Feeling at Home a World Away

Graz, Austria
47.070714000000, 15.439504000000
Journal Entry:

Can I tell you a secret? I was so scared to move to Austria. The day my family drove me to the airport, I felt so sick that I couldn't eat or drink anything. I stood in the airport and cried my eyes out as I watched my family wave goodbye. I was so excited, but deep down, I was terrified.

As soon as I arrived in Graz, the fear started to go away. Although I live in my own apartment and not with a host family, I do have an 'Austrian mom' of sorts. Maxie, my contact in Graz, did whatever she could to make me feel comfortable during my first days there. Maxie picked me up at the train station, helped me to set up a bank account, and took me out to lunch at a traditional Austrian restaurant. She explained how to read the maps for the public transportation and even gave me a lesson in 'Austrian-German,' because there's so many words that are used in Austria but not Germany. For example, if you want to say the food at a restaurant is good, you'd say the phrase "Es schmekt mir gut!" which translates to 'it tastes good to me.' This is the Austrian way to say it, while in Germany, they use the word lecker, which means 'yummy' or 'tasty.'

Over time, I've gotten much more comfortable in my life in Austria.