And so it begins

View from my first year dorm

I have always been the type of person to have a plan, no matter how small the decision is. It could be what I’m going to eat that night, or where I want to move to. But it was my parents’ plan for me that turned my life upside down. A plan I never would have thought of.

That is the beginning of the story of how I ended up in Switzerland. Both my parents and myself felt that I should have a broader experience, and the best way to get that was to leave Canada all together. I realized that not only is Switzerland known for it’s amazing chocolates and expensive watches, it also has many famous hotel management schools. I found this fascinating, and soon enough, casual talk on the subject had turned into a trip to Switzerland to visit the schools. What really struck me at first was that this country looks exactly like a postcard. I could honestly saythat Switzerland is picture perfect. Anyway, long story short, I picked a school and spent countless hours filling out application forms, applying for visas, and writing essays about my personal goals. I was all set and so pumped to embark on this new experience.

I could go on forever if I wrote about everything that happened in that first semester, but truthfully, those details are not even important. That semester flew by, and by the end of it, I had met so many fantastic people and had experienced college life in the middle of the Swiss alps! I was all set to start my internship in beautiful Spain, but as I packed my bags I realized how excited I was for the second semester. Little did I know that was when my life would really start.I was surprised at how many people are afraid of leaving what they are used to. When I started to tell people about this program, they mostly said “Oh aren’t you scared to leave?” or “won’t you miss your parents?” or “you’re seriously going to do that?” I answered respectively, “sort of”, “of course!” and “yes, I am because this is what I need to do” Then I started to realize that people have their reasons for staying within their comfort zone. Sometimes, it’s because they don’t want to drift away from their friends. Other times, it is mainly the unsettling fear of the unknown getting the best of them. To each their own right?

The same view 4 months later. 1 semester down, 2 more to go!

Moral of the story? Do it! Take a chance, go on a trip, study abroad, meet new people. I was talking to this guy a few months ago who went on a trip to Turkey as a part of his university course, and loved it. I asked him why, he said “you don’t really know who you are until you go outside of your comfort zone” I couldn’t have agreed more. Putting yourself in a completely foreign environment allows you to see the big picture, because you meet so many different kinds of people. I began to understand why people are the way they are. I could consider that maybe it’s cultural factor, or perhaps in their home country they come from a social circle where their behavior is acceptable. Don’t get me wrong, I am still working on this three years later, but when I saw a different life, my current one fell into perspective. You will start to understand what is really important to you, and as time goes on, your goals and how you can reach them will become more clear.

Would you take a chance like this?

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