Last year I was given the opportunity to travel to somewhere I had always wanted to go, Germany. My family is German and my last name, Grosskopf, means big head, so I was always curious about exploring where I was from. Time flew by and before I knew it I arrived at the airport and had no idea what to do. I had never been on a plane before so I probably looked foolish. At that point, embarrassing myself confront of the airport staff would not bring me down, I was going to Germany! As we boarded the plane, I sat with two students I was unfamiliar with which I was nervous about. We did not share many of the same interests but some how we all quickly became friends.
The girl next to me, Heather, was two years older than me and said, "I've been on planes tons of times, you've got nothing to worry about, they're actually pretty fun." After take off I couldn't help but agree with Heather, it was fun, and even if it wasn't in eight hours I would be in Germany. We were told to sleep on the plane since we left at six in the evening and would be arriving six in the morning and have a full day of activities. I couldn't really sleep but I closed my eyes and listened to music. I was startled by a strange, warm, wet feeling all over me so I opened my eyes and saw vomit completely covering me, Heather had gotten sick and I thought I was about to. Lucky for me I had a change of clothes in my carry on, but no amount of baby wipes would make me feel completely clean. The plane smelled awful and we used everything we could find to cover it up. My seat was covered in it so I sat on the floor of the plane for the remainder of the ride. When We finally got off that plane, we jumped right on a bus to our first city, Rotten burg. It was a cute, small town with many things to do. We were able to break off into groups and go explore on our own. I felt so independent, and realized this is what my life could be like for four years if I can find enough money to go college rather than commute. I traveled around Germany and Austria, for ten days. It was amazing waking up to a whole new world. Being able to look out your window and see mountains was breathtaking. Speaking a new language was so fun and I learned much more than I would sitting in a class room.
The people of Germany were much different from Americans when it came to their sense of time. Americans always seemed so busy, having to always be somewhere or be in a rush. On the other hand, Germans took everything very slowly and did not seem to care if they were late, they believed "I'll get there, when I get there." The majority of the Germans around four o'clock would go and get Kafee und Kuchen (coffee and cake) and relax for awhile. Seeing this kind of mentality really made me realize how important it is to stop and smell the roses, not rush through life. I was able to do things I would never do before, including touring the salt mines, or going to endless castes, or taking a certain kind of dance class. My trip really got me out of my comfort zone, but made me realize that stepping outside the box was actually exciting. I can't even begin to explain how much I had learned about myself, others, and the German culture. Exploring Germany is something I highly suggest.
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