Netherlands

Our stay in the Netherlands was quite lovely. Going into this leg of the trip I had no expectations (except to see tulips & windmills). The country was full of hospitable locals, beautiful sights in the cities (we got to tour the Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam), delightful drives through the countryside, flavorful food, and historical…

Belgium

Even briefer than our day-trip to Italy, our time in Belgium basically only included a quick tour of the European Union Parliament building in the capital (Brussels) and an even quicker lunch before continuing on the coach to the Netherlands. Which brings me to the following explanation of why I count Belgium among the countries…

France

I was initially nervous to look forward to Paris. I was certain that if I had positive expectations, then the city would let me down. Thankfully, I was very wrong. Paris was incredible. Our first night there, we ate at a Samoan grille (super random and a bit lackluster), but we immediately followed dinner with…

Switzerland

Despite the financial stability of Switzerland, my bank account by this point in the trip was a little worse for the wear and consequently I did not do many touristic outings or try much local cuisine at the restaurants. The best parts of Switzerland were the continuation of the gorgeous mountains and the chocolate. In…

Italy

While in Innsbruck, Austria, we realized we were only 15 miles from the northern border of Italy. A small group of us decided to take advantage of our one free afternoon and take a train ride across the border. Not knowing much about northern Italy, unable to leave until after lunch, and needing to return…

Czech Republic

The drive from Germany to the Czech Republic took about seven hours, most of which were spent reading Les Miserables, listening to music, and sleeping. When we first met our driver, Ronnie, in Germany, he warned us that technically we were required by law to wear our seat belts at all times and that we…

Deep breathing: light heart & heavy faith

*Originally posted in January 2018 as a guest contributor for Why I Stopped Why I stopped letting fear suffocate me: I have always had a fanciful imagination. I have also always allowed fear to dwell too long in my heart and mind. Fortunately, the scenarios I dreamt up were just amalgamations of the thrilling bits of…

Russia

From the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania, we traveled by bus to Riga, Latvia. After filling up at an unappetizing buffet (think the Golden Corral), we boarded a train to travel overnight to Moscow, Russia. Before leaving Latvia, we were drilled by our professors that there would be multiple checkpoints along the journey where our…

Lithuania

My summer abroad started off fairly smoothly. In Newark, New Jersey, I met up with all of the other students and one of our professors for the International Business Institute. Half of the group was previously acquainted as classmates at Messiah College together, but most people casually introduced themselves and made small talk while we…

The best worst decision of my life

Last October, a marathon happened to me. As ridiculous as that statement is, it is also incredibly accurate. In March 2017, I felt compelled to sign up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon as a charity runner with Team World Vision. Everything about fundraising for an amazing organization sounded wonderful. Everything about running any…