Introduction and Pre-departure Post

Hello. My name is Taylor Eilers. I am many things, but I am not a writer. I am a loyal and dependable friend, socially anxious, a bit bossy, always on time, a daughter to the most amazing mother, a podcast binger, a risk averse risk seeker, and a self-proclaimed good driver. I am also a junior in the UW-Madison School of Business studying Operations and Technology management. I chose this major because as I made my way through the intro level classes of the other majors, I couldn’t envision myself with a career in any of them. The only intro level class I have yet to take is… operations and technology management. What a mess. But that is not the point of this introduction. The point of this introduction is to inform you that I am not a writer. I also wanted to tell you that I have been to the Czech Republic before. Side note: the Czech Republic is long to both write and say so I will, from now on, write CZ. Anyway, so when I was in CZ I also wrote…in a journal. In that journal, I wrote in letter style form to my friend Andie. It made writing feel like it had a purpose. Because I am not a writer, I won’t get too creative or poetic. To make up for that, I will give you my truth, embarrassments and probably typos. Therefore, if you don’t mind, I will continue on with vol. 2 of my letters to Andie.

8-13-19

Dear Andie,

One week from today I will be on my way to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. It’s a struggle trying to determine how I feel about it. Definitely excited, not too nervous…I think that maybe skeptical is the best adjective. I lived in Brno, Czech Republic for a year during what would have been my senior year of high school. Now it is three years later and it’s my goal to try to gather my thoughts to use what I learned the first time around to help round two go smoother. Unfortunately, the main lesson that I learned was that there is no way of knowing what to expect. There are too many uncontrollable factors for my comfort zone: my roommates, internship…hopefully some more that I can’t think of right now. Anyway, two is enough for me. Its more than I usually make myself endure. The biggest mistake that I made when I went on exchange was that when culture shock came knocking at my door, I lost my confidence and receded into myself until I could regain my footing. That took the whole first half of the year. Therefore, my main goal is to be open and outgoing with everyone I meet because I wasted too much time worrying what my peers and host family thought of me rather than playing my part in building those relationships. Aside from my fears and regrets, I also remember the amazing friendships that I made with people so different than I. I showed myself that I could overcome things that I would have never expected of myself and I found passions that I could have never unveiled on my own. I am so excited to listen to more stories, be baffled and confused, and explore my interests while discovering new ones. I am not excited about reintroducing myself to Czech food; I will be bringing my own spices and enjoy eating at the many other ethnic foods that Prague has to offer.

More than anything, I am excited to meet the other students in my program.

Your friend,

Taylor