I landed back in the States around 12 on July 7th. While I was there, all of the walking and traveling made me exhausted and by the end of class most days I was too tired to do much of anything except relax. The first week there was definitely the hardest, I was not used to walking 10 miles a day. I also did not bring the most comfortable pair of shoes, and after the first week, I knew I wasn’t going to last the whole trip with those shoes so I had to buy a pair of shoes to be more comfortable. The first two weeks in Berlin was a very different vibe than the last three weeks in Essen. Berlin is more social, and busy than Essen. Not to say I didn’t enjoy Essen, but it was definitely different. Essen is a post-industrial area, and I thought it was very cool to see how Germany creates parks out of the old steel and coal factories. With that being said, I had a different experience in Berlin than I did Essen and vice versa. I enjoyed learning about the history in Germany and all of the different places we went to visit. Looking back on my experience abroad, it all just seems like a couple of days, and it is hard to believe that I spent five weeks in a different country.
I feel that I have changed a lot as a person while I was away. Being in a different country, with different laws, different standards, and an overall different culture will change someone. It definitely changed me. When I went there I was narrower minded and thought that the way we do things at home has to be right because that is what I most comfortable doing. I enjoyed the public transportation the most because of its price and ease of use. Upon returning and not having that public transportation the way it is in Germany makes me miss it. I also think about biking and how many people biked around to get to work, the food store, and anywhere and everywhere they wanted to go. The only thing I don’t miss about that is having to cross the street, and then cross the bike lane to get the sidewalk. I definitely almost got hit by a bike a few times. Overall, I am so happy that I got to have this experience abroad.