Hayden, outbound to Slovakia

Read more about Hayden and all his blogs

Before I begin, I'm going to say that there is no possible way to convey the amazingness of my exchange so far, or all the things I've done. So here I am, I'm writing this post on the one month of me being in Slovakia. I guess to start I should say how amazing and inviting my host family has been. My host dad is usually gone Monday-Friday because of his work so it's just my host mom and I. Neither of them speak almost any English, but honestly it's made learning so much easier. Of course with that its frustrating not being able to easily express yourself, but then again the good things in life don't come easy. So far I haven't really been homesick, there's been days where I missed things back home, of course, but I try to keep an optimistic attitude. Since I've been here, I've gone to countless garden parties, cottages, caves, hikes, mushroom hunts, seen beautiful buildings, and met "new" fam ily members. School has been confusing since my Slovak is far from amazing, but my classmates have made every effort to help and explain, and even include me outside of school. My first weeks here were exhausting, not even because of the jet lag, but just the mental exhaustion of constantly being asked questions and not understanding the majority of what's said to you. Exchange is definitely no walk in the park. If you're reading this and you just want a vacation, don't go. Everyone seems to think going on exchange is an endless holiday, and it feels that way at times, but if you aren't giving it your all, it gets so much harder. I wish I could get all of those reading this to understand the plethora of feelings associated with dropping one life and picking up a new one 22 hours later, its scary, refreshing, happy, sad, fun, exiting, and most of all its rewarding. I'm still a newbie to this, I haven't seen everything' experienced everything, learned the majority of the language, but still I feel like I'm meant to be here.