Hey Readers. I am sorry this is so late considering my program ended about three weeks ago. It finished on July 26th and we had a celebration that lasted into the night and then I had to get up 4 hours later to catch my flight to Croatia (vacation). The last week of the program was packed with finishing up assignments and also getting in the last bit of Copenhagen I could so I didn’t get a chance to write a blog. But here I am (now back in the US), ready to share what I’ve been up to since then.
During my last week in Denmark, I was able to write a bit of a reflection of my time in Denmark and the program that I will share. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Copenhagen. It was so fun to get to know my classmates and be in a Design environment full of creative and talented people. It’s something I don’t get enough of at CMU, so it was nice to feel like I was with ‘my people.’ I went on so many adventures and pushed myself to explore more than I was comfortable with and from that I feel like I have grown to be a stronger, more independent female. I also feel like my navigation skills got better while I was here. As for the DIS courses, the visual journal increased my sketching skills based on practice. I have never been one to use of carry around a sketchbook almost daily, let alone complete one in a relatively short amount of time. I am really proud of my sketchbook and will cherish it forever. As for my Graphic Design course, the biggest take away is the approach and method European Designers use. It is much more open and less ridged. What I will miss most is the people I met, biking around Copenhagen, and the routine of ‘home’ I’ve created. But, my adventure continues… (Croatia, Italy, Switzerland).”
Right after DIS ended I flew to Zagreb, Croatia. During my time in Croatia I traveled alone, and the two days I spent in Zagreb I felt quite lonely and missed my family the most while abroad. I think part of it was because I did not have time to process and decompress from DIS. I jumped straight into exploring a new country. I stayed in hostels in Croatia and on my first day in Zagreb, I found a friend to explore the city with from my hostel. He was from Australia and good company. He was down to earth just like me so talking with him was fun and I enjoyed hear his story. After Zagreb, I trained to Plitvice Lakes which was in between Split (my final destination). That was quite an experience as the train station I stopped at was pretty much deserted. It was in the middle of know where with only one guy working there. He spoke some English, but we had a bit of a hard time fully understanding each other. Once I got to Split, I was able to relax a bit more as I decided to stay there for 4 nights instead of two. Here I allowed myself to relax more by not forcing myself to always “go go go” and do something every single hour. This gave me the space to process everything that had happened and helped me enjoy where I was more (instead of miss home). The first two days I explored by myself, but after that I started to met people in the hostel. That is what I enjoyed most about my time in Split. I got to meet so many cool people from all over the world and hear their stories. I began to feel more comfortable being alone.
After Croatia I flew to Florence, Italy to meet my parents. From here on I traveled with my parents which was different. I took the lead on a lot of directions because I was the only one with service and I helped them adjust and learn about certain things in Europe (like what ATMs where the best). We explored art museums, tourist spots, and ate gelato! After Italy we trained to Switzerland where we explored the Swiss Alps and the capitol, Zürich. I enjoyed hiking the mountain, but it also felt good to be back in a city afterwards. Zürich seemed to have lots of different types of topography. It had lakes, mountains, and also buildings. We only had a full day in Zürich, so we missed lots of cool things and I would definitely want to go back there.
That is the short version of my vacation (Croatia, Italy, and Switzerland) without going into the many different stories of what we explored. I feel like I grew the most in Croatia as I was traveling alone and had to figure everything out myself. I am so glad that I went abroad alone. I have learned an immense amount about myself and am proud of who I am becoming.