It’s been over a month since I’ve arrived, and thus I’m overdue for a run-down of life since my arrival. Ah, la vie lausannoise! Yet I’m not sure how to portray my arrival and initial thoughts with justice. Much has happened since then, just recounting all of my steps since day 1 seems like 1) a waste and 2) no longer genuine. It feels like I’ve been here for ages and yet like I just discovered this city yesterday. In some ways, I believe I have. And since it’s plain boring to rehash all the logistics in the past month, I think my initial arrival into Switzerland will provide the most accurate mood of my busy first month.
Let’s travel back if you will to early September. Enter me. On a plane to Europe for the first time. Seeing the unfamiliar topography of a much anticipated continent rushing below me as we come in for a landing. The night before was filled with fitful sleep as I tried to push out what-ifs and second guesses and insecurities about my decision to come here. But now, everything negative was dissipating.
My neighbor on this 8-hour red eye had just finished his morning coffee. He is a small older gentleman in a nice suit with white hair and a tranquil voice, his French barely audible above the sounds of the plane. When the flight first began, I stumbled through the language in a meek voice to tell him why I was on this plane. He listened patiently and intently through my brain farts and doubtful pauses with kind eyes and encouraging nods. He was also headed to Lausanne, on a return flight home, while I was flying to my new home.
Now as we began our descent, he leaned over to me, pointing out the window to show me there, that’s Geneva just below us, and that just further down the shore? Lausanne, where we are both going. Do you see that tall peak in the distance? That’s Mont Blanc, the highest point in Western Europe… It was hard to understand him word for word, and yet I felt like I understood everything, thanking him with my eyes and smiling so much with excitement. I hoped everyone I met in Switzerland was as kind and welcoming as this gentleman. It was just the kind of reassurance I needed before taking my first step on foreign land.
Fast forward to now: Here I am in my new residence. Barely started classes at the university. Already about to embark on my first adventure out of the country: Austria! Well second, technically. Nearly two weeks ago, I drove just past the border with friends into Chamonix, France for a hiking excursion.
Hopefully when I return from Austria I can give a travel update of the two! Of course, a proper introduction to my new home for the next half year will have to come first, so keep your eyes peeled. Until then, happy reading! Ciao!