Taylor Lannon

Austria

Hometown: Clearwater, Florida
School: Saint Petersburg Collegiate High School
Sponsor District : District 6950
Sponsor Club: Rotary Club of Clearwater East, Florida
Host District: 1210
Host Club: TBA


My Bio


Guten Tag! Taylor here all the way from sunny Clearwater, Florida! Thanks to Rotary Youth Exchange International, I will be moving to grand country of Austria this summer. This is the most excited I have been about anything, ever! Most of my friends would describe me as the busiest person they know. I absolutely love meeting new and diverse people. 4 days a week I take a part in the beautiful sport of figure skating at Clearwater Ice Arena. Since fourth grade, I have been competing solo in the U.S. and recently I picked up pairs skating with my partner Justin. It is something very close to my heart. Aside from figure skating I also enjoy roller/skate park skating. It is so fun and was fairly easy to transition over. As President of Chicks in Bowls Tampa Bay our goal is to, together empower girls to take on skateparks regardless of their male dominated reputation. As President of SPC Gibbs campus Vegan Educational group (V.E.G.), spreading awareness on the topic is very important to me. I currently run my own animal cruelty awareness blog on Instagram. Other things that define me would definitely be how I am very into makeup and fashion. Also, being outside in any form of nature is where I find my peace. Every time I am I appreciate this beautiful world a little more. If there’s one thing I go by, it is definitely to not wait you whole life before you start living. Before we know it it will be halfway over and we must appreciate every day we have and live it to the fullest. That, and also- no matter how bad a situation is- find the POSITIVE in it. It will be much more rewarding. Auf Wiederhören! -Taylor L. :)

Just a Florida gal freezin' her butt off on top of a mountain...

Just a Florida gal freezin' her butt off on top of a mountain...

Traveling Europe! Prague.

Traveling Europe! Prague.

Exploring Vienna early in my Exchange with my Italian Friend!

Exploring Vienna early in my Exchange with my Italian Friend!

At Lake Traunsee!

At Lake Traunsee!

The hills were definitely alive...

The hills were definitely alive...

Hiking with the host fam!

Hiking with the host fam!

Journals: Taylor-Austria Blog 2018-19

  • Taylor, Outbound to Austria

    When I think of how my exchange has been so far I have running through my head is a million experiences that I could never even come close to capturing the magic of in just this journal. Both good and bad, but a learning experience with all. To the future outbounds, I hope you have that feeling soon as well.

    I love my host family more than anything, spending time with them is my favorite thing to do here. I thought that Christmas and New Years would be a hard time to be away from home, but really I was having such a great time with my family here that I was not even thinking much on what I am missing at home. I think that is also an important key to a good exchange is to stop worrying about what is happening at home. Home will always be there, the experience to live across the world for a whole year won’t be. And honestly, with time you will not even think of it as being away from home. It will just feel like your ‘other’ home. That is what I love most.

    I think one of the craziest things about exchange is really how fast it goes. I have been here for five months already and it feels like I just blinked. Another thing is, even if I went back to Florida right now, I would look at everything completely differently. It feels like I have learned more in these five months than I have in my whole life. I knew that I would be grateful for learning on my exchange but wow… wow. However, there were definitely some hard times so far. At first I did not have many Austrian friends, I was not used to eating such different foods, and I even ended up in the hospital from skateboarding at one point. But in these times, I feel I learned the most. But now, oh my goodness- even the smallest things are so easy to appreciate. I think that one thing exchange really teaches you is how to live in the now, when worrying about the past or the future it is easy to forget to live NOW.

    To the future outbounds, I promise it gets so much easier and before you know it you will be having the time of your life. That being said, exchange is also what you make of it. Knowing the language makes everything so much easier and less stressful, so get STUDYING! I promise promise promise that you will feel so much better if you do. I recommend that leading up to your exchange you mostly focus on learning VOCAB words. Once you get the Vocab down, you can at least talk like a caveman and the grammar will eventually come too. Eventually into your exchange, your brain will just click into place and you will be like ‘wow, I am actually understanding people’s conversations’ and it is such a great feeling.

    The best of luck to all of the Outbounds(study vocab ;))!!!

    Xoxo, Taylor from Austria

    Click HERE to read more about Taylor and all her blogs

  • Taylor, Outbound to Austria

    Hallo Freunde!

    Tis’ me! Taylor the Floridian in which is currently FREEZING cold Austria! I wanted my first journal to be both an insight as to what I have done in my country so far but also an inspiration to the students who are in the same exact seat I was a year ago, reading everyone’s journal articles. To you, I hope these paragraphs inspire you to make that jump into the incredibly amazing world of Rotary Youth Exchange.

    One of the most common questions people ask me is “Why did you choose Austria?” And to be honest I think I have given every person a different answer. That is simply because there was not just one reason why I chose this Mountainous dreamland. To start, I kind of wanted to go to a country that I did not know much about. I started researching and no matter what country I was reading about I just kept ending up back looking at google images of Austria. If you are reading this trying to choose your top five countries right now, I definitely suggest writing your top 10 down in a notebook, and writing the pros/cons for each- (ex. Already knowing some Spanish from school, so traveling to a Spanish speaking country.) At the same time, I think it is most important to follow your heart. If you feel yourself being pulled a certain way- trust in it! I think half research and half spontaneity is key. Another reason I chose Austria is because it is geographically and climatically almost the exact opposite of Florida. I thought that if I am given the chance to experience living in a different habitat for such a long period of time I might as well take it because 1. I will never be given the opportunity again and 2. It will either make me appreciate Florida EXTRA when I get back, or make me realize that I’d actually love to live somewhere else long term. Exchange really is the perfect opportunity to start figuring out where you will thrive the best- we only have one life and we must make the absolute most of it!

    So far in Austria, (Osterreich in German ;) I have been so grateful as to experience a number of different events, nature, and architecture all unique to this Gorgeous country. I have done everything from exploring Underground Salt mines to hiking through the incredibly beautiful and zen Alps. As I am residing in the countries capital, Vienna, I am surrounded by countless historical landmarks and jaw-dropping architecture. My best advice to anyone who is going on exchange, or thinking on going on exchange, is to go into it with an open mind. Don’t have your heart set on one place because you know all about it already- whatever happens was meant to happen! I wanted to be put a completely different place at first and now, there is no where i’d rather be than here in Vienna. Keep an open mind and heart and you will never be disappointed.

    For those of you that are staring at all these journals, contemplating going on exchange for a year: There is one thing that i would love for you to take away from this blog post, no matter how crazy it seems- do it!! I promise you it will change your life for the best, I have been here a month and have learned so much already. So many doors will open for you that were not there before. I have been here for a month and I already feel like a new, more mature and grounded person. It is a lot of work, of course, both mentally and physically. But I promise that in the end you will be so grateful, because it is so so so worth it. Traveling the world will teach you more than any textbook! And of course, you can always email or DM me if you need any advice or have any extra questions…. 

    “When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you do it.”

    xoxo, Taylor

    Click HERE to read more about Taylor and all her blogs

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