Sometimes, I torture myself by thinking, “What was I doing this time last year?” The beginning of February has been relatively saddening because the first weekend of February 2012 I was on a school trip to Paris.
Then we had a break for ten days, during which I went to Prague, Cesky Krumlov (a town in southern Czech Republic,) and Vienna. Exactly a year ago on Valentine’s Day, my friend and I went on a tour of the Eggenberg brewery where they still make beer the same way they did in the medieval ages (I was legal there so I could partake in the free samples, but it was awful.) Then we bought a ton of snacks at a mini-mart and spent the night watching movies. Cesky Krumlov is supposedly really popular in the summer because it’s a beautiful medieval town built around the castle and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, but it was fairly deserted in February.
Also, I realize it probably wasn’t the best idea to plan a trip to Czech Republic and Austria in February when we were planning on walking around a lot and it was freezing outside, but we got the perks of off-season prices, like being able to stay in a four star hotel in Prague for cheap-ish. We also got afternoon tea there, so we would go back to warm up and feel really posh in the breakfast area as we had our tea. It was also where we were handed a printed copy of the International Herald Tribune one morning and saw a few pages in, in the margin, that Whitney Houston had died and we both gasped, startling some of the other guests in the breakfast room.
Vienna was beautiful, though our hotel wasn’t as fancy-schmancy as the others, it was such a great city to walk around in. We got in the habit of doing the whole Viennese coffee house thing in the afternoons and ate Sacher torte (overrated) and went to the actual the Hotel Sacher one afternoon (but avoided the Sacher torte as I had already discovered I didn’t like it). We ate at Café Demel twice and if anyone is going to be in Vienna anytime soon, go there. It’s expensive but delightful.
I talk about my gap year a LOT, and I know it irritates my friends here. I have a flag hanging in my room which was a going away present from my bestie and is an American flag and Union Jack stitched together and signed by many of my friends from school in England. Looking at it every day makes me sad, especially as I read and re-read the messages my friends wrote to me.
I think I spent the first semester wallowing too much. However, I know I can’t spend the next three and a half years yearning for something I can’t have – besides, I can’t be on a gap year for forever. I know I’ll always do the “what was I doing this time last year” and that will never help, but after July 8, which will be a year since I flew back, every memory will be here in the US, and soon every memory will bring me back to Colby. So even though I’ll always revisit my memories from last year, I think eventually I’ll learn to fully live in the present of being at Colby.