1. Rebirth


Mariazell, Austria

The start of my journey took place at an orientation in the Austrian Alps in a small town called Mariazell. The orientation was typical fare, safety information, basic german phrases, things to do and not do in the country. What was remarkable about this brief introductory session was our surroundings. I had never seen so many mountains so tall before. They towered over you in every direction. We took a walk around a high glacial lake when I snapped this photo.

I knew that I was in a special place and this was going to be a life changing journey. The air was crisp and fresh, although it was cold I could tell this country was special and had so much to share with me. Later on my journey I went back to the Alps to go skiing. There I had an even more impressive view of this new landscape. Although the Alps were stunning, this orientation served to get me even more excited for my time in Vienna.

I briefly had a blog (which I stopped updating because I was lazy) where I wrote this about the hotel in Mariazell. “On top of a hill above the hotel was a chapel situated amongst the Alps. 30 minutes away walking was the town of Mariazell home to a Basilica containing a sacred image of the Virgin Mary. On all sides were the towering Alps that stretched up into the clouds and out of sight. Because of the time difference, jet lag, and activities to do I was up for 31 hours straight on that first day.” I had no idea what was in store for me in the next five months.

Photo taken on: January 14th, 2016



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