I have arrived in Deustchland!
It’s official. I slept in past noon today, and now I am studying maps of the Altstadt and Straßenbahn. It’s incredible to wander the city aimlessly and stumble into all of Freiburg’s treasures, but on this third day, my blisters are really starting to disagree with me, so study I must.
I am nestled in a galley style room with incredible natural light in Vauban, Freiburg’s green neighborhood. I live in a four-person suite and so far, I’ve met two of my flat mates, Fabian and Erik. They are both so incredibly friendly, so I look forward to settling in a bit further and speaking more German together… I should really aim for only German speaking, though! Also, Fabian owns the game Settlers of Catan. Good sign? Great sign!!
Last night, upon arriving home, I was greeted by fireworks outside of my window. I’m not talking bottle rockets or Roman candles, these were the real deal. The kind of stuff you see on the 4th of July in the USA! I don’t know what the occasion was, but I have great feelings about this place.
The first few days have been entirely exhausting, but I have never really felt more alive. With every minute that passes, I realize just how incredible it is to be here. It’s absolutely surreal, but I am here and I will be for quite some time. I look forward to the moment when German feels more comfortable, but I recognize that will take some time…and some embarrassment. But, what do I have to lose?
Wandering through the winding medieval streets last night toward the tram made it so clear to me how very special Germany is. The cobblestone streets are dotted with small cafes and bars, shops and restaurants. Last night, the city center was bustling with young people and liveliness. I broke away from the group because my body beckoned for sleep, but as I wandered alone, I recognized just how strong my desire is to build a life for myself here.
It is day three of this journey, and I already feel so grateful that there are hundreds of days to come. With each day, I know I will delve deeper into Freiburg, but I anticipate that soon, Freiburg will start doing the same with me.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hallo! I am Haley Wilhelm, a Junior at Scripps College from the Midwest. I enjoy reading, writing, traveling, and most of all, eating! I can't wait to explore all that Freiburg has to offer, as well as many other European cities during my academic year abroad.</span></p>