Since I travel abroad so infrequently (read: almost never), I am surprised at how foreign everything is. Really, the first few days I felt like I was completely out of my element. I didn’t know how to open a door (push? no, pull), find the bus routes, or communicate in the stores. I was certain the grocery store clerk said “cough syrup” when she must have said the price of my item. A few weeks in, I am more comfortable but I still marvel at the new ways of doing things even as I embrace my “foreign-ness” and try everything new: foods, experiences, challenges. Plunging into an almost frozen pool after sauna (called avanto), walking across the nearly frozen lake as a shortcut, finding pedestrian pathways through tunnels, and eating unrecognizable foods, I am feeling braver and braver. And just a little surprised at myself.