Daily Prompt – Living in a Castle

by mybiggestphan


Date: 7/15/13
Prompt: Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home.

Answer: I lived in a castle. That’s right, a castle. Not many people can say they have done such a thing but I am proud to say that I have. And ironically, although I lived in a castle, I lived in the slave quarters of this run-down castle in the town of Well, Netherlands. And it was during these three months from September 2007 – December 2007 that I realized that I am very far from home.

Okay, let me backtrack slightly. If we are talking about the farthest I ever been from home for a couple of days or so then it would have to be with Prague in the Czech Republic. But during my sophomore year of college, during my Fall Semester, I entered my college’s study abroad program at Emerson College. In this program, the students were required to live in a castle that the college owned and that was where we had our studies. We lived there for three months and got to enjoy the Dutch community and culture. During my time there I was able to travel throughout Europe, backpacking through several foreign cities, some with friends and some by myself. It was an experience so surreal and I want to go again.

To be honest though, when I was at the program, I got homesick after a couple of weeks. I missed my family and just the American culture. And even though the drinking age was lower, I was very reserved in how I conducted myself. I didn’t drink at all during my time there and didn’t do anything risky; no drugs, no sex, anything. Is it sleazy for me to say that if I were to go back to Europe, I’d like to put myself out there more frequently? Be more adventurous and more loose in things that I do. My personal thought is that an American going to Europe can be such a liberating experience and one of self-discovery and I’m not sure if I did do that at all.

There was culture shock definitely based on the way people lived over in the small towns. I found it quite peaceful and welcoming. There seemed to be a lack of stress and people were very friendly no matter where I was. It seems like everyone lived life to have fun and to not worry about tomorrow and lived for today. Now that I’m writing this blog, I really am contemplating about where my life is currently at and how little I have enjoyed the freedom and beauty of life. Reminiscing my experiences at Kasteel Well reminds me that I have a whole world to explore and that I need to venture out more. I’m going to try to make this happen in the next few years. Let’s do it!