I know I slacked on the last couple days but we were so busy doing everything and experiencing the city that I didn’t even want to have to stop to update the blog!
But there are a few key things that I learned and wanted to mention before I say goodbye to this blog:
1. In every language we encountered, they don’t say “take a picture” they say “make a picture”. That really resonated with me as a photographer because it implies that you are creating something unique out of the beauty you are seeing, rather than taking something away from the experience. That’s how it feels too; you see something that is worth capturing and so you do. You make something new and tangible out of an intangible experience.
2. When you walk into a church in Europe, take a minute and look at the alter because it is going to be the most obviously spectacular part, but then turn to the back and look at the organ. Every time I thought I’d seen the most beautiful part of a church, I would turn around and would find something I loved even more. The ornate decorations that usually surround it combined with the perfectly linear pipes of the organ never cease to amaze me.
3. Take some time alone. Being with all my friends for 3 weeks was obviously a lot of fun, but some of the memories I cherish most are the ones I created sitting on a bench in he gardens of Schönbrunn palace for an hour or sitting in the windowsill of my room in Salzburg looking down at the beautiful street and people below me. Those moments of reflection and contemplation really gave this whole experience some perspective. Taking a minute out of the crazy schedule to sit and quietly take in the full blessings of this adventure made me appreciate it all the more.
4. Always try the food. No matter how strange the cuisine may seem, you are inevitably trying somebody’s favorite dish, and that in itself is worth a taste.
5. Be kind to everyone and always attempt to speak their language first, don’t always assume they speak English. My German is horrendous and I butcher even the few words I do know, but you can tell that people appreciate it when you at least try to fudge your way through it.
This has been such an amazing experience and I feel so blessed to have shared it with a great group of students and faculty. This experience has also made me want to explore my home area more as well. Sure there were a lot of cool things to do abroad, but there are so many adventures waiting to be had at home too! There are always new people to meet, new places to see and new things to learn and I am very happy that this trip has renewed that spirit in me.
Thanks for following along and be on the lookout for the real pictures from my journey in the next few days, http://www.facebook.com/callieklinkmuellerphotography