I feel like lately has been such a fit of emotional ups and downs. I've been feeling rather ill this past week and I'm not sure if it has anything to do with my final that is coming up on Friday and the outrageous nerves I get before a big test or just the weather changes and my body refusing to agree with the cold temperatures. Either way, it's been a pretty annoying week so far and it's only the end of Wednesday. I've been having moments of utter weakness lately where I break down and come to the realisation of where my life is at this moment. I think I try not to think about everything that's happened anymore because in all honesty I can't handle it. It's been over a year now since I've moved and I still don't feel welcome or comfortable in this country. This past weekend I spent it with my friend Julia and her family at their home in Bad Radkersburg. It was an absolutely lovely city with beautiful landscapes and insanely friendly people. I hadn't really spent much time with other people or families in the last year and it was incredibly bittersweet seeing the way her family live. I actually went up there because Julia had invited me to accompany her to a Ball and also because we were going to study for our final together. I think the moment that hit closest to home for me was when we were standing by the door waiting for our ride and her mother kept on telling her how beautiful and grown up she looked in her gown. It just made me sad missing those moments I never seemed to cherish with my mom, I miss having my mom there for big days or just being able to hug my mom. People constantly assume that I've moved past missing home and have adjusted to my life here but that's not the case.

I'm just as homesick today as I was one year ago and it's really difficult because I miss a memory of a place I know only from the past, that home, my home, my house and family then don't exist anymore now... so much has changed in this past year and I'm not a part of it anymore. And that kills me. I was feeling really shit and ill just yesterday and I was thinking how much it hurts and just sucks not having my mom there to care for me or check on me when I have a fever. It kills me thinking about the countless times I didn't even say thank you or tell my mom I loved her for all the little things she did for me. I don't think anyone really realises these things until they're gone. For most people back in Cali who have gone off to college they're able to visit for the holidays which are coming up or simply drive back home every other weekend... I haven't watched my baby brother grow up or hugged my mom or smelled her cooking in over a year and it's just not getting easier. I'll admit I even had a little break down and started crying on the phone with her while I was waiting for my bus tomorrow. I think I'm kind of stuck at this cross road where my life here is starting to pick up but I'm not sure if I can let go of my need and want of going back home and in some stupid irrational way I'm not letting myself be happy here because I feel like it will make me forget about where I grew up. I don't really know how to explain it, it's just difficult and hard and once again I'm making a blog post rambling about all these feelings I don't even know how to describe. I just really want to encourage anyone reading this to go hug the people you love today, go hold them close and tell them you love them because you never know what tomorrow will bring. I wish I could go back in time and enjoy those hugs and moments a little more. On a happier note, I did do some fun things this weekend and decided I might as well include them in this post. It was a pretty swell trip and it was nice getting away.

The landscape of the entire town was just absolutely breathtaking, I really love fall time in general because the different colours mix to make such an intoxicating rainbow of life but in Bad Radkersberg its alive everywhere. A lot of the houses have small farms and just acres upon acres of land, everything is green and the air is amazing. We took a drive on the second day I was there just to pass by some of the town sites and also just to take in the entire place, it's huge. I really loved how quiet and peaceful it was in comparison to the loud streets and noisy town our Uni is centred around.

On our drive we stopped at one of the towns look out points which was this huge iron tower with steps leading up high into the sky where people would climb up and look at the entire city from up in the sky. Julia and her stepfather made it all the way to the top and told me the sight was to die for, but being the scardy cat I am.. I only made it about half way up while clutching onto the railings for dear life. I am terrified of heights, it's one of my worst fears and I just couldn't manage to climb any higher, I know it's an irrational fear but I just don't feel in control knowing only a small iron thing is holding me up while my body dangles above the ground. But even from this slight height at tree top level, the view was gorgeous. I may be a California girl but I have fallen in love with the woods and nature. I don't think I want to live anywhere without a forest again, plus Sparcky loves going for walks and bouncing about in the autumn leaves so I couldn't take that away from the little fella either. Over the weekend we also made plans to go horseback riding, we didn't actually end up going riding but we did manage to visit the horses and pet them and feed them some grass. This little fella here was making the funniest faces and I snapped this quick shot which just makes me laugh. He looks like he just heard the funniest joke ever and is chuckling his horsey butt off... they were adorable, scary and big but really really adorable.

To finish off the trip, Julia's stepfather took us to a Buschen Schank. It's a restaurant type place which only serves cold foods and were actually started so that farmers could sell their wine to the town. They developed into full out restaurants that served only foods that were cold and were made from only ingredients made on the farm. It was a way for farmers to make a steady income and all of the town to gather in these places and chat, drink, and eat good food. We went on a Sunday and since almost everything is closed on Sundays, the place was packed. It's one of the few that are open all week long and honestly the food was amazing. I had this cheese bread thing, as shown bellow and it was absolutely wonderful. It was also so wonderful how everyone who came in was so friendly and always greeted whomever they saw with a warm smile. We ended up sitting with this one couple and everyone was cracking jokes and telling stories and laughing about as if we'd known each other for years. They didn't even mind that I had an American accent and wasn't from around those parts and it was really lovely being in such a homey little town. The weekend went by really fast but it will surely be a memory I won't soon forget. Lovely people, beautiful places, and amazing food... what more could a girl ask for? 

This weekend its back to my normal routine of working and studying and staying home, did you guys do anything fun last weekend? Do you have any plans for this weekend? Let me know in the comments down bellow.
Stefanie xx

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