what! halfway through already?

A few days ago I received my flight information for my trip back to America. This means that the ending to my exchange is official, and I now have just five more months to enjoy my time here. And so far, I've loved living in Germany. I'm becoming always closer with my host family and I appreciate all the wonderful German friends I've met.

Every night, I write in my journal about what I did and what I learned. This notebook is now growing to be a small documentation of my life and my life lessons. It's not always easy and exciting. I've had the best days ever where I spent the entire night laughing with friends and grumpy days where I've been so frustrated with my German and inability to understand and communicate at the level I desire. But mostly, I enjoy my days here attending school, talking and hanging out with friends, and doing sports. The weekends are where I hang out with friends, travel, and spend time with my host family.

the cutest cheesecake there was

It's also SO COLD HERE NOW. I'm talking 30 degrees. California me isn't used to this! And snow! But now I've gained cold weather experience.

some of my good friends at my birthday

A few days ago, I celebrated my eighteenth birthday. That's a huge deal here because it means I'm finally an adult and can enjoy the perks that a twenty-one-year-old would have in the United States. My host family really trusts me and stayed with their friends for the night so I could have the house for my party. Celebrating my birthday with my friends here (until 4:30am Ha!) was one of the most fun and exciting memories of my exchange. I laughed and danced so hard that night. I was so exhausted the next day, which was my real birthday, but I still had a cozy day with my host family. My host mom made an American cheesecake for me, as I mentioned to her a few months prior that I've had cheesecake for my birthday since I was eight. I'm grateful for the kindness of all the people around me. I have a lot of people here to spend time with <3.

overcast weather: typical. hamburg, germany

the vacation in hamburg was beautiful

these were probably the best macaroons I've ever had. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM