Ah it’s that time of year again. Oregon can’t decide what season it is, classes are slowly disintegrating into seas of chaos, prom anxieties dominate hallway conversation, and students around the country are dreaming about the magical summer that’s only just out-of-reach. With 29 days of school remaining and five weeks left in the school year, summer plans are beginning to turn from loose concepts to tangible things with flights and hotel reservations and everything. It’s all very exciting, especially for me (and hopefully for you too) because it means this wasteland of a web page I used to call a blog will slowly reform into an active and engaging place with updates on plans, thoughts, and, eventually, travels! For you see, dear readers, this summer will be one full of new experiences and I intend to document it all right here — from the exciting adventures to the disasters, and everything in-between! Where in the world will this summer take me, you might wonder? Well, let me fill you in.
My travels begin on June 19th when I, along with 17 of my fellow theater geeks, will fly from Oregon to the theater capital of the world — Lincoln, Nebraska. Okay, so maybe not the theater capital of the world, but it is home to the International Thespian Festival, a week-long event filled with workshops, performances, and opportunities to connect with thespians from around the country, and the world! This is the first year my troupe will be attending this event and, to put it plainly, I could not be more excited. As someone who has lived and breathed theater since age 10 (with a love for it dating back to birth), spending an entire week with my closest friends at a festival dedicated to the craft we adore is a dream come true. But, lest you think this is the peak of my summer exploits, it only gets better from here.
After a week of theater bliss, I will say goodbye to my lovely thespian troupe and catch a plane from Lincoln, Nebraska to St. Wendel, Germany! (Well technically it’s two planes and a train, but let’s not worry about the details). There, I will meet Samuel whom you may remember from a post a while back. He is a German student who spent three weeks staying with my family through the German-American Partnership Program at my school. Though I will have missed the first week of the trip due to my time in Nebraska, I still get to spend two wonderful weeks staying with his family, attending school, and exploring Germany with the rest of the Americans on the trip, including two of my dearest friends, Natalie and Leah. After the amazing homestay experience I had in India (I miss you, Narang family!), I’m thrilled to have another opportunity to become part of an international family.
And the adventure doesn’t stop there! From St. Wendel, Natalie, Leah, and I are going to hop on a train and cross the country to Stuttgart! Though the GAPP program will have ended, we couldn’t imagine coming to Germany and not seeing Mona. If you don’t know, Mona is my sister. Kind of. Technically, she is an exchange student who lived with my family during the 2014-15 school year. But she’s my sister. I am endlessly excited to spend time with her in her hometown and see all of the places and people that I’ve heard so much about. It’s going to be surreal! My parents will be joining us there and after about five days in Stuttgart, we will be off to our NEXT destination!
From Stuttgart, my parents, Natalie, Leah, and I plan to take the train to Munich where we’ll put Leah on a plane back to the U.S. (she’s got amazing travels of her own planned for the rest of the summer). As for everyone else, we’ll be on our way to Salzburg, Austria — but that’s only the beginning! The next two weeks will be spent traveling around Italy to Venice, Florence, and Rome, soaking in as much culture, food, and fun as we possibly can. It’s shaping up to truly be the trip of a lifetime. I can’t wait to see what Italy has to offer — and to share all of it with you!
While in India I did daily updates (or as close to daily as my Wifi situation would let me). However, this time around I’m going to be gone for six weeks. That is 42 days. As much as I love writing for you all, there is no way on earth that I can keep up daily posts for 42 days, so the updates will be a bit more sporadic. At this point, having not actually embarked on the trip, I would guess you can expect a post every two to three days. I’m also going to have some guest posts from Natalie, who is a phenomenal writer, so look forward to those!
Though this summer is sure to be an exhausting whirlwind, I am brimming with anticipation and cannot wait to see all that it has in store. Hopefully by now you all know how much I love exploring foreign cultures and seeing what’s out there in the world, and this summer promises an endless supply of both. I’m not sure when the next update will be coming, but probably not for a while — I have to get through prom first! Talk about foreign experiences.
Until next time, goodbye!