See You Later, Alligator

In The Art of Travel Fall 2017, 15. Farewells, Prague by Vivian2 Comments

Currently, I have less than I week before I leave Prague. Five days to be exact. While I’m incredibly excited to finally go back home, leaving Prague is a bit bittersweet to say the least.

Prague has been my home for the past semester and looking back on my choice to come to Prague, I would never regret coming here as my study abroad site. After traveling almost every weekend, and always coming back to Prague after each adventure, the city has definitely grown on me. It’s taken up a piece of my heart, and it’s there to stay.

Perhaps one of the best things about Prague is that you discover something new every day. The city itself, at first glance, is pretty ordinary, if not lacking. But with each day you spend here, you get a bit more charmed and fall a little bit more in love. You find shortcuts around the cities, discover cute streets lined with pastel buildings, run into smalls stores you would never have thought were interesting, see funny pieces of graffiti, and just stumble upon little things here and there that eventually show you that, in fact, Prague is an incredible city of hidden gems and discovery. A modest city with more to offer than you could ever anticipate, Prague certainly lives up to its nickname, “The Pearl of Cities”.

After staying in Prague, I’ve come to realize how important it is to really appreciate every moment that occurs and to notice the little things in life. Surprisingly, in a city that’s flows so slowly that it seems to have been caught in time, time flies. Sometimes you don’t even realize it. You get swept up into a pattern of life, which, in my case, was a cycle of school, travel, rest, and homework. And interestingly enough, what really made me aware of this cycle, as well as the need to be proactive and enjoy every bit of life was actually this blogging course. This course, The Art of Travel, has perhaps become one of the most valuable experiences I’ve had while abroad. I’ve been pushed to really think about my life and experience while traveling. I’ve been introduced to new perspectives and ways to appreciate life. It’s a bold thing to say, but honestly, this 2-credit course that I took on a whim, has changed so much about me and my life.

Ultimately, I think that I have learned so much, changed so much, and grown so much during my time abroad. I flew to Prague expecting a fun semester and a break from school in the United States. Now I’m prepared to leave Prague with so much more than that, plus the ability to change myself and my life for the better based on what I have learned here. Coming to Prague is certainly an experience I’ll never forget. My first time in Europe, and certainly not my last, has become a much, much more important experience to me than I would have ever expected. I’ll never forget the fun times I’ve spent with friends, the grueling hours of cramming homework the day before school, the incredibly stressful travel mishaps, the amazing food from all the different countries I’ve visited, and simply just the comforting feeling of finally returning home to Prague.

So as an early goodbye before my final goodbye in five days, “na shledanou”, Prague. You’ve treated me so well and left me with unforgettable memories. While I may or may not come back in the future, a piece of you will always stay with me.

Thank you for everything, Prague, and thank you for this course, Professor Hutkins.


  1. Vivian,

    I resonate with that feeling of coming back to your home base after traveling; even after visiting some amazing places, coming back to Florence was always so comforting to me. I love that Prague wasn’t a one hit wonder kind of place; it’s more like wine. It gets better with age. And I completely agree that this course was a huge part in realizing just how impactful this abroad experience was! It forced us to reflect upon what and how we were doing, and serves as a great way to look back on our trip and see exactly what we were thinking while it was all going down. Enjoy the rest of your time in Prague- I’m sure this is a see you later and not a goodbye.

  2. Hey Vivian,

    It was really cool to read about your experience of Prague and how different it was from mine, especially since we live in rooms next to each other, though we very rarely interact. Honestly, I’ve been avoiding commenting on your blog posts because it feels a little awkward with you sitting in the next room, but I felt like this was a good time to finally do it.
    I love that you pointed out how Prague really taught you to appreciate the little things in life. It’s something that I’ve also been experiencing, although it’s never really come up to the forefront of my mind in such a clear manner before I read it from you. The pace of life is much slower here, and it’s really helped me notice and enjoy the finer things in life, like wine, art, graffiti, markets, and just little pieces of history and culture threaded throughout the landscape that one never really has time for in New York or Beijing. I’m actually a little intimidated thinking about returning to New York now, since by now, in my head, everything is accelerated back there.
    I think it’s also great that you mentioned how this course has helped you reflect and changed your perspective on things. I didn’t mention this in my blog post, since it was already much too long, but writing always helps me reflect and learn, and I’m glad this course was here to make sure I kept up with it, even if my attempts at journaling never really followed through. Every topic was something new to think about. I would definitely do it again.

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