Looking out the window

Sarah Chadwick
March 30, 2017

In this past month that I’ve been in Germany, I have had the opportunity to travel to some very neat places.  This country (and Europe as a whole) is so full of history and culture, it’s impossible to not want to see it all.


One of my favorite trips that I have done so far during my study abroad experience was to Munich.  Munich is a beautiful city, filled with buildings and history older than America itself.  From the bustling of the famous Marienplatz to the quiet peace found without some of the largest cathedrals I’ve ever seen, Munich has it all.


We packed our days in Munich full of walking tours, a beer garden, and many, many pictures.  Each corner we turned at led us to new sights and sounds.  We ate great food, met some locals and enjoyed a beautiful weekend there.


However, one of my favorite moments of the trip was before we even got to the city.  We were driving on a smaller road, passing towns nestled throughout the countryside hills.  All of a sudden, the Alps came into our view.  The mountains, covered with snow, stuck up into the landscape.  This was very exciting to me because I had never seen them before.  And while we have breathtaking mountains at home, there is nothing like seeing the Alps looming over the hill.


This sight was a reminder to me that the journeys we take to places are just as important as our destinations.  While this idea has been repeated by many people many times, it’s always good when something in your own life reminds you of that.


Bus trips in the United States are very different than the one I experienced to on the way to Munich.  In the US, it would be unfathomable to not offer free WIFI on any mode of transportation.  If you looked up the aisle of a bus in America, most people’s faces would be in their phones, everyone in their own world.  No one has casual conversations with the people around them and few people pick up their heads enough to look out the window for a while.


This was not the case on the German bus.  No one complained that there wasn’t WIFI or was freaking out about how their phone was on low battery.  People chatted, even if they didn’t know the people around them.  Mostly, people looked out the window.  It reminded me to do the same.


By treating the bus ride to Munich as a part of the trip, rather than the means by which to get there, I saw things I never would have otherwise.  Tiny towns, barely visible from the road, were all over the landscape.  They seemed tucked into the hills and looked almost as if they could fall at any moment.  It gave me a peek into the life of small-town Germany, something you cannot get in Munich.


This is something I would like to actively try to bring back to the United States with me.  On the next road trip to visit friends, or when my family and I make the drive to take me back to college, I want to remember how the Germans travelled.  Enjoying themselves and the company of others, and most importantly, looking out the window to better take in the world around them.

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Sarah Chadwick

<p>My name is Sarah and I am studying environmental studies and journalism. Although born and raised in upstate New York, I now go to college in Washington, DC. My perfect day involves eating lots of good food and getting lost on a hike.</p>

Home University:
George Washington University, The
Environmental Studies
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