This week’s #RealLifeWonderWoman interview is an extra special one to me because the subject is our daughter, Brooke. She’s our firstborn. Sensitive, brave, inquisitive, and currently living as an expat in Prague, Czech Republic.
I’m in Prague with her this week to celebrate her twenty-third birthday and to help her get settled into a new apartment. It is incredible for me, as a mom, to watch my daughter “adult” in her environment—to meet her friends and colleagues, to visit her favorite restaurants and shops, to hear her speaking Czech to the grocery store clerk, and to have her making me breakfast and washing my clothes. (Yes, you read that right! She is washing my clothes. How’s that for a role reversal?)
It is with pleasure that I introduce you to today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman…Brooke Radi.
KR: Okay, Brooke, are you ready for this?
BR: I think so. It is kinda weird to be the subject of one of your interviews.
KR: Thank you for humoring me. Let’s start by you telling our readers what brought you to Prague.
BR: I had the opportunity to study abroad in the Czech Republic in 2016 and I absolutely fell in love with the rich history and dynamic culture. Prague is a city of idiosyncrasies. I look to my left and I see this big, monumental concert hall and on the other side, there is a modern art exhibition. Behind me, a graffiti artist decided that the wall was his muse. It’s made me see beauty and power in new ways, both around me and in myself. I feel the most “me” when I’m in Prague and decided that it was the best place to begin my professional career.
KR: Speaking of professional career, tell us about your job.
BR: I initially moved to Prague for a one-year internship for a study abroad program. When accepting that position I thought it would be a stepping stone on my way to a marketing or other corporate job. I had no clue that I would come to love working with students as much as I do. Studying abroad changed the trajectory of my life and it has been such a wonderful experience empowering the next generation of study abroad students. I am involved in everything from student communications to day trips to day-to-day student support. I’m really doing my best to be the person I needed when I was a student here a few years ago. I recently accepted a position as a program manager for another study abroad organization in Prague so I get to continue to work with study abroad students as a full-time career.
KR: What brings you joy and fulfillment?
BR: I find so much joy in exploring. The world is such a wide and wonderful place and traveling has helped me grow a strong sense of independence and appreciation for just how incredible people can be. I’ve had the opportunity to explore corners of Europe that I never would have dreamed of and I have to say that, even on my more challenging trips, I come away profoundly grateful for the time I was able to spend there. I also love to explore locally— Atlas Obscura has been a fun resource for finding awesome places in my own backyard.
Click HERE to read about some of the places Brooke has visited.
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
BR: I’m adaptable, consistent and empathetic.
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
BR: It might sound weird because this is your blog, but it’s you. I’m so impressed by your courage, tenacity and kind heart and I try to emulate that in my daily life. Growing up, I you taught me so many lessons about the woman I want to be, through your words and your example. You relentlessly pursue your dreams and look up and out instead of in. You carry yourself with confidence but are humble enough to admit you don’t know it all. I hope when I grow up, I’m a lot like you. You’re my anchor who loved me enough to help me sail as far as I have.
KR: (wiping eyes) Okay…so I didn’t see that one coming. Thank you, Brooke. For all the times I made parenting mistakes (and we both know I made many!), that means a lot. And readers, I promise I didn’t bribe her to say that. Moving on…
KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?
BR: That’s easy. Teleportation. If I could be able to be wherever I wanted in ten seconds— and for free— I’d be a very happy superhero.
KR: What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies?
BR: I love to read—I always have a book in my bag. I’m currently reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. I’m a self-proclaimed runner, which is something I never thought I would do. I don’t go very far and I don’t go very fast, but it makes me feel strong so I still get up early to go. I’m also a big coffee girl, so I’m always on the hunt for the best cappuccino in the city.
KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 14-year-old self?
BR: I just want to reach back and give fourteen-year-old Brooke a hug and tell her “it’s going to get better. I promise.”
To learn more about Brooke’s adventures, follow her at giveagirlasuitcase.com