“Oh, Gosh—Not Another Castle” and Other Things You Think While Studying Abroad

While travelling and living abroad, you certainly will often have moments of awe. You will have moments of being absolutely blown away by your surroundings and what you’re able to experience.

One of the weirdest things about studying abroad, however, is that over time you begin to take certain things for granted. Not average things, mind you, but huge, super cool and exciting things that you normally would be in awe about. This is something that I’ve been trying to be very conscious of recently, especially given the fact that my time left in Berlin is decreasing ever-rapidly.

I find myself thinking weird things recently, such as:

“Oh, gosh. Not another castle.”

“Ugh, I have to go to the Berlin Wall Memorial today.”

“I really want to go to that poetry reading, but, like, I already promised my friend that I would go to the flea market so I guess I can’t. My life is awful.”

For example, upon browsing the things that I’ve written in my planner, my reminder to write this particular post says, “Blog before Prague.” Now, I love some good word play as much as the next English major, but, in retrospect, I’m in awe about how causally I was able to write that down. “Write a little something before going to beautiful Prague, a place you’ve been wanting to go your whole life and now actually can.”

I’m trying to remind myself to keep an awareness of how incredibly awesome this opportunity is. Constant amazement can, in fact, lead to desensitization. Taking full advantage of the opportunity to live abroad, especially in light of the fact that I’ll be heading home so soon, means becoming reacquainted with the intense astonishment of my first few weeks here. I’m trying to be a little less casual with my thoughts and actually appreciate the experience that I’m having.

Jenna Kersten is a student at Siena College and an official API student blogger.  Jenna is currently studying abroad with API in Berlin, Germany.

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