I didn’t know someone could grow up so fast in ten days. Usually it takes years, especially for someone at my age. My select choir called the RH Singers was invited to tour Vienna, Bratislava and Prague and sing in some of the cities’ most beautiful churches. I’m seventeen years old and now after experiencing Europe with 45 other students, I feel so much older. It could be the jet lag I’m enduring at the moment which is making me feel ancient, but there is so much more to it. Maybe it’s because I had been on my own all that time; with no parents to help me make quick decisions. I know that in those ten days I have become more patient and understanding, most likely from the abundance of teenagers on this trip. When my family and friends began begging me for a short summary, I was at a loss for words. There is no way to convey the wonder and magic of being in a foreign country. My mind and my eyes are slowly opening to the magnificence of our world.
I couldn’t tell how tired I was when I arrived in Vienna; I was way too excited to be in Europe for exhaustion to take over. Every day in Vienna was gorgeous and there was never a cloud in the sky. We were able to experience SchÃ¶nbrunn Palace, take a cruise down the Danube River, visit St. Stephan’s Cathedral and shop in various squares of Vienna. Our first concert was held in St. Peterskirche, which was my favorite cathedral above all of the others. It was so amazing to listen to a mass in a different country; except for the language barrier, the structure was all the same.
We took a day trip to Slovakia during our stay in Vienna. Bratislava was probably my favorite city. We had our second concert there and the turnout was unbelievable. After our performance, a Slovakian woman came up to me and told me how amazing we all were. She was speaking in her Slovak language, but I knew everything she was saying from the way she looked at me and held my hand. This was definitely my most memorable experience in Europe.
Prague was a 5 hour bus ride from Vienna, but the ride didn’t seem long at all. I was with my friends and we would “ooh” and “ah” over everything we’d seen. Prague was definitely a very exciting place to be. I was surrounded by 14th century churches and cobblestone streets full of people. The Charles Bridge was one of my favorite places. It’s supposedly the most haunted bridge in the world, which may explain my headache that came on as soon as I set foot on it. The two concerts held in Prague were just as rewarding as the first couple. The people were so appreciative of us and very attentive. I felt like a rock star.
We were really proud of ourselves by the end of the trip. The bond between us ran deeper than classmates. We had all experienced something together and had traveled together as a tight knit group; a family. For me, my perspective on life and the world has broadened and changed the way I think. A teenager’s world feels small and insignificant. I have experienced something that would be ideal for every teenager. It’s hard to believe how much of the world there is to be explored and appreciated.
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