Once upon a time, (as in last June) I bagged all logic and sanity, said good-bye to my dad at the security entrance of the SLC International Airport, and proceeded to make my way to a machine that would, within 3 hours of flight, take me further away from my family and "the bubble" than I had ever been (well, at least in my mortal existence). Was I nervous? Yeah, a little. Was I excited? Yep, you'd better believe it. Did I know I was in for an adventure? Yes, definitely. In fact, I basically felt like Indiana Jones. I was popping my "bubble," and not just with my finger or a needle or even a harpoon. I was doing the job with a sledgehammer.
The happy adventure of which I speak took me first to Paris, where, with the help of big yellow arrows and my, shall we say, "developing" French-speaking skills, I harmlessly navigated the Charles de Gualle airport and boarded my connecting flight to the beautiful country in which I would spend the next month of my life--the Czech Republic.
This is a picture I took in Praha (Prague), standing in the castle courtyard, which directly overlooks St. George's Monastery. Ah, heaven.
Anyhow. During my stay, I had a goodly portion of...interesting...experiences, many of which will most likely become the subjects of future posts. However, for the time being, let it be known that I not only successfully navigated my way to Eastern Europe (and back, which involved much stress: delayed flights, lost baggage, and a refusal of several hundred euros) studied at a real European conservatory, made friends from several different countries (and continents, for that matter), and returned the better for it, but also learned a life lesson: venturing out of the "bubble" of familiarity, predictability, obviousness, and comfort is the only way to truly find oneself and one's potential.