I have 65 days left in Austria. That’s two months, so I figure I need to be all here. I know I’ll look back in two months (as I have at the past 2 and a half months) and say, “WHERE DID IT GO?”
I asked God what He wanted me to do with my time left here. I mean, I’ve seen most of the sights in Graz, excepting a few museums that I’d like to get to. I’ve eaten tons of new things, even expanding my diet a bit. I’ve met lots of new people, and I’ve started my tan early. I’ve travelled, I’ve gone to class, I’ve gotten halfway through Moby Dick. Now what? What do you do with your last two months?
I’m hesitant to quote God, but I think this is what I heard him say, somewhere deep in my stomach (the way to a person’s heart….)
What do you want to do?
Good point, God.
What are those things that I pictured myself doing before I left that I haven’t done yet? What desires are in my heart to pursue before I leave this period of adventure and freedom in my life? I’m going to start doing those things. And to kick off my newfound adventuresome spirit, here is the long-awaited list of things I love about Austria.
- Semmel. Some of the most simply tasty breakfast rolls you can imagine.
- Cobblestone streets
- Beautiful architecture that has a story to tell
- CAFÉS. Oh I will miss all the cafés.
- Having the ability to walk anywhere, the plethora of sidewalks and pedestrian crossings
- It’s cheaper than many countries in Europe.
- Musical history everywhere!
- Close proximity to so many other countries
- Friendliness to Americans (for the most part…)
- the Alps… it’s enough to make me want to live in a small mountain village someday. They’re breathtaking
- Cheap train transport (Amtrak, get your act together!)
- Gelato and ice cream shops on every corner, or at least every corner where there isn’t a bakery
- Easy access to beautiful postcards
- The good quality food in stores, so many cheap organic options grown in Austria, few GMOs, less processed food
- How the egg yolks are orange… and one time I found a feather in my egg carton. That’s FRESH.
- Even though they love their wurst and schnitzel, they’re pretty vegetarian friendly. Not as much as France, but pretty good.
- It’s a pretty temperate climate this year, especially compared to my homeland.
- Kebap as the common fast food instead of McDonald’s
- Easy access to lots of types of food – not that Chicago doesn’t have the same thing, but Chicago doesn’t have the same charm
- CASTLES and PALACES. I am blown away by the number and amazing history.
- Photo ops. There are a million and a half equally gorgeous photo ops.
- You can use any ATM if you have an Austrian bank account without extra charges.
- Student discounts on tourist things are actually a good discount and make it possible for me to do things!
- No shortage of good chocolate or pastries.
- The coffee. Oh, Julius Meinl, I could marry you if you were an actual, living man.
- The little biscuits served with a cappuccino.
- The absence of Starbucks and other subpar chains
- Baking with metric measurements. I might be a convert.
- The produce here actually goes bad quickly, which indicates freshness and localness.
- Amazing dairy products. Really.
- the honors system with public transportation. Seems pretty effective, and it speeds things up.
- Sometimes, I really love the formality of things. Sometimes not, but we’ll put it on the list anyways.
- The hills are alive.
- Dirndls. I think they’re the coolest thing ever.
- Street artists with harps and digderidoos.
- Did I mention cafés? That alone is enough to make me want to be an ex-pat. (But then, I love America)
- The charming accents when Austrians speak English
- Ivy everywhere
- Winter didn’t last long after I got here, which I can’t say for Minnesota
- The abundance of street food vendors
That’s just a short list. There are other things I love about my experience here, but I’ll cap the list at 40.
For my remaining two months here, I intend to spend lots of time walking around, visit the art museum, invest in the friendships I’ve already begun, take day trips to other parts of Austria, and drink lots and lots of coffee, all the while photographing the entire thing and buying souvenirs as I see them.
There, we have a plan.