Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sweet as Swiss

Remote. Friendly. Authentic. Value. Beautiful.

These words describe my two-day experience in Interlaken, Switzerland. If they don't inspire you to want to move there too, just wait.

Harder Kulm, Switzerland

During my vacation, a main goal was to identify different personal enjoyments and passions. Since starting in my first career out of college, I have struggled to find balance between work passions and personal passions. The two days spent in Switzerland brought forth a great realization: I love enjoying the outdoors through hiking and taking paths less traveled.

The group arrived in Switzerland by train late one evening and we had two full days after to adventure and see the sites. I woke up early (6:30 am) to head towards my first adventure: hiking Harder Kulm in the Swiss Alps. Interlaken is nestled in a valley of the Alps. This "mountain" served as a challenge. I was advised it would take slightly more than 2 hours to reach the peak. Sounded like a great start to the day!

Off I went to the base of the trail. It was 15 minutes from my hostel to the entrance. There was also a "wildlife park" near the entrance, where I saw some mountain goats. I backtracked a bit to find the actual trail and met a couple who were parking their bikes and prepping to trek to the top. I asked them if they were hiking to the top. The gentleman said "yes" and his wife started speaking in German. Luckily, the man spoke good English and told me to join them on the trail. So, I did. This was the beginning of learning from Yulie and Frannie.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Picnics in Paris

After the short day of wandering London in a "lost" state, I joined 15 other travelers from around the world to go by train to Paris, France. We arrived late that evening to Paris and made our way on a 15-minute jaunt to our hostel. I had never stayed in a hostel before, let alone with complete strangers. But here went nothing! Parisians seemed to enjoy a few things: bread, cheese, wine, art and history. These things combined made for an adventurous two days in Paris.

On the day of my group's arrival, there was much activity in the streets and sites. The weather was gorgeous on our three-hour walking tour to see sights including Notre Dame, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, the Seine River, the fountain of Saint Michel, the lock bridge, the Royal Palace, the Louvre, Luxor Obelisk and more. We made our way through the streets and eventually to what was one of my favorite stops in Paris.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lost in London

Lost in London - London to Rome Adventure

The last week of August, I took an 8-day vacation to Europe! Life has gotten away from me lately, after my competition, starting a new seed sales season, going on vacation and playing catch up when I returned. Now, I'm eager to share some of my experiences in each country, sights seen and lessons learned. My adventure began by being lost in London.

I mean, I was lost, but I was not. After about 12 hours flying, I arrived to the London airport at 6:30 am before meeting my GAdventures group. It was time to exchange some U.S. dollars, climb on the train and head into central London... or so I thought.

This is where I got a little bit lost. I have traveled abroad before (as you can read in some older blog posts). However, this was the first solo travel out of the U.S. I've had. Well, I thought I had prepared myself by calling my banks, credit card companies and getting it all squared away. Wrong.