1) It is good to try new foods, even if you don't like them all.
Most meals they were not given a choice, so it was best to at least try what was being offered.
2) It is really nice to have a choice of what to eat (see note under #1).
3) I might be able to see myself living in a city someday.
Before leaving, Ashley was adamant she would never live in a city. After being exposed to smaller cities in Europe, she admitted they have some good qualities -- things are walking distance, they have mass transit, there is a lot to do, and (in the case of Brugge) there is a chocolate shop on every corner.
|Love that they captured her taking a picture|
4) The best souvenirs are chocolate.
5) Try new things.
6) Flying is not that bad after all.
7) Take lots of pictures (1255 pictures in three weeks, and that is with slowing down towards the end).
8) Not all bathrooms around the world are free.
9) Long car/bus rides are not so bad after all since it gives you a chance to catch up on sleep.
10) Next time pack two sweatshirts, even if it is the middle of summer.
11) People are pretty similar around the world. Her host family also participates in a town-wide composting program, and they have two cats -- just like us.
12) Dreams can come true -- hers was to sing "The Hills Are Alive" in the Austrian Alps, in honor of the school play "Sound of Music." As someone wrote on my FB page, "she was channeling her inner Louisa."
I'll add one ... if you outgrow your shoes on your trip due to a growth spurt (as did happen to her), there are always larger pairs of shoes to be found: