The last few days have been an utter whirl of activity: finding the youth hostel; getting to Goethe; making new friends. Mealtimes have been crazy, and I definitely haven’t slept enough since I landed (very early in Eastern Time) on Sunday morning. Yet it’s still just such an amazing feeling—being here, in Europe, for the first time, on my own. No responsibilities (other than washing my dishes once in a while and, of course, doing work for class), and the ability to speak to people in the language of the country make the days feel long and glowing.
Mannheim may not be the biggest city in Germany, but it’s big enough to get lost in, and to find yourself in as well. And everything is just, well, better here. The people are nicer, and life moves along at the right pace. Army time makes sense, writing the day in front of the month makes sense, speaking German makes sense. It’s barely the start of the adventure, but I can’t wait to see what else this trip has in store.