It’s Thursday, and we’re back in Brussels! It was nice coming back to some familiarity—it felt a little bit like coming home. Of course, this doesn’t distract from the fact that I am extremely excited to go home home! The conversations at dinner are slowly turning into excited discussions about what each of us plan on doing once we return. Some of us plan on getting Zaxby’s during the drive home, while others plan on getting their family to bring them their favorite chicken meal straight to their airport pick up. Some are more desperate for fried chicken than others, I suppose. I’m afraid I’ll go into a sugar shock after having a sweet tea, or maybe burst into tears of gratitude when given a free refill. #reversecultureshock

Since we’re going back soon, I thought it would be appropriate to list a few of the European things we’re going to greatly miss while we’re in the USA:

Amazing Transportation Systems

So it was confusing, like, the first 3 times. Now, I really appreciate the trams, trains, and buses that made it so easy to get around. I fell in love with Brussels’s transportation system, and I wish we had something better than MARTA to get around Atlanta. It feels useless when you don’t have a car in that city sometimes.

Other Languages

There was something really neat about being surrounded by a variety of different languages—this was especially apparent in Brussels, of course. The immersion was really neat, and I’ll definitely miss the variety of speech and cultures.

Really fresh food

Maybe it was just my host family, but we ate very fresh and healthy options during our meals. I have now replaced ranch with olive oil and have a new-found appreciation for baby tomatoes and spinach. Crossing my fingers that I can bring these good habits to the states!

Old Architecture

Europe shows a lot of its old history through its architecture. It was really great to be able to visit so many cities and see the variety in how the cities were built. This is especially relevant in Berlin, which is a bundle of different architecture styles throughout the city.


     Of course, we all miss our family and friends so dearly. However, sometimes it’s the small things that matter. Here are some of the things I think we’ve learned that we should never take for granted back in the USA:

Air conditioning

It’s so hot outside, and it’s equally if not more hot indoors. Eternal sweating.

Non-carbonated water

When you can’t read the labels, sometimes you have to guess. Sometimes you’re hit by total surprise. You brace yourself for a hiss as your twist the cap and…… nothing. You’re safe for today.

Free refills

I’m the kind of gal that drinks 3 glasses of the drink I ordered before I even order my meal. I never learned to pace myself here and I’m always thirsty.

Wall-mounted shower heads

Just one slip-up and your entire bathroom floor is a pool. Do we get charged for that?

Inexpensive Mcdonalds

The equivalent of 10 dollars for a big mac meal???? Sure thing. I miss McDonalds that much.

Free bathrooms & free water

I’m too cheap to pay for water…. but the cost probably evened out with the money I spent to use bathrooms.


Carrie wanted me to list this. She misses queso so much.


I ordered an iced coffee at a train station and found 2 ice cubes in my drink. It is a cruel, iceless world.

Non-wrinkled clothes (traveler’s exclusive)

I look like a raisin each and every day.


Rarer than you would think. Never forget when Dr. Hayes was told not to use the outlets in his hotel room to charge his computer. I guess outlets are just for the aesthetic now– don’t actually use them!


These are dramatic for humor—of course, we survived and has an outstanding time in Europe. I can’t put into words how grateful I am that I was able to go on this trip with such outstanding students and professors. It’s something that changed me and the lessons I learned will evolve my future into the best way possible– I know it! I can’t wait to see you all again at Tech. See you soon!