adios aarhus

I’m going on hour 8 of my 10 hour flight home from London to Dallas & I can’t believe that this day actually is here. It feels like I was just stressing out like a crazy person thing to figure out what to pack & how I was going to manage being away from home for almost 6 months. Yet, here I am. In two hours I will walk through those arrival gates at DFW & see my family who I have missed like crazy! & you know I am headed STRAIGHT to Chuy’s to get chips & queso (which I might have missed just as much, maybe more than my family).

My emotions have been all over the place these past two days of traveling. I am so excited to see my family & friends but extremely sad to leave Aarhus which became like home to me. I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be to say goodbye to that place. But, I know I’ll be back. I can’t wait to show Aarhus to my family someday. 🙂

I feel like it’s impossible to sum up studying abroad into words on a piece of paper (well more like text on a screen) but all I can say is this has been the best experience of my life. I have had some of the most incredible opportunities to travel the world with the most amazing people. I’ve seen places I’ve only dreamed about and met lifelong friends from all over the world. Going into this experience I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do all the traveling I wanted to do or if I was going to make a solid friend group like some of my friends who have studied abroad in the past were lucky enough to have. I was blessed with both! I traveled to 2 continents, 12 countries (15 if we count layovers….so. many. layovers.) and over 25 cities this past semester. I still can’t believe that. But seeing the world is only half the fun of studying abroad. The people you meet while on exchange are the real game changers. To my Denmates-I love y’all to death. What’s that saying? How lucky I am to have something so hard to say goodbye to? I think it’s something like that….I’m not very poetic but you understand. I can’t imagine my time in Denmark without each of y’all. Can’t wait for our cruise reunion 😉 

just missing Alastair, still love ya tho

Oh also, for all those concerned: no I did not learn to ride a bike while in Denmark. I know this may be a disappointment but I had a bus pass & also two legs so I managed to get around town just fine. Maybe next trip to Europe. 

Only a few more hours until I am melted by that Texas heat I’ve been lucky enough to escape for half the summer. Good thing I’m dressed in leggings & a sweater!  

Next stop, Dallas! 

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morocckin’ me crazy!

I refuse to believe that I just took my last trip of exchange. WHERE DID THE PAST 5 MONTHS GO?! Someone please tell me because I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m going home in 3 days. So, what better way to finish off the semester than with a trip to AFRICA. Never in my life did I think I would get the opportunity to get to go to Africa so when the chance to go to Morocco arose, we jumped at it.

 

We always travel the cheapest way possible, and a majority of the time that means sleeping on airport floors and taking the absolute longest routes possible to reach our destination. This trip of course was no different. We flew to London at around 10pm and had a 7 hour layover ALLLLLLL NIGHT. Shout out to Costa Coffee, your couches and outlets saved us. Of course I missed the the Brexit by just a few days…I could have been rich and bought everything in the airport!!

That next morning we finally were able to fly into Marrakesh. The city was so busy with people walking around everywhere, donkeys carrying carts of supplies around, and vendors trying to sell you everything under the sun.

We headed straight to our hostel and let me tell you, it was cool (not literally though because it was actually 105 degrees out. Around 40 for all my celsius pals). Every morning they served us free breakfast which consisted of traditional Moroccan pastries with honey. YUM.

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Riad Dia Hostel in Marrakesh

 

We spent our first full day exploring Marrakesh. We went to the Souks which are the traditional markets and they are massive. You can get lost inside weaving your way through all of the booths. Shop owners are yelling at you from every direction trying to get you to come into their booth and sell you something. If they saw you even making the slightest eye contact with one of their products, say a bracelet, within 2 seconds that bracelet was on your wrist and they told you they would give you a very special price for today only and just for you. We had tons of fun bartering with the shop owners. They would always price something insanely high and we would see how cheap we could get them to come down to.

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Inside the Souks

 

At night, the market turned into restaurants, each offering Moroccan food for insanely cheap. The waiters from each restaurant would come up to us and literally try to drag us to their restaurant so we had fun trying to see what they could offer us for free to make us come eat at theirs over someone else’s. If you offered us free bread, olives and drinks, then there was a good chance that we would come sit at your table.

The next day we booked a trip to the Sahara Desert. We did absolutely no research about this trip, we just saw that our hostel offered a trip where you got to spend the night in the desert and ride camels and we were sold. Little did we know that the desert was 7 HOURS AWAY. 7 hours in the back of a hot, un-air conditioned van. *cue motion sickness*.  After the day long journey we arrived- but not to the campsite. We arrived at the spot where we got on the camels and had to ride another hour and a half in the desert to get to where the tents were. I was not good at riding camels. Shocking, I know. If there is a wrong way to ride a camel, I did it. I literally could not walk for the next 3 days after the ride, but it was soooo cool to see the sunset in the Sahara while on a camel. Thats a once in a lifetime thing I won’t ever forget. Even if I felt like I broke my butt. We saw the sun rise the next morning, rode the camels again out of the desert, and enjoyed that ~lovely~ 7 hour drive back to Marrakesh.

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Me, looking graceful as ever on the back of my camel
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Dinner in a tent in the Sahara Desert

After two very hot and sandy days, it was time to cool off so we headed to the water!! The Ouzoud Falls are about 150 km away from Marrakesh so again we hopped in the van (for another 3 hour adventure omg) and we were off. The falls were so incredible. It was so nice to go swimming and cool off for a change!

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For my last trip of exchange, I think I managed to have a pretty decent time…..Morocco is such a beautiful country and it was so nice to go somewhere completely different than anywhere else I had ever gone before. Even though we were dYiNg in the heat, I know it was only a preview of what is to come when I step off my plane in Texas in 3 days- wearing a puffer coat and boots because I of course overpacked and have no room in my suitcase for them 🙂

Now its time for me to pack up my room that I’ve called home for the past 5 months. I’m not ready for this…