The art of blending in while being completely lost

Making my way downtown, walking fast, faces pass, and wait … am I still in New Town? Navigating a new city can be difficult, but understanding the layout of a city in a new country where there is a significant lack of street signs and everything is in Czech makes things a bit more interesting.

After a week in Prague I can finally recognize major landmarks and butcher the name of the closest tram stops to my apartment and school, but after that I am a wandering tourist lost in the streets. For the first few days I navigated the city with the help of my four roommates, but on my first day of class I was left to my own devices while returning home.


Much to my surprise, I found walking through the city alone to be liberating. Prague is a very safe city and I was able to wander around the streets without feeling like I had to constantly watch my back. I spent the afternoon walking up and down side streets looking for new cafes and pubs to try with my roommates.

I even stumbled upon the impressive German embassy in all it’s glory and secrecy.


While my exploring was cut short due to hunger and heat, (walking around in pants and a backpack on an 80 degree afternoon is not very comfortable) the knowledge that I could independently navigate the city excited me for the next few months of adventures.

The next obstacle to tackle is blending in, or rather not sticking out as a tourist. While I don’t wear a fanny pack or walk around with my nose in a map, I frequently worry that I look like a “stupid american tourist” to the Czech people.

Tourists are charged more, smiled at less and the target of many pickpockets. That’s not what I want. I want to become a cool european who effortlessly gets on off the tram at the correct stop and doesn’t get turned around on the way to Tesco.

While I know I cannot effortlessly assimilate into a full-blown local in the matter of days, I do hope to distinguish myself from the other Americans making their way through Prague. Possibly by not being the loudest person on the tram, never getting on a Segway and sneaking in a few Czech words when ordering my Pilsner Urquell and goulash with bread dumplings.



One thought on “The art of blending in while being completely lost”

  1. Welcome to your adventure! Look forward to following all you do and learn. When I travel blog, I tend to write too much about what i’m doing when I really need to be writing about what I am learning and feeling and thinking. Cheers!


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