Diaries of an Expat: A Year in Review

Diaries of an Expat: A Year in Review

It’s been just over a year since I moved to Prague to start my new career and life as an expat, and I’m just now returning from my first trip home.  Being away from home for over a year has been incredibly challenging, but has also been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done thus far.  Even with my little travel habit [sarcasm], if you’d asked me 2 or 3 years ago if I thought I’d be semi-permanently living abroad, fully employed, and traveling all over Europe (and the world) for work, I would have told you that I thought you were crazy.  Even crazier if you’d told me this would all be happening in the Czech Republic, a country I had only visited once and spoke so little of the language it was nearly negative comprehension.


But, here I am.  I live in Prague, I occasionally speak Czech, and I’ve even been successful in making some pretty great Czech (and non-Czech) friends.  So although I’m not big into the resolution thing, I think this might be an appropriate time to review my year, and make some goals for the next.  After all, I have another year in Prague to contend with!


My 2015 in Review:

  • Traveled to 39 cities in 14 countries on 3 continents



Istanbul, Turkey

  • Learned Czech acceptably enough to prevent most Prague inhabitants from wanting to kill or verbally assault me
  • Coordinated study abroad programs for three cycles of university students, 258 students total
  • Made some incredible (mostly Czech!) friends who have generously and graciously introduced me to their home city, and who have become excellent travel companions


  • Cooked my first full Thanksgiving dinner, and while I seriously overestimated the amount of required food, I think it was a success!


  • Came home and rediscovered my love of Prague, travel, diverse cultures, and my career

Needless to say, it’s been an excellent year.  I’m absolutely honored to have experienced everything I have, and to have met all of the people that I have.  Every single person I’ve met this year has taught me something, and I’m grateful for all of them. With all of these incredible things under my belt, I recognize there is always room for growth and even more experiences, so I’ve decided to make a list of goals for 2016.

My Goals for 2016:

  • Book and take trips to Morocco and Iceland for personal vacations
  • Continue to appreciate exactly where I’m living, and don’t let a day go by where I don’t marvel at the beauty, history, and culture of this city
  • Explore Prague more often!  I often get so bogged down by my work that I forget to explore in my free time.  I haven’t climbed Petrin Tower since 2011, and I’ve never been to the top of the Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square.  It’s time to get my butt to the top of both, among other beautiful things in this city.
  • Run more, particularly in beautiful places in Prague- it serves two purposes!
  • Watch the sunset from Riegrovy Sady as frequently as possible.  The view from this park is insanely  beautiful, particularly at sunset, and I live too close to not appreciate it more often.
  • Travel in the Czech Republic to a few new places I haven’t visited yet- this beautiful country deserves to be explored, too

And finally…

  • Write a blog post or travel guide at least once a week.  If you have any suggestions for topics you think I should cover- let me know and I’ll get to it! I’d love to be able to build up this blog and community in 2016, and your continued involvement will only help us along!

If you haven’t already, check me out on Facebook and Instagram @studyhardtravelsmart for other photos and updates!

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