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Bye, Bye Berlin

May 26, 2019

It has officially been a week since my study abroad program ended, and I am still en route back home to Buffalo, New York. The day after my program ended, I packed up and flew to Ispica, Sicily with my grandfather. We spent six days living on the coast and exploring the local towns. Leaving bustling Berlin for serene Sicily was a tonal shift, and it better prepared me to return home.

Visiting Sicily was a very different experience than living in Berlin. The island is very rural, and we spent the week driving around and visiting small towns. Instead of running to catch my train, I spent my time lying next to a pool. Instead of buying döner from the stand under the train station on my walk home from school, I ate four course Italian dinners. I’m glad I got to experience a different European lifestyle (and copious amounts of Italian gelato) before heading back to America.

Leaving Berlin was harder than I expected. When I decided to study abroad in Berlin, I knew next to nothing about the city or its intricate history. Everyone asked me, “Why Berlin?” and my response was, “Why not?” Now my answer is a lot more in-depth. Why Berlin? Because it is a city where everyone is welcome, where you can get street food at any hour for under four euro, where each neighborhood is distinct, where there is a museum for any interest you have, where there is more Turkish food than German food, and where the public transportation is reliable. The list could go on and on.

To put it simply, I fell in love with Berlin, and just like any breakup, it’s hard to say goodbye. However, I left Berlin with more than I came with. I left with new friendships, memories, and hundreds of photos. I already miss Berlin with my whole heart, but now I have a home across the ocean.

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