Our bags are packed once more. We handed the keys over to our landlord and now just wait until it’s time to go to the airport. The old, familiar process has remained unchanged throughout our journey. It WILL be interesting to see what other hoops we’ll have to jump through at security.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been here for a month. We had so many ‘grand plans’ for the Czech Republic and, at the end, we never left Prague. It has been a good time for us to further solidify our plans when we get home. It has also been a good time for Indi and I to have some nice long heart-to-heart conversations that constant travels have a way of putting on the back burner. Travel changes people, and it’s important to communicate those changes and keep a healthy balance.
A few days ago, I trekked to the other side of town to see Prague Castle. It sits high atop a hill and provides a splendid view of the city. Looking out over the snow-capped red roofs, I marveled at the pure…European…feeling of Prague. It’s what one would expect, I gather. Narrow, cobble-stone streets. Plentiful pubs with cheap beer and boisterous patrons. Street vendors with hot wine, small breads, and all manner of cooked meats. Echoing bells on each hour. Giant, gothic spires looming atop ancient cathedrals. Ornate bridges spanning a wide and well-traveled river. It has been a real pleasure.
Not only have we spent the last month experiencing a city that sat behind the Iron Curtain for so long, but we made a lot of friends. Prague has a healthy ex-pat community of English teachers and we have befriended a few. Our roommates have helped us feel at home here and provided a comfortable and familiar base that we have sorely missed over the last ten months. We spent our Christmas and New Year’s here. It’s become a second home. Or third. Or fourth. To all of our friends we wave goodbye to here, we will miss you.
And now, we enter the final stretch. Ireland for a week, followed by Britain and Wales. On February 18th, we board a jet liner bound for Chicago and after a weekend of the Windy City, we will finally be back home in Tulsa. We’ve already started looking into living arrangements (as per Indi’s previous blog) and I have applied at Oklahoma State University, another journey that I have long put off. But our Travelogue will continue, whether it’s a weekend trip to another city or a small jaunt to a forgotten Oklahoma town. One thing travel has ingrained in me is the love of experiencing new places, and a greater appreciation for what I always took for granted at home.
Talk to you all again from The Emerald Isle!