I have been living in Prague for a full year now. The word I prefer is based — I often say to people that I am based in Prague; that I live in Prague at the moment. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I know with a shaky certainty that I will one day leave this city again. And this has allowed me, prompted me in fact, to enjoy the city more than I would if I felt stuck in it.
Somewhere in the past twelve months, I fell in love with Prague. With its seasons, neighborhoods, tree-lined streets, parks, and oh, the gorgeous Prague Castle. Every time I am on a tram on the Most Legií, I look up from my book to look at it. To look at the Prague Castle and admire it. I am usually the only person to do so and it reminds me of a conversation I had with a taxi driver once.
At the start of the year, I was on my way to the airport and the cab driver who drove me took the scenic route with a view at the Castle; and just as we were passing it by in the distance, he turned his head and said: “What a beautiful thing. Except people don’t appreciate it here enough. Tourists come to see the Castle and marvel at it — they pay money to see it! — but we as locals don’t appreciate it enough. We ignore it just because we see it every day.”
His words stuck with me not only he was right but because I recognized myself and felt ashamed. I decided to live with more intent. The past year has been about that: seeing the beautiful things every day, taking the time to stop and take a breath, take in my surroundings. Because Prague (and my life here) is everything I want it to be.