Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Soothe the travel bug within

I realize that my blog must be very boring now for those of you that have been following me since Belgium -- or any other of my travels for that matter. With Russia in plain view, this should change very soon, and I hope to have many more stories for you.

But in the mean time, I have the perfect solution for all you adventure-craving travel blog followers.

Do you love to read posts about cultural mishaps, strange foreign men, daily life overseas, trying to fit in, and deep thoughts inspired by new experiences? Do you treasure learning to see the world from another's point of view? Do you enjoy eloquent comedic prose?

Then meet Anna, a bubbly young woman whose life experiences have given her the wisdom of someone twice her age.

Anna and I were inseparable growing up together on California's Central Coast. The last ten years have taken both of us around the world in opposite directions, yet we still find a way to get together every few years to share the travel stories that have become so much a part of who we are.

Anna is currently studying and working in Erfurt, Germany on scholarship with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. She is a Journalism and International Studies major, fluent in German, and can hold her own in French as well.

Anna is always someone I've looked up to. Being three years older than me, it was her ambitious ideas that led us to start the Girls' Letter Club when we were 11 and 8, respectively. We sewed our own club uniforms on her mom's sewing machine, we baked brownies in my kitchen to serve at a neighborhood block party we hosted, and we spent endless hours together developing special codes in which to write highly confidential letters to each other. (I'm not sure the code was really necessary, seeing as we lived exactly four houses away from each other.)

My family moved to Oregon when I was ten, and although the time we got to spend together was drastically reduced, not much changed in terms of our close friendship. When I found out Anna was going to Switzerland for a year, I knew that I wanted that experience too. I had casually considered studying abroad before, but it was Anna's confidence and excitement about the trip that really motivated me to solidify my own plans.

Two weeks after Anna returned to the States in the summer of 2006, I embarked on a year-long exchange program in Brussels, Belgium. I'll never forget the last few days before I left, how Anna and I stayed up all night long, talking about her recent adventures and dreaming about trips we would take together one day. I'm positive that one day we will.

So read on; I hope you enjoy Anna's blog as much as I do.


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