As 2014 comes to a close, I would like to take some time to reflect on where this remarkable year has taken me. A year of firsts, a year of adventure, 2014 has been truly wonderful to me. It all kicked off last January when I began training and fundraising for the one and only Boston Marathon. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, but since when is that a reason not to do something? Soon enough I was standing at the starting line, a different person than I was just four months earlier. Shortly after that, I had a teary-eyed finish and a fire in my heart for more.
Summer was spent at camp with my wonderful campers and coworkers. I learned something new every day and nearly burnt myself out in the process. But time doesn’t slow down, and neither have I this year.
Next stop, Austria, another adventure to which I had no idea what I was doing, but dove in headfirst. A new country, a new culture, a new language, and new friends, my study abroad experience has been more than I ever dreamed of. Every day offered new adventures, and my only problem was deciding which country to visit next. I climbed Salzburg’s two spectacular mountains, went to Oktoberfest, wrote a message on the Lenin Wall in Prague, found my way to Wales for the half marathon of a lifetime, took a late night and incredibly cold swim in the Salzach, enjoyed the beauty of the Mirabellgarten, twirled in the hills, skied on a glacier, walked through a concentration camp in Germany, toured the tiny country of Liechtenstein, enjoyed an opera in Vienna, relaxed in the thermal baths of Budapest, the list continues. There you have a run-on sentence that could seemingly run on forever.
Through all of these adventures, I have met the most remarkable group of people who helped make this semester everything it culminated to be. I have learned so much through these adventures, and while I’ll certainly miss hopping from country to country at the week’s end, I will also miss the little things, like overlooking the stunning Austrian landscapes on long train rides, my daily adventures of taking public transportation in a country where I hardly know the language, enjoying our favorite lookouts and watering holes in Salzburg, laughing around the dinner table with friends, and staring at the mountains as I walk to class (For those who are skeptical, I did attend classes whilst in Austria).
Thank you, Salzburg, for the memories, the opportunities, the knowledge, and the laughter. All good things come to an end, and time goes on, so while I am sad that this adventure has reached its end, I can’t help but wonder what my next adventure will be. It’s going to be a challenge to outdo 2014, but like I’ve said before, I like a good challenge.