NYC >> PRG
Getting to the airport for an international flight always makes me a little bit nervous. And the last time I went to JFK, I ended up arriving later than I should have and then having to run from one terminal to another. Not fun. This time, my dear friend Katie drove me from Brooklyn to JFK and officially became my hero (thanks, Katie!), saving me from dragging 60-ish pounds of my Remote Year belongings through the subway.
Once I was through security (super-fast with TSA PRE, aka the best thing ever), I had plenty of time to relax, eat a salad (Would I be able to get my hands on super-tasty salads in Prague?) and make a few phone calls. As it turns out, three other remotes from my program were in the terminal, one of whom whisked me into the swanky Delta Sky Club and put a drink in my hand. (Thanks, Bryan!) Then I met John from California and Tyler from Texas and we chatted a bit. Before I knew it, it was time to board.
The 8-hour flight was mostly uneventful, the way flights should be. I watched the movie Inside Out (cute!) and luckily, passed out for a good portion of the rest. Once we arrived, I breezed through customs, found John and Tyler and headed to baggage claim. After a while, the same bags were circling the belt but I hadn’t seen mine and nearly everyone was gone. Oh no! Was my easy trip to Prague about to get kind of complicated? Alas, my bag was just a straggler. Whew!
As soon as we entered the arrivals hall, we were greeted by Jenna and Aline, our Remote Year staff people, along with Jacqueline, my soon-to-be roommate. After snapping a few pictures with us and the Remote Year banner, we piled into a van and headed toward our neighborhood. Prague is broken up into numbered sections, and we’ll be living in Prague 2, which is pretty central and loaded with bars and restaurants.
Once we arrived at our building, another set of Remote Year staffers greeted us, gave us gifts in the form of sandwiches (hello, mayo), and took me and Jacqueline to our apartment. We’re in a completely remodeled 100-year-old building. Everything is shiny and new.
First impressions of the apartment: Yay! So far, the Remote Year housing situation is impressive. Some great things about our apartment:
- My bedroom is large.
- There’s plenty of storage (not that we really have a lot of stuff).
- The internet is fast.
- I can’t hear people in the other apartments.
- We have desks in our rooms.
- There’s a cute little kitchen overlooking a courtyard.
- There’s an adjacent café, for which they gave us a coupon for a free breakfast.
- There’s a hot water kettle so making coffee will be easy.
- There’s laundry in the building.
The potential downsides of the apartment are:
- There’s a large construction project happening on our block.
- The kitchen is usable but lacking lots of the things I typically use to prepare food so I’ll have to improvise (We have mugs and plates and utensils, but I have no way to efficiently cut vegetables, shred cheese, or dry dishes for example).
- There’s no cooling system. Right now, it’s quite warm in Prague.
- A bath mat is not standard issue, but I just found out that my best friend grew up in a bathmat-less house. I had NO idea.
Clearly, the plusses far outweigh the minuses and I am very happy with the digs.
As I write this, I am realizing that I haven’t really said how any of this feels. I’ll be honest. It’s intense and overwhelming and uncomfortable because it’s all completely unfamiliar.
My life in Portland was extremely easy for lots of reasons and that’s partly why I left. Sure, we all like to be comfortable. But for me, there’s such a thing as being too comfortable.
I need to know that I’m moving forward. I need to shake things up and learn new things. Did I have to move approximately 5346 miles to make that happen? Certainly not.
But here I am, so bring it on.