It is the day before I leave for a semester in Freiburg, Germany to study Environmental Science and Sustainability, and I honestly have not put that much thought into what will happen when I’m abroad because I have been so caught up in packing and preparing for the initial journey. Despite my love of more exotic, biodiverse countries, I choose to study abroad in Germany to deeper immerse myself in a language and a culture I have already taken an interest in. My German seriously needs some brushing up, but I am more than ready to jump into the Fußball culture and consume some delicious Brezeln and Schokolade.
I spent the short time I had at home before my departure practicing some squirrel photography. Chicago’s plump winter squirrels proved to be a great source of entertainment as I watched them lazily search the frozen trees for any berries surviving the winter and furiously chatter at my dog when he got a little too close. Hopefully I will find some German squirrels to photograph. I also enjoyed using my dog, Kasey, as a model. He poses perfectly whenever treats are involved.
I desperately love traveling, and I always threw a fit every time my family came home from a vacation abroad. The idea of getting to stay abroad for more than just a week here and there sounds brilliant to me. I have a feeling someone will have to drag me out of Germany by the end of this. I tend to get attached to places quickly and a whole five months gives me a very long time to get attached. I have been asked several times how I feel about being gone for a whole semester, traveling by myself, or living in a foreign country. But I haven’t really had time to think about anything like that. Right now I am just excited. All I feel is that the road is going on, and I am ready for whatever awaits me in Germany.
All of that being said, I will definitely miss my dog, my pet snake, my university friends and, of course, my family. I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have gone so many places and done innumerable wonderful things thus far in my life. Now it’s time to take on my next great adventure. And so I shall end—or should I say start—with this:
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
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<p>I am an Animal Science major from Cornell University with a love of traveling, nature, photography, and adventure. I like to explore through everyday curiosity. You never know what novel experiences await from day to day or what old experiences might teach about the new.</p>