Germany, Round Five

Screen Shot 2018-09-08 at 3.15.10 PM

Hello there friends, how are you? I am sitting on the couch in my pajamas at 3pm on a Saturday. All is well. All is very well. There is a huge rain storm in DFW right now, complete with thunder and lightning and flash floods– oh my! But coming from California, where it only rains like two days a year, I am secretly really enjoying this weather. It is so soothing.

Anyways, I wanted to tell you a little bit more about my upcoming adventure. I am returning to Germany on September 25th for two more years of grad school. I know, I know, you probably saw that one coming given my history of obsession with Germany. Sometimes I joke that I’m getting my Masters just so I can keep this travel blog going haha!

But I am very excited. And scared. Yes, I am really scared. I had a tough time last year in many regards, so I’m nervous to go back. But I know it’s the right decision. I learned so much last year, and I feel confident that this time will be 100 times easier because of those hard lessons.

Here is a link to info about my Masters program for those of you interested. I plan to keep blogging (duh) but will probably need a million weeks or so to get adjusted.

Hope your summer ended well! Cheers to Germany, round 5 🙂

P.s. Photo from here

One Month in Germany

39F327D6-B4BA-4339-96B1-ADF49853BE29.jpgI can’t believe I’ve already been here one month. It feels like it has gone by both lightning fast and also incredibly slow. There have been so many hurdles to cross (even now I’m writing this on a German keyboard and I have no idea where any of the letters are, so it takes an eternity!). One second I feel on top of the world, like I could conquer anything and excel at life, and then the next second I feel totally helpless and uninformed. Expat life is quite the rollercoaster.

But recently I took a breather and spent a few hours walking around a beautiful park in Mannheim, watching the bright orange leaves fall gently to the ground. Fall is here and I’m lucky enough to be here to experience it. Below are a few photos and stories from the past few weeks. Enjoy!jIMG_4681My first day in the city of Weinheim, by beautiful new home.IMG_4688Some of my colleagues from school and I went to an alpine slide after work. It was so much fun and the view wasn’t too shabby either.IMG_4717The children in the language intensive classes at my school worked together to perform a play. They come from over ten different countries and speak many different languages. Many of them are refugees who have not lived in Germany more than two years. But they performed incredibly well in German, and it was obvious they were proud of themselves. The whole show brought tears to my eyes. It was touching to see people from such different backgrounds coming together to make something new. The play was covered in the newspaper and hopefully this experience will be replicated in other schools in Germany.Processed with VSCO with t1 presetIMG_4760CofffffeeeeeeeeIMG_4785Met up with another Fulbrighter for a day in Heidelberg. That place NEVER gets old.IMG_4813Moore Haus will always have my heart.IMG_4851Hope you’re doing well!

Little Letter

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Dear Fall,
Can’t you visit SoCal, even just for a little? Summer doesn’t seem to want to leave but I’m eagerly awaiting your arrival. My scarves are bored just hanging limp in my closet!

img_9481

Dear Polaroid,
Why do you take such over-exposed pictures sometimes? I’m always disappointed when I wait and wait but you never develop properly. Your film is much too expensive for these games!

Dear Blog,
I love you. I never thought I could grow so attached to a non-existent ‘place’ in cyber space. It’s so fun to look back in time and reflect on all the places I’ve seen and things I’ve experienced over the last three years.

img_9503

Dear Graduation,
I simultaneously can’t wait for you to come and am dreading your arrival. Lots of weird, mixed emotions over here…

Dear Parents,
Thanks for visiting me this week and taking me out to breakfast! I can’t wait to spend the first weekend in November with you in Texas.

img_9509

Dear Coffee,
You sustain me. I don’t know what I’d do with out you sweet, dark one.

Dear “New Girl,”
Season 5 on Netflix is cracking me up. You are hilarious.

img_9516

Dear Money,
Somehow you always disappear. One moment you’re in my wallet and the next you’re gone! It blows my mind to think that soon I will (hopefully) have a steady income.

Dear Sleep,
I value you more and more each passing day. How do people function with less than eight hours?

img_9518
Dear Sunsets,
Thanks for being particularly beautiful lately. I appreciate it.

P.s. I got the idea for this post from one of my favorite blogs Love Taza. And these photos are from a few weeks ago when we went out for a friend’s 21st birthday!

Eight Things

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-3-03-16-pm

  1. I submitted my Fulbright application on Tuesday. Now I have to schedule an interview with my school’s reviewing committee next week, in which they will give me suggestions and edits to make before resubmitting it for the national deadline on October 11th. It feels like such a weight off my shoulders to finally have the essays written and all my recommendations in on time!
  2. My friend Alena from Hildesheim, Germany is flying in tomorrow to visit me! I can’t wait to speak German with her and show her around my stomping grounds 🙂
  3. I fly to Dallas/Fort worth next Wednesday to visit my parents and brother. I’ve never been to that part of the world, so I’m itching to explore! It’s funny, if I don’t get on a plane at least once every three months or so I get really antsy and stir-crazy. I guess I’m a nomad at heart.
  4. I am seriously thinking about applying to grad school in Germany…so yeah, that’s a big deal. I was against grad school for a long time, but now God is working on my heart in new ways. I think it might be a great option after graduation!
  5. I love my church, RealityLA. I just signed up for a small group on Wednesdays and I could not be more stoked. It’s nice to meet people from such diverse backgrounds and not just college students for a change.
  6. This blog is still my all-time favorite. It’s the blog that inspired me to start my own way back in the day.
  7. I went to a German restaurant in Venice last night called Wurstküche. Although it’s not in Germany, I will admit the bratwurst was pretty dang delicious.
  8. As a native Californian I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never been to Joshua Tree National Park, and I plan to remedy that this school year! Have you been?

P.s This picture of a young Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher hanging out just kills me for some reason 🙂

Ten Things

IMG_88321. Syllabi always give me anxiety. The first week of school is a bombardment of syllabi from every class informing you of all the work ahead this semester. I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and reaaaaaxxxx…it will all get done.
2. I’m fasting today. I’ve never fasted before, but always wanted to try it as a spiritual discipline. Not too many hunger pains thus far I’m glad to report, although it’s only 10am haha! My goal is to make room for God to fill the space in my daily life. where food usually is.
3. I miss Germany. There, I said it.
4. I restrung my brother’s old guitar (a terrifying experience) and bought a capo. I even made my own pick out of an old credit card! I plan to shape up on my guitar skills this semester. It’s such a cathartic hobby.
5. My little brother is having a grand old time in Texas. He went to the first Baylor football game of the season and got to run across the entire field with all the other freshies before it began. I’m really looking forward to visiting him and my parents in Texas at the end of the month!
6. Loving the photos on this blog. Very inspiring. I need to get out and practice my photography.
7. I got a ticket for (allegedly) not stopping long enough at a stop sign back in May. I contested it and got a court date of August 31st. I showed up at 8am in Santa Monica, dressed to the nines, ready to argue my case before the honorable judge and courtroom. But then THE OFFICER DIDN’T SHOW UP! There is a god people, he is real. I got my $283 back– Christmas came early this year. You can see my celebratory Instagram post here.
8. Really want to get another tattoo (sorry mom and dad). Still thinking about what it might be. I know I want a German word and have an idea of where on my body I would like it. But the exact word is still in process.
9. The internet is really funny. I laid in bed for an hour today just scrolling through Instagram and laughing out loud by myself.
10. This article is hilarious and sadly true.IMG_8846

Gearing Up for Another Semester

DSC_0326.JPG

Oh man. School starts on Monday and I don’t know how I feel. I’m going to a retreat this weekend, which will be a nice way to ease back into the social scene. The retreat is called “Unplugged” and you are not allowed to use any technology for the entire three days. I am really looking forward to stepping away from my screen to gain a little perspective.

I always like second semester better than first. The weather is warmer and the days are longer. But most of all, you’ve already found your niché and can hit the ground running. You don’t have to exert as much effort to get things started. I feel more confident in my place as a junior on campus and know what that entails.

I’m looking forward to investing more in established relationships and forming brand new ones. I can’t wait to figure out my plans for this summer and start dreaming about senior year. Since when do I only have three semesters of college left? I refuse to believe its true.

How are you these days? Thanks for reading my random ramblings! Let’s talk again soon.DSC_0438.JPG