Austria Column: Finding peace in beauty



Daniel_KimThis Friday my friends and I went on a day trip to Hallstatt in Austria. It took us about four hours to get from Gaming to Hallstatt by train. When we arrived, we had to take a ferry across Hallstätter Lake to a small and adorable medieval village. Calm, crystal clear water rippled silently behind our boat, and beautiful mountains dyed in autumn colors towered over both sides of the lake. Innocent swans lazily glided over the water and occasionally spread their majestic snowy wings. It was one of the most gorgeous scenes I have ever seen.

The moment we got off the ferry, it seemed as if we traveled back in time a few hundred years. Narrow cobblestone streets led every which way in the small village. Hilltop houses and apartments were all so uniquely different and strikingly beautiful. Small shops, selling high quality bath salt from local salt mines, attracted a lot of customers and livened up the afternoon. After looking around the main street, my friends and I decided to rent a small motor boat to go out into the lake.

Going to the middle of the lake turned out to be a great idea as it gave me the most unforgettable experience. Surrounded only by ice-cold water and a splendid view for a while, I felt peace that I haven’t felt in many years.

I struggle constantly with time management and anxiety due to the uncertainty of my future. I often forget how vital moments of peace are to my life because I see our Creator in peace and in peace I find God’s calling. As I meditated under the cloudless blue sky, I realized that I pray to God for his voice, yet I do not block out the noises of life in order to focus on him. How often do I prioritize the wrong things in life with an excuse that I must be efficient with my life? If I do not take the time to enjoy the grace of peace, I would be living an empty husk of a life.

Thanks to my stay in Hallstatt, I was able to reflect on important things in my life and think of ways to make it meaningful.

Sometimes time flows by both very fast and slowly. It is hard to believe that more than half the semester has gone by. I have loved my stay in Austria. Traveling to foreign lands and interacting with people of different nationalities has taught me incredible things.

However, I do miss home terribly. I have found a new appreciation for things I have taken for granted before, and I am always reminded of how much I should cherish my dear friends and family.