Remember when you first arrived in the Czech Republic and couldn’t help but take pictures of every beautiful building? When you beamed with pride over your first successful Czech-language transaction? When you experienced each tradition, from burning witches to eating Christmas carp, with genuine delight?
And then came the difficult landlord, the frustrating Czech lessons, and the 200% markup on that one item you never thought you’d miss from home. Over time, it’s easy to let the struggles cloud your appreciation of living in a foreign country.
If you’ve been feeling jaded about expat life, try these tips for falling in love with Czechia all over again.
Play Tour Guide Like a Pro
There’s nothing like seeing your adopted home through fresh eyes to remind you why you’ve stayed. Showing off your insider knowledge of hidden-gem landmarks, neighborhood pubs and cafes, and the Czech language will make you feel like you belong to a place. If friends and family aren’t visiting anytime soon, offer your services to a couchsurfer looking for a local to show them around.
Visit a New Town or Get Out of the Neighborhood
Have you been to all of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia? How about all thirteen kraje? Get out and explore all this country has to offer. Spend the day in a district you’ve been meaning to visit or just pick a Prague neighborhood with village appeal and hop a bus! If you’re feeling brave, choose a number between 1-10, head to the nearest train station, and buy a ticket on the next train for that many stops – the unexpected charm of a small town just might surprise you.
Change Your Cuisine Routine
Has your lunch decision become whatever’s listed first on the daily menu of your local pub? Remember what you loved about Czech cuisine in the first place by mixing it up a bit. Try a new restaurant, take a food tour geared toward locals, learn to make your favorite Czech dish, bake a traditional Czech cold cake for summer, or get into berry picking or mushroom-hunting just like the locals do.
Discover the Wealth of Czech Crafstmanship
If you’re a culture buff, book a ticket to a grand concert hall and admire the stunning interior of the theater. If you’re a beer connoisseur, plan an activity or a road trip that celebrates the country’s beer (or wine or cider) culture. Admire the best of Czech glass and wood-working, or visit one of the many spring design markets offering the best in local fashion, accesories, and more.
Commute Above Ground (and Look Around)
Whenever you’ve got the time, choose the tram over the metro. Spend your ride staring out the window, headphones-free, and appreciate for a moment the beautiful overlooked details. If you’re a driver, take the scenic route home, ideally past a field or garden in bloom or one of the Czech Republic’s famous tree alleys, with the windows down and your favorite Czech tune as a soundtrack.
Watch, Read, and Listen to Czech Films, Books, and Music
The more you get to know the Czech culture and the character, the more you’ll enjoy the subtleties of its entertainment options. See a Czech film (try these ten suggestions for films that perfectly explain Czechs), book tickets to a Czech rock concert (see this article for tips), or treat yourself to a thick novel by a Czech author or one with a Prague setting.
Leave the Country (But Please Come Back!)
Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone (or you are). Spending some time outside of the Czech Republic can remind you just how beautiful, affordable, quirky, and relaxed life as an adopted local can be. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, afterall.
What made you fall in love with the Czech Republic in the first place? Share your stories in the comments below.