Tag Archives: Switzerland

Vlog: Travel Update

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Hi, lovelies! A lot of people have been inquiring as to my current game plan for Europe. Here’s a quick update on my plans!

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  • During late July and early August a few girlfriends and I are trying to arrange it so we can travel around together! The biggest hinderance is finances! Any tips on ways to make/save money on the road? We’ll be using http://www.helpx.net, http://www.couchsurfing.com, and staying in hostels to travel as cheaply as possible. 
  • At the end of August, I will move to Lausanne, Switzerland to be an au pair for a spectacular Spanish family! This is a great opportunity, because I adore Switzerland and would love to brush up on my Spanish. Although I will be doing some traveling on the weekends, I will be saving a lot of the money I make to put it toward further travels. Additionally, I’ll have to be putting a portion of it toward student loans.
  • The last week of November will mark the end of my Swiss living. That means I have December to travel around and hang out with friends…
  • If you are around wherever I am, I’d love to meet up! There’s a small possibility that my parents will try and come over and visit during this time. That would be great, seeing as I have no idea if I’ll be spending Christmas alone in a hostel (I doubt that would happen, though, as I have a knack for randomly meeting new friends!)…
  • In January, I will move to Torino, Italy to become an au pair for another beautiful family. I am thrilled!  I will stay here for a least six months.
  • After Italy, I will hopefully return to Switzerland for another three months.
  • Then…who knows!

Lost in Zurich

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ImageIn May of 2011, I boarded a plane for my first European adventure. Despite not sleeping a wink on the plane, I was full of energy when I stepped foot into Zurich, Switzerland. It was still daytime there and I had a full day day of me! After getting settled into the hotel, we all changed clothes and prepared to explore the city. The group I was there studying psychology with ended up separating. The two groups of energetic American co-eds split ways to experience our respective guided tours. My friend Michelle and I stuck close together and chattered continuously. This is where my ease with being in foreign environments came into play…

ImageAll of a sudden, Michelle and I realized that we were with the wrong group! We laughed about how distracted we had become and looked behind us to see our original group crossing a bridge. We quickened our steps to try and catch up to them and hurriedly crossed the bridge. The group walked around a corner, but we were gaining headway and it didn’t really concern us. When we rounded the corner, they were gone! We spent the next 15 minutes fruitlessly searching for the gaggle of students. It was as if they’d vanished into thin air. Image

I decided the next best option would be to find the hotel we were staying in. We figured it had to be within a couple miles of us, so we started asking locals for directions. Every Swiss person I’ve encountered since then speaks multiple languages, but for whatever reason, no one we approached could understand our plight!  Well, they may have just been laughing at the silly American girls…

It was when Michelle started to get concerned that I had a beautiful realization. I thought to myself, “We are in Europe! Specifically, Zurich, one of the safest places to be. It is 23 °C outside and there’s no rain!” I wondered why the heck we were spending our time being flustered, instead of enjoying this experience. I convinced Michelle to enjoy a drink with me, at a little outdoor cafe by the Limmat River. We sat there for awhile, chatting and people watching, before continuing to search for a group.

 Amazingly, we saw our trip guide across the street. We flagged him down and were able to reunite with our group. While our professor was quite displeased with us, I still look back at the time I was lost in Zurich with great fondness. We were able to see many historical sites, explore the city, and even watch a game of chess!

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Cafe in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Outdoor chess game

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Zurich, Switzerland.

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Lovely garden!

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Exploring the city.

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Retrospect

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While procrastinating on completing my studies today, I was pleased to re-discover a video I’d taken during an early-morning jog in May of 2011. This rudimentary filming was done in the foothills of the Alps, near the border of Switzerland and Germany. Being still jet-lagged and running around at 6:30 in the morning wasn’t exactly conducive to a fully awake video…

I hope you’ll be able to look past my sleepy eyes and gravelly voice to witness me falling even more in love with Europe. If someone had told me during that trip that, not even two years later, I would be planning a trip to Europe with no definitive ending point, I would have had trouble believing it! I felt this ineffable enchantment with Europe from the moment I stepped off of the plane in Frankfurt. It’s hard to explain, but it almost felt as if I was home. Even when completely lost in Zurich (I’ll make a post about this soon!), after only having arrived a few hours prior, I felt completely content.

Releasing my need to constantly plan and be overly futuristic has been such a blessing. I encourage all of you to open yourself up to the natural journey that life will take you on. I am so excited to see where my coming adventures take me.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
― Eckhart Tolle

P.S. “Traveler” = tourist/student-ish

Vlog 1: I need your travel advice!

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I’m planning my trip and I’d love your help!

What do you guys know about…

  • Travel tips (especially on being a solo female)
  • Trip preparation (visas, packing, work permits, travelers insurance, etc.)
  • Money saving ideas
  • Best places to exchange money
  • Cheap places to visit
  • Navigating public transport systems
  • Interacting with locals (Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Czech, Greece, and Croatia)
  • Getting a cell phone that works across various countries
  • Avoiding theft
  • Shipping and receiving mail
  • Random tidbits of information

Hello world!

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Well, this is my very first blog…ever. I’m definitely looking forward to having a place to record all the exciting things I encounter!

For many years now, I have wistfully spoken of all the places I hoped to travel. Heck, I even made a “Travel” board on Pinterest dedicated solely to pictures of everywhere I wanted to go! I would longingly flip through friends’ albums of their adventures abroad and wonder if I would ever have a chance to experience life so fully… Now, it’s finally happening!

During the past four years, I lived with the mindset that I needed to get into a top grad school program and immediately begin after graduation [this spring]. I had internalized this idea to such an extent that the prospect of deviating from it in the slightest seemed unthinkable! After speaking with some close friends about the matter, I came to see that I wasn’t as confined to that path as I’d thought. In fact, I wasn’t trapped at all! This realization opened up so many possibilities!

I have now set my intention (I’ll upload my video on setting intention as soon as I’ve figured out the set up on here) travel around Europe, starting this spring. I am thrilled that my dreams are finally coming to fruition and can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you!

-Andrea

 

With my lovely friend Bekah on the ferris wheel of Vienna.