As of today, I have officially been living in Prague for 3 months. It has been 90 days since I set flight from America and ended up in the heart of Europe. It's been 90 days of training, teaching, traveling, and adjusting. It has been 90 days of meeting new people and experiencing new languages and customs. It has been 90 days since I have seen my family and friends back in Florida.
Part of me wants to be cliché and talk about how time flies, and the other part of me completely feels like it has been 90 challenging days. Not challenging in a bad way, by any means, but still challenging. I have never had to adjust to so many different things at once. I came here knowing what big adjustments I was going to go through, and I was braced to get through them. However, there are also many small adjustments that sometimes feel as challenging as the large ones.
This post isn't about adjustment though. It has been a couple of months since I have written a general update post, so I thought I would share some new facts and random information about my life here in the Czech Republic.
-Teaching English as a second language has been quite the experience so far. It has been both challenging and enjoyable. I would say that the most time consuming aspect of teaching is the planning. Every class is at a different level, and needs English for a different reason. Some lessons are one-on-one and some have groups of anywhere from 2-10 students. The lessons basically have to be different for each class. However, getting to know my students is one of the more rewarding things to happen in my life so far, so I know I am on the right path at this point in my career.
-I have visited four countries in the past three months. Considering I had never been outside of the U.S before this adventure, I find that pretty exciting. So far I am able to check the UK, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany off of my list. And the best part is...I have SO MUCH more to see! I have plans in the works for Slovakia, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Turkey...and those are just the beginning of the list.
-Prague is slowly becoming my home. I find joy in the small victories, like being able to give people correct directions or knowing what tram to take to get me home without using Google maps. I am no longer afraid to go grocery shopping (most of the time) and I still can't get over the fact that I LIVE in such a beautiful, charming place.
-I'm actually getting to a point where I understand the things I am learning in my Czech class. I don't want to sound whiney or anything...but it's such a hard language! D: I still get nervous to use what I learn. I also find that Czechs have a difficult time understanding Czech that has more of an American accent to it...but Czech pronunciation is not an easy thing, my friend. I suppose it's all about baby steps.
-It's already very cold here. The temperatures that I experienced in October were colder than the coldest January day in Florida. It's strange to actually be able to wear things like tights and thick sweaters without having a heat stroke. The cold weather has actually given me a new found love for thrift shopping. I found a brand new winter coat and a few sweaters for a TOTAL of about 140 crowns the other day, which averages to a whopping total of about $6.00. I can completely understand why people become addicted to secondhand stores.
-I can't say exactly how much because I haven't had an opportunity to weigh since being here, but I have actually lost quite a bit of weight. I would estimate 20-30 pounds. I know my clothes have been fitting much differently (I had to buy new jeans) and my friends and family have been commenting on how I look different in my pictures. I haven't really been able to see the difference in pictures myself though until my mom made this comparison photo. The picture on the left is from my first day here in Prague and the picture on the right was taken just a few days ago. Apparently major life changes bring adjustments in all forms.
It's another new month, and I'm anxious to see how November pans out. I'm especially anxious for December because I will finally have people coming to visit me! Here's to the next 90 days in Europe. :)