I am now on a flight to Melbourne (obviously writing this on paper and not on the internet). Its a bit surreal to be going home now after 2.5 months away in foreign countries, having to try and speak a foreign language every day, and then having to switch to a different language every few days.
This trip has definately opened my eyes to how different each country can be in terms of culture and history even when they share the same borders. Europe is so steep in history compared to NZ and it's when you stand next to a ruin in Pompeii that's as old as Jesus, or stand next to the tomb of the Duke of Wellington, Chopins grave, or Issace Newtons tomb that you realise we are who we are today because of all that has happened in the past. Doesn't matter if we are on the other side of the world, it still affects us. The Italians wouldn't have pasta if it wasn't for Marco Polo, who was born in Croatia, bringing back noodles from China.
NZ is lucky in that we haven't had any major human rights attrocities happen in this country in a long time, if ever. Visit Berlin and Auschwitz, and it's really hard to imagine and comprehend the lives people led during the Holocaust. The rise of the Berlin Wall and the extermination of 1 million Jews at Auschwitz, are still some of the things I still can't fully comprehend. The question "Why?" still lingers. There is a quote on the wall at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin which I will mention, and leave this topic with because this is getting too deep and meaningful and sad to talk about. It reads "It happened, therefore it can happen again: this is the core of what I have to say" - Primo Levi.
Croatia was definately my favourite place (Cheryll and Jess are probably sick of me harping on about it!). I will definately return to Europe one day to do Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Austria and Greece which I did not get to do this time around. This is one, if not the best things I have ever done so far, and definately worth every penny, euro, koruna, zloty, forint and kuna spent. Actually, I would say it was priceless.