Thursday, December 29, 2011

They say only fools rush in...

And girls named Izy. Or maybe just me. I've realised it's how I roll. I rush in, feet first. But I'm twenty three, and that's what I want to do for now. I've been a bad blogger, I've let things slide a bit. It's funny that I managed to keep on top of things better when I was busy traveling every day. There's only a few days until the New Year and we can have a clean slate.

So, I had my first Czech Christmas and honestly - it may be my last. I'm a bit iffy about seafood at the best of times, and well, carp aren't really seafood. They're pond food and I use the word "food" loosely in this context. Christmas here is a bit different - people fast until dinner time. So, imagine my shock when I got up at 24th after 8 hours sleeping and lusting about breakfast time, only to be told that "we fast until dinner, but you're welcome to eat". Of course, I insisted on having a "real Czceh Christmas" and was intrigued by this mysterious Golden Pig that I might see if I refrain from eating. Well, I wonder if they fast in order to make the carp soup and carp steak more appealing? I'll never know. Dinner was simple - it could have been any other day if it wasn't the last minute cookies that appeared - thank you Sugar Gods.

We stayed up fairly late - until 1am playing card games in Czech (patting myself on the back for this one). It was a nice day, but it didn't really feel like Christmas. I'd dubbed the 25th as my Christmas and hoped that the snow would come - and it did, in little puffs. It was hardly the white Christmas I'd hoped for, but it was white and there was snow - so we can tick that one off the list.

Boxing day was a real treat - I caught up with a friend I hadn't seen for years. A NZ friend. She bought me the cutest (and most delicious) gingerbread for Christmas. It. Was. Delicious. Nyum Nyummmmm!

Anddddddd! I'm off to Budapest on Friday, for New Years. Randomly. It was supposed to be Amsterdam for New Years, but I have a feeling that Budapest is going to be just wonderful.

I'm so ready for 2012. This year's been incredible, but it has been the most heartbreaking and painful year of my life. When the clock ticks over I'll breathe a sigh of relief - I made it, and I did the absolute best I could for myself, and my family - and I don't think that's any small feat.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oh Prague

It's always been Prague. It's always been that one city that I found to be incredibly enchanting, before I'd even visited. A few people are planning trips there, and they've asked me for advice on where to go and what to do, and I feel like just telling them to be there and be present. Prague is all wrapped up in Christmas lights and the scent of mulled wine mutes the cold. Every time I visit I become more and more smitten. I've got my visa - it means I can stay in the Czech Republic for one year. I think I'll leave Pocatky end of March or April and I'm already trying to decide what's next.

I've narrowed it down to two options - moving to Prague or Barcelona. I'm ready to be in a big city, but as much as I love Prague, I wonder if I should save her - leave her to be that magical place I visit. There's cities that are good to live in, and then there are cities that are best left as special treats: when you have the time to linger and breathe it in.

This weekend I'm off to Berlin again to pick up my visa. I'm really looking forward to exploring the Christmas markets there. Unfortunately my New Years plans have fallen through (mega suck) so I'm in the midst of figuring out something else. I might just make it a smaller NY and plan a trip away somewhere warmer (Spain or Italy) soon :-)

Life is good, but I still feel like I'm on the edge of a cliff - I feel like there's gonna be something soon that's going to make me jump into everything. It's the strangest feeling, but very familiar.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I've been a little disconnected

When I travel I find that I get swept away by the busyness of exploring and discovering. I'm more settled now than I've been in the past year, and I'm hardly settled. When I first left in November last year, a part of me hoped to find all the answers to my uncertainties - that I'd just finally reach some destination and everything would fall into place and I'd know: I'd know what I want to do with my life, where I want to live, and all of the finer details.

I'm coming to terms with a lot at the moment and it's exhausting. Whenever I look at a map and see where I am and how far away New Zealand is my heart gets a little heavy. I'm not home sick, but I miss it a lot. That's okay, I believe that missing something is a good thing, that it means you've had something special and worth longing for. A while ago someone pointed me to a quote that said "letting go is better than maintaining control" - I feel like that's what I've gotta do right now, just let go and trust in everything.

I had such a fun weekend in Prague - the most fun I've had in a looooong time! My camera and I still feel like strangers, but I'm working on it. Hopefully this weekend I can snap some sweet pictures of the Christmas lights and markets in Prague, they're magical.

These photos are a bit random, but the first is of me dressed up as a devil for St Nicholas' day here in Czech Republic (a few days early, mind you, but it was for my little English class) and the other two photos are of the boys wearing little mos one of my wonderful friends sent over <3 too cute! :)

And this is the song that melts my soul. I remember playing it on repeat when I flew to Europe for the first time, while staring out the window. I remember listening to it wandering the streets of Amsterdam. I intentionally played it whenever I needed some comforting, or whenever something was so amazing that I wanted to always remember. When I listen to it, a flood of emotions rush through me, and I feel taken back to any of the moments in time where I played it. It's beautiful.