Living abroad is an amazing experience. It’s a blessing and a privilege. If I had to do it again, I would make some changes. I would be more forceful about getting into language classes; I would tutor more frequently; I would go to more ex-pat mixers; I would spend more time out on the town. I would focus on soaking up everything that Warsaw had to offer, and I would’ve definitely visited Krakow more than once.
But in between lesson planning–which I found to be far more difficult than writing a 20+ page research paper–and grading and watching the entire “Ally McBeal” series, I didn’t squander my opportunity.
My awesome roommate accompanied me on great adventures, often encouraging me to leave the apartment even on the bitterest of cold winter days. We went to Gdansk and Szczecin together. I traveled to Zakopane and Torun. And outside of Poland, I made it to amazing places—Stockholm, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, Sofia, Budapest, Berlin.
I wish we lived in a world that gave more people the opportunity to live abroad, to grow and learn and explore other cultures.
But, a strange thing happened while I was away. I got homesick. To cover my homesickness, I did what any sane person would do. I started to listen to country music. So in between the zaniness of EURO 2012, which almost made me miss my final flight home thanks to a dearth of taxis, and experiencing Eurovision in its entire glory, I got familiar with some of that good old U.S. of A. red-white-and-blue country sounds.
Summer Mix 2012 is transparent and without depth. It’s Eurovision, songs from “Ally McBeal,” the theme of EURO 2012, and country. To mix things up I threw in “Wild Wild West,” my karaoke song bound to please anyone who doesn’t think I have “Wild Wild West” memorized. Because I totally do.
Beautiful Song – Anmary (Latvia)
One Prairie Outpost – Carbon Leaf
Down by the Water – The Decemberists
That Phone – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals
So Tired of Being Alone – Al Green
How Will I Know? – Whitney Houston
Tell Him – Vonda Shepherd
The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
Euphoria – Loreen (Sweden)
Primadonna – Marina and the Diamonds
Endless Summer – Oceana
Sexy and I Know It – LMFAO
Stay – Tooji (Norway)
Tell It to My Heart – Taylor Dayne
I Want to Do It All – Terri Clark
All American Girl – Carrie Underwood
She’s Country – Jason Aldean
Don’t Want This Night to End – Luke Bryan
Johnny and June – Heidi Newfield
She Wouldn’t Be Gone – Blake Sheldon
How to Love – Delilah
Wild Wild West – Will Smith
An interesting component to my Summer Mix 2012, is that it’s entirely about the year I was leaving behind, not about the summer that stretched before me. I moved home in late June, moving to Utah a couple of weeks later to begin my MA program. I loved my program, but if I had any idea how miserable Utah would be, I don’t know that as much America home-sick music would’ve made the list.
Summer Mix 2012 Highlights:
I absolutely love the all female acapella cover of Lil Wayne’s “How to Love” by Delilah.