Sunday, August 2, 2015

Czech me out: a love letter to Prague

Long time, no post. With June being the last month of my stay in Belgium, I decided to step away from the computer and enjoy the last month of my year abroad free from the computer screen. However, I do have one final trip to tell you about. For my final trip I went to Prague, Czech Republic. By myself. And it was the best trip of the entire year!

First and foremost, I decided to venture to Prague since my father's family is Czech and I wanted to see where my ancestors came from. I loved Ireland so much, which is where my mother's family is from, so I knew I needed to get back to my roots once again so to speak.

Even though I did not have a travel companion, that did not stop me from booking that Ryanair flight. Of course, I took more precautions while traveling alone than I normally would if I was with a friend. I took cabs to and from the airport and did not go out late at night by myself. Never once did I feel unsafe and I had a great time being able to do what I wanted when I wanted. I truly enjoyed the freedom and I regret not travelling more by myself throughout the year. Fear got the best of me and when I finally let that go, I found myself forced to meet new people and have a completely unique experience. I met travelers from all over the world and we spent the weekend together in Prague. Even though we just met, we all became fast friends. That is one of the joys of travelling: making new, fast friends all over the world.

Prague is a beautiful city that is completely walkable and very user friendly. Of course, almost every person I encountered spoke a bit of English, so the language barrier was never a problem. Of course, I hit many of the major tourist attractions including the Astronomical Tower, Prague Castle, and I climbed the Bell Tower at St.Vitus Cathedral. Not only was is beautiful, Prague is a very affordable city with a great exchange rate. One euro is roughly 27  Czech crowns and there were plenty of place to exchange currency. After visiting Prague, I wished I had spent more time in the surrounding countries due to the low prices and gorgeous scenery!

The view from the Town Square

View from Prague Castle

I went to a LOT of churches in 10 months and St. Vitus had the most-spectacular stained glass!

 A doorway in Prague's Jewish Quarter

Of course I loved every city I visited during my time abroad but Prague holds a special place in my heart and it always will. Prague will forever be the first place I traveled to alone. Never have I felt more independent and able, something that can be easily squashed by feelings of self doubt. Confidence washed over me in Prague. I made new friends and forced myself out of my comfort zone in a big way. After Prague, I felt more confident than ever. I knew nothing could stop me from having the time of my life and I put myself out there into the world headfirst. Prague, thank you for pushing me out of my comfort zone.

With the famous John Lennon Wall