Nick, outbound to Czech Republic

Wow. As I am typing this I just realized I haven't updated in 4-5 months. And that thought leads me to wow, I've been here for 5-6 months.

It's insane you know? One year ago I was working in Cici's Pizza. I hated it. But the one motivator was this trip, this trip is what kept me going to work each day. And now here I am.

I can't describe how special this trip is to me. There are no words to describe the lifelong bonds I have formed in just a few short months. My first host family at this present day has come and gone, and oh my god I absolutely adore them. Until this exchange I never knew how just genuinely kind people can be. For them to open their doors and let me live with them for however long I was there, then feed me, then take care of me when I was sick, then take me places, and just love me. I can't thank them enough, and if any Onderka's are reading this, I love you all so much and I wish nothing but the best for your family.

I wish I had updated more so that I can look back at everything I did with them, but honestly, each day was an adventure. We did something every week that changed my life. We had Halloween together, climbed mountains together, they gave me a small party for my birthday (with custom delicious cake), we went dancing together.

And then, at the end of the year, we had Christmas. I get teary eyed remembering that night because that may have been the best Christmas I've ever had. It wasn't fancy, there wasn't a whole lot of bells and whistles, but the love and respect they had and the whole family coming together for this one night was so sweet to behold, we ate carp that just a few days ago was swimming in a bathtub, watched Christmas movies, and spent all day together just totally enraptured by it all.

-deep breath-

-holding back manly tears-

I got two of the greatest friends in the world, and the best part is, I could see them every day, and they were my brothers. I can't think of a single day when I lived there, when I wasn't with either of them. We created such a bond that I will never ever forget. Jonas if you're reading this, remember these words, "be strong, but don't be crazy".

And Jake, the ladies man, don't forget about me when you're a famous rock star.

But on January 3rd, 2015, I had to leave, which was hard. I didn't want to go, but I knew rules were rules and there was no say in the matter on my part. So realizing this, I sucked it up, packed up all my things, and left their house that Saturday morning to go live with my second host family, the Wiltavskys.

Everything changed. Now instead of host siblings, I have Radek, who comes home sometimes but mainly lives in Prague to study medicine (which I understand), and Klara, who is an exchange student right now in Peru. So now it's pretty much just me and my host parents who, lucky for me, don't speak any English. But you know what, my Czech has gotten much better since I've been here in the Wiltavsky house. Its hard, believe me, but I feel I have gotten better, if not by small increments.

They're great, here we have instead of the Pedro and Sancho dogs I had grown to ADORE. I have Bara, his little Poodle puppy that makes my heart soar. She is so cute and greets me so warmly every day after school. My host parents are so nice to me, albeit crazy (in the good way). They drive me to school every morning and prepare all my meals (whether I'm hungry or not) and all is well here. We go out to play Badminton alot and I am getting surprisingly good at it! Also we went ice skating 2 weeks ago and I didn't fall once.

And theres something else! School! I can't remember what I wrote in my last journal but as of now I coulndn't be happier with my school and schoolmates. I have gotten so many friends and not just in my own class 3.B. But in many other classes too. I am like a celebrity now, and everyone wants to meet me, it is so nice. (totally not stroking my ego.

3 Weeks ago I joined the singing group Key to Happiness. And so far it's pretty good! I have some close friends in there now and I am continuing to make more. Hope to be in a concert soon!

I have one weird thing about me though, every time I feel homesick, I talk myself out of it. Is that bad? I don't miss anyone. Shouldn't I? Whenever I start to I just remember how incredibly bad I wanted to come here and I remember the struggles of accomplishing it, then my homesickness goes away, so homesickness is not a problem for me.

But anyway, I know one day I will go home and all of this will be a memory. That thought scares me, cause I'm still undecided in what I want to do with my life. All I know is, since I've been here, I've realized that my destiny in life is not to be in Florida. I'm going to be living somewhere else but I don't know where. I often joke to myself to just spin a globe and throw darts at it and where it sticks, I go.

Oh well. This was going to be an even longer journal but I couldn't possibly get all my feelings out in one sitting so I will update in a couple weeks with more feelings.
until then,
Every journey starts with a single step,
take yours
-Nicholas (Nick)
ps. Alot of my pics are on Facebook, check em out!