Vina, outbound to Poland

Hello, 2016!

It's crazy to think I've been here for 6 months. Sometimes I still find myself looking back at my first few weeks here and how I struggled so much missing my family and friends, wishing I was nowhere but home in the comfort of my own bed. It's so different now. I've developed a closer relationship with my family, made new friends that I know will last a lifetime, and adventures. I've traveled to different cities, went on hikes to see some of Poland's finest views, and even learned how to iceskate and snowboard!

So what's new after 6 months? Well, my Polish is definitely a lot better than before. It's not perfect but it's better. I can understand more of what my family and friends are saying, and from time to time can have a solid conversation in Polish. Sometimes I still struggle with my sentences but my friends have complimented me on how much my Polish have approved. It's one of the most rewarding feelings.

In January, the Bydgoszcz group and I went on a trip to the mountains to learn how to snowboard! It was one of the best weeks I've had, learning and failing with my buds, but still laughing in the end. Encouraging each other when we got frustrated. It was nothing but good vibes. On our last day, we were able to go up on the highest mountain and snowboard all the way down. Who knew? A Floridian on the slopes. It was scary, exhilarating, and fun I would do it all over again. I also learned how to ice skate, which is another thing I've accomplished.

Future exchangers to Poland, be prepared for a wild ride. Not everyday will be a great big adventure, but it is your job to make it count and memorable. You don't have to go out every day or weekend to feel like you're getting the most of this experience. Even staying at home to spend quality time with your family is enough. Some of the best laughs I've shared with my family were during our card games or even during dinner. Be open to changes while on exchange, it's all about growing and learning.

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