I have been back home in the good old US of A for a few days now, and home has never felt so good, following my long trip home and extensive case of jet lag. I missed my connecting flight at JFK by a few minutes, departure was at 9:10 PM and I made it to the gate at 9:06PM after having only an hour to get off a plane, go through customs, change terminals, go through security again, and finally sprint to gate 55 of 55 at the very back of the terminal, but the “doors were closed” and I was out of luck, and had to spend the night at the airport, I have never felt so defeated before in my life.
This trip was a once in a lifetime experience, and I could not be happier with my decision to go, but I wish I had cherished every moment of my trip more than I did. The time flew by, as I was having a blast everyday with everything we did and everywhere we went, from the Prague Castle to the salt mines of Poland, and it was over in the blink of an eye.
I was able to see how important globalization is becoming in the increasingly connected modern business world, and have acquired an interest in working abroad one day. When we visited Brown Brothers Harriman, an American based bank with a major headquarters in Krakow, one of the executives we met was a born and raised American, who worked at the Krakow office. Working abroad seems more and more possible in the world today, especially for a young employee new to the workforce, employers may rely on single young workers to take on positions abroad for periods of time due to a lack of older employees available for such positions due to family constraints or complacency.
I personally will miss Cesky Krumlov, a small town in the south of the Czech Republic near the Austrian border. Centered around an old Hapsburg family castle with narrow cobblestone streets and bridges, the one night we spent in this town was easily the most rewarding of the entire trip, as it met my expectations of what Europe would be like more than any other place we visited.
Before this trip I knew little about the culture of other countries, as I had never left the US other than Canada and the Bahamas, and this was the longest amount of time I have spent outside of the country. No matter where I was, Prague, Krakow, the Oslo airport, people were able to tell I was American before I even opened my mouth to talk. I guess it is an identity I can’t escape, but I was humbled to observe how people interact in other countries, where most interactions are very friendly and without conflict, in a whirlpool of different languages.