Things I’ve learned:
1. Do not ever let anything important out of your sight, possession, etc. Make sure you know AT ALL TIMES where your valuables are at, even if it means you have to stop at every street corner to give yourself a pat down.
2. Lock everything. Always lock everything. Lock your phone, lock your computer, lock your apartment (but don’t lock your keys in your apartment) and lock down your bike like freaking fort knox.
3. Always have a back up communication device (or two). I had my phone stolen last night, had serious computer problems tonight and lost all communication, but then remembered that I had my iPad packed away as well. If you only are relying on one form of communication to get you through an international trip, you thought wrong. I forgot a lot of valuable travel accessories on this little adventure of mine, but lots of technology thankfully was not one of them.
After all the chaos that has happened in my life in the past couple of weeks, it is easy to look at myself with utter frustration. It’s easy to say ‘screw it, I’m coming home’. But then I have to think to myself…… Nothing about coming to Pori, Finland (of all the places I could have chosen) was easy. Moving away from my family and friends to a community where I am the only American and only native English speaking person was probably one of the hardest things I will ever do in my life. But I didn’t hesitate for even a moment. I have had my moments of weakness on this journey, sure, but as I’m evaluating my situation, I can see all of the wonderful people at home that I have grown to appreciate so much more just in the 3 short weeks I have been away from them. I also have met some of the most amazing friends in Pori that I know I will be friends with for the rest of my life and I know that I can’t complain about a thing. Life goes on.