… A day in Liberec, Czech Republic.

Liberec: My home away from home! Liberec is a city of about 100,000 people and an hour north of Prague. A very beautiful city full of old buildings that used to be owned by Germans until the end of the Second World War, and yet also has a very modern flair with its malls, coffee shops, and fashion stores. I lived here in 2011 for a few months where I taught English to five different schools across the city.  I came here learning about this place from a mutual friend in China who also taught here in this town and he just loved it – I met my twin sister Iva (Czech twin that is) at one of the schools and we instantly became best of friends.  I got to know her and her boyfriend then, husband now, Michal and have traveled with them every year at least one time ever since! That is amazing considering I sometimes do not see some of my friends in the same town or state in over a year, let alone another country.  Our lives are very in sync it seems.

We left Michal’s parents home this morning (and a 5am rooster wake up call – although I quickly fell back asleep) after an afternoon of cherry picking and watching his mother cook jam for the winter (I should have joined in, but she had that under control – she knows what she is doing – see previous post). Then we spent the evening on their balcony overlooking their acres of land and gardens, drinking wine, and talking for hours. This is what I miss the most about the European way of life – no one has their phones at the table or checking them every hour, no one is checking the time, wine is being refilled when your glass is 1/4 empty, and the food (healthy and natural) is overflowing.  It was a very beautiful and peaceful moment for me to know this is how I want to live my life.  Truly connecting with people, asking questions (something that is often lost), getting to know them, talking about the past/present/future, and laughing/talking the night away without a care in the world that I am ‘missing out’ on the internet side of life or thinking something else is more important than that person (or people) right in front of me.  Now, trust me, I am very guilty of checking my phone and doing such things, but I am already finding myself not doing this as much (or caring to) and posting when a fun update is needed…and when I am alone (literally typing this at 1 o’clock in the morning because I do love to share and also check your updates)!

Now…. Michal’s mother can speak a little English and his father not at all – although he informed Iva that I am the first live American he has ever touched! (What? is right but he meant because of the war…. that became real very quickly) Iva and Michal get tired of translating I am sure so it was a night of gestures, guessing, and laughter.  Such a hilarious and beautiful time.  I showed them pictures I took of their village – we are going to make a book for them.  And then a video I made of the Disney adventures with Michal and Iva (posted soon as well).  I love when those things bring us all together.  The, they brought out those classic photo albums and showed me pictures of Michal growing up as a young lad – from blonde curly hair to a retro mullet (in the 90s) to a short brownish style cut these days – it was just like me growing up! Especially the mullet hairdo.  We are all the same in so many ways… that is the best part for me exploring other cultures.  I love seeing the differences but I also love being reminded that kids are kids, and mullets are mullets.

We celebrated Iva’s father’s birthday today with a family lunch/dinner in their backyard, her dachshund dog Caspy, Czech chats all around that I am determined to learn by Christmas, seeing Iva and Michal’s new home that will be ready in September (it’s so modern and GORGEOUS!), and a walk in the city at dusk.

Side note: I love her grandmother. See below. She is the epitome of sweet grandmother isn’t she (just like mine)? I am so thankful to be back here in this region and to truly build my life here – it is going to be a great life adventure that has already begun.  More on HOW to do this and make this happen in a near future blog post because while my circumstances have allowed me to do this, most anyone can. I promise you that.

Takeaway for today: Enjoy those for real conversations and ask questions with your phone out of sight, drink some wine (or decaf tea), learn a few fun Czech phrases (because why not), and get home safely. These simple key things will change your life for the better.


2 thoughts on “… A day in Liberec, Czech Republic.

  1. Heather, it all looks and sounds amazing:) You are on your way! I’m enjoying the blog, the pics are wonderful! The idea of being present in the moment, unrushed and available to the people you’re with at the time challenges me…gonna work on that! Thanks for the update…today we’re home watching the golf tourny from st andrew’s…john is enjoying it! Love you! Lori


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