our nightmare of a journey all the more nightmarish.
Photos #3- 5: Erlangen, Germany
After a cyst exploded in my hand, I spent a week in a German hospital, contracted an infection after having surgery and ended up wearing a giant cast for about a month. This was quite possibly the lowest of the lows of all my German living. Eventually, the bright blue plaster-y cast got downgraded to a small cloth bandage, as seen in the fourth photo, which was much more functional, albeit still annoying. As seen by the fifth photo, after having just been released from the hospital prison, I escaped to my favorite cafe in all of Germany. My Fulbright friends and I were “regulars” at this place and I ordered food and drinks so often there, I started getting treats ‘on the house’. The waiters and waitresses never ever switched to English and, for that reason, I will think supremely fond thoughts of them until the day I die.
Photo #6: NYC, NY
I had just landed at JKF airport when I took this photo and was so giddy to be back in the States that I had butterflies fluttering in my stomach for hours on end. I watched HIMYM on my laptop and drank a giant strawberry lemonade from Chili’s to-go, while counting down the hours, minute and seconds until being reunited with family and friends I hadn’t seen in months!
Photo #7: Stillwater, OK
So happy to be temporarily visiting my home state, I caught up with family, played with friends, ate Taco Bueno once a day and made videos like these with my old roommate Sally.Photo #8: Stuttgart, Germany
After a million-hour return flight to Europe, I experienced jet lag in its most destructive form. It took me about a month to recover, most likely due to the five-hour naps I “accidentally” took each afternoon for a few weeks straight.
Photo #9: Dresden, Germany
After living sans wifi for years, I lived the life with a fully-equipped apartment in Dresden. I Skyped with friends almost daily, hung out with Fulbright friends after work, loved my German roommate (and the fact that she never spoke anything but German with me!) and often lulled myself to sleep at night with KUWTK marathons (homesickness sometimes manifests itself in the strangest of ways).