Sunday, July 22, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well, I am writing this while sitting on Jessica's couch watching HGTV. Yesterday was long! By the time I got home, I had been up for twenty-four hours. I stepped out of the airport and was immediately hit with heat and humidity. No more fifty-degree weather for me.

Getting home is bittersweet. I am so happy to be here; I missed my family and my routine. That being said, I was very comfortable with the people on my trip and made quite a few friends. I was surrounded by educators who wanted to learn and wanted to be there. Now I have the task of putting everything I have learned together. Only two more weeks and I'm getting back into the swing of school.

My running has suffered because of my trip, but I am not upset at all; instead, I have altered my goals. I am moving my marathon to November and will run the Quad City half marathon. My training will pick up again tomorrow.

Here are some things I have learned while traveling:

1. I-pad over laptop - I chose to take my laptop because I wanted to be able to upload pictures. It turns out, most of our hotels did not have free wi-fi, so uploading pictures wasn't really a priority. Also, there is a cord I could have bought that would allow me to connect my camera to my I-pad.

2. Bring limited cash - Exchanges/kantors charge commission, so ATM's are the way to go.

3. Bring travel-sized items - Really. I chose to bring regular-sized shampoo, conditioner, and body wash because I thought three weeks was quite a long time. It turns out our hotels were nice enough to have pretty good items in the bathrooms. My toiletries contributed greatly to my luggage weight.

4. Really, bring only what I use at home - I brought lotion, but I don't even use lotion at home. I thought, Well, you never know... Actually, I do know. I also brought all of my make-up, even though I don't wear make-up at home. I used it once. I brought wedges that I wore only once, and sandals that I didn't wear at all. Consolidation is key.

5. Bring less clothes-wash more often - Tank tops aren't necessary. T-shirts will suffice. Dresses are nice, but they don't allow one to mix and match.

6. The smaller the luggage the better - I had to schlep everything around.

7. Bring a watch and sunglasses

8. Always bring feminine products. You never know when someone might need them.

9. Really, try not to worry about money, but think twice about purchases.

10. Drink plenty of water.

11. If taking a journal, make sure it is spiraled and can be folded back. It should be small enough to fit in a purse/bag.

12. Bring rain gear! And make sure the rain coat has pockets.

13. Bring nail clippers and tweezers.

14. Always keep food with you. And don't feel bad about taking food from breakfast at the hotel.

I'm sure there's more, but that's what I have right now. Below are a few pictures from the last part of my trip.

My hotel room at the Bristol Hotel in Warsaw. It was divine. 

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Memorial.

The night we went to a Chopin concert in a palace. I loved getting dressed up.

The Bristol Hotel was right next to the Presidential Palace. It was like staying right next to the White House.

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