Summer Postcard: A First Time for Everything

PRAGUE, Czech Republic—Prague is a city to purposely get lost in. After eating dinner on my very first day here, I strolled through the winding, cobble-stoned streets to find a tram stop. What I stumbled upon instead was the famous Charles Bridge. There were tons of people, but the lighting was just right, and the atmosphere was perfect. I was amazed at my fortune of having accidentally come across a must-see attraction so soon. It was the perfect end to one of the best days of my life.

Have you ever desired something so badly that you cannot talk about it without sounding desperate or painfully wistful? That’s been my experience with the idea of traveling the world. For as long as I can remember, I have always looked around me and thought there has got to be more to everyday life than “this.” “This” meaning staying in the same place, seeing the same things, interacting with the same type of people—what I call being stagnant. Pair this viewpoint with romanticized pictures, books, and movies, and I wanted nothing more than to be in places like London or Paris, not in Michigan or Texas. So when I realized the first day of summer and the first day of my travels to Prague happened to coincide, the sentimental side of me automatically kicked in. It carried weight for me because it was a new beginning of what I hope to be a lifestyle. This is the defining moment of my summer.

Traveling on my own to a foreign country is not something I am able to take lightly. It is especially significant to be a young, black woman traveling to a place where you rarely see people like yourself. I was a little wary, but I did my research ahead of time and spoke to people who had been in my position. Though I heard of both good and bad experiences, I have decided to own my time in Prague. I’ve been here for half a week, and I walk through the streets with confidence as if I too, though a visitor, deserve to be here to partake in this place’s history and beauty.

Ifeoluwa T. Obayan ’19, a Crimson Editorial Comp Director, is a joint concentrator in biomedical engineering and social anthropology in Leverett House.

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