“I can’t stop smiling!”

Adieu!

When I was preparing to live in Switzerland, I googled my town like crazy! I kept seeing these pictures of these walking bridges in the Alps, but I didn’t believe they actually existed in my town! Last Sunday, my family and I went on a 3 hour hike right in our backyard on these walking bridges!!!! We literally walked down the road, and then up a path to the best hike ever! The hardest part was the first steep hill. The rest of the hike was flat with random inclines with nothing too difficult, but it was definitely a workout! My favorite part was walking on the path and realizing that the only thing separating me and a 3,788ft. drop was a wooden railing. The metal bridges were incredible! When I stopped off the first one, I remember thinking, “Why can’t I stop smiling?” I think I loved the hike because I felt for the first time that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now! Seeing all the pictures on Instagram about Homecoming has made me a little homesick, but I realized I live in Switzerland! Living in the Swiss Alps is 100 times better than Homecoming will ever be! Also, seeing just how massive the mountains and trees are truly humbles me and makes me question why  I was so worried about something unimportant. Not only am I learning a new language and culture, but I am also learning a new way to prioritize life!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support! I hope that you feel challenged as well to reprioritze your life and alter your focus.

I hope you have an incredible day and enjoy the photos below!!!

XOXO

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The famous swinging bridges!! We crossed 5 or 6!

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How cool?!?! It’s Papa’s name on the plaque! He donated to this part of the trail!

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Wow! This is home!
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Someone was getting a little tired haha. Good thing we have the best Papa in the world!

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Ladies Day in Lausanne

Hello Friends!!

I have truly began to see how independent and free Swiss teens are compared to teens in the US. Yesterday, my sister, her friend, and I went to the train station and rode the train to Lausanne for a shopping day. Lausanne is also where my sister will be going for her beauty school starting in September! One word to describe Lausanne is steep!! As you can see in the photos below, the roads are straight up and down!! I was in desperate need of perfume for the year, so I bought perfume and the girls bought makeup items. It is so cool to see what brands are global and what brands are specific to the USA. One thing I noticed is that everything is very expensive!! I ordered my usual tall green tea lemonade sweetened from Starbucks and it was 7CHF! Then we went to McDonalds for a late lunch and a McChicken with a small fry was 11.50CHF!! Then we rode the train back to Sion and shopped around until the bus came. It was a super fun day being independent, listening to French, and shopping.

XOXO

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All the roads are at an angle! It was so crazy!

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Heading back to Sion after a great day in Lausanne!!

 

 

To the Top!!!

Salut mes amies!!

As some of you have seen on my Instagram and pictures on the blog, I live in the Alps!! Pictures cannot show just how incredible and massive they are, but I have attempted to capture their beauty below. Last Sunday, my family and I drove to the top of the Alps to have fondue for lunch and to visit Grand-maman. My mouth was open the entire ride, because I was so in awe of how natural and high we were! The mountains are covered in vineyards and houses on the bottom, then cows with large bells in the middle, and snow and ice on the top! It was 90 degrees when we got in the car, but when we arrived at the top I had to put on my winter coat and a big scarf due to the colossal temperature change! Then, we stopped at a restaurant for fondue and tomato soup! The fondue (melted Swiss cheese) was a different taste, but I really enjoyed it! It is very heavy in your stomach, so I could not eat too much of it. I was so thankful that my family had arranged for me to eat Swiss food with such an incredible view!! Afterwards, we visited Papa’s mother and the house that he lived in when he was a child! It was such a cute house right in the mountains with beautiful flowers surrounding the house! I honestly felt like I was in a dream! I had my first really big laugh with my maman while grand-maman was talking. Grand-maman was speaking to me, but she has a very strong accent so I just nodded my head and said, “Oui, oui.” My maman could tell that I was so lost and gave me the look of, “You have no idea what she is saying.” We both let out a big laugh which caused her to have to explain why we laughed to grand-maman. I’ll never forget that moment of feeling like she truly was my maman and knew me just like a mother knows their own child. In a nutshell, last Sunday was incredible and I can’t wait to tell you about my trips for this weekend!

I hope that you enjoy the pictures below!!

XOXO,

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Waterfalls in the mountains!

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Papa pulled over on the road so I could capture this incredible view!

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The extremely windy roads!!
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So incredible!!

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I found it very funny that they have cow crossing signs here. I am used to seeing deer crossing signs in WV.

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I was so surprised to see how many people were actually biking up the extremely steep roads! I would never be able to bike all the way up like these people!

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I was amazed that we were actually driving IN the Alps!! We drove through a bunch of tunnels carved right into the mountains!

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Another amazing view of the mountains and lush greenery.

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This is a very common sight in the Alps, because they use the milk for their famous cheese, chocolate, and cream! I loved that the cows wore big bells around their necks.

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This is a lake nestled in the top of the Alps. It provides electricity for the town off of hydro-power! My phone could not capture just how blue and clear the water was. I was astonished!!

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Next to the lake was a very cute fondue and soup restaurant full of hungry bikers and hikers!!

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This is the tomato soup we ate at the restaurant before the fondue. I can say without a doubt that this was the best bowl of tomato soup I have ever eaten in my life!!

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The views truly took my breath away!!

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This is a perfect example of how gentle these giants of the Alps are towards people. Papa walked right up to the cow and scratched it’s head as if it were a dog. I was so surprised that the cow was perfectly fine with Papa!

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Le pont du diable: The bridge of the Devil. Very cool to see the many bridges all through out the Alps for cars or for walking!
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A normal chalet in the Alps. Most of these houses do not have electricity or have just received it within the last few years! These are true mountain people!!
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Due to the long car ride of sightseeing, Voltaire enjoyed a little nap on the ride home in my scarf!

I hope that these pictures can give you a tiny view into some the incredible views I encountered last weekend! To my family: Thank you! I will never forget how breathtaking God’s creation is in the Alps

If you would like me to send you any pictures from Switzerland, the best way to contact me is via the app WhatsApp using my American phone number with the country code of +1 or via email!

Till the next adventure!

Week 1: Greetings

Hello Friends!

Today marks one week since I said farewell to my parents in New York. Though I have only been in Switzerland since Friday, so much has happened!! I have met so many incredible people. To begin, I met an inspiring group of students who are also from the USA and studying in Switzerland. It is so great to know that 8 other people know exactly what I am going through. I really connected with my roommate in New York, and I am so thankful for our new friendship. Then, I met my family!! I put my trust in God that I would be blessed with a family that I would fit into, and I received the perfect family. I feel so comfortable and welcome! They have truly made my adjustment so much easier.The same night I arrived, I met all of my sister’s friends. They were so kind and welcomed me right into their group! Even though I barely spoke, they acted as if they had known me for years! I think I have mastered the Swiss greeting of three kisses on the cheek or one kiss in casual situations and with teenage friends. I was so nervous to do the “kiss”, but it feels so natural now! I also met my school. Le college is very difficult, but my school is so incredible and paired me with a fantastic student and teacher as my mentors. The English teacher gave me a tour of the school, introduced me to people, gave me lunch buddies, and her e-mail for anything throughout the year. My student mentor is now my best friend. She is a literal angel from heaven! As I sit lost in class, she whispers to me exactly what I need to know in French until I understand. In the evening she texts me all the homework, and before school she sits with me for an hour and goes over everything for the day including homework. Even though I am not receiving grades from school, if it weren’t for her I would be failing miserably!!  I guess word spread that I was an American, and everyone has lent a hand to help me out from getting on the right bus to dropping my passport! They say first impressions are everything, and I can 100% state that Saviese has made a magnificent impression on me!!

XOXO,

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I’ll never forget my Swiss group!
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Meeting my family for the first time in the airport! I’ll never forget the multitude of joyous emotions I felt in this picture.
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One of the streets in downtown Sion.
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Sneak peek of the view for another blog entry! My family took me on a very fun trip in the Alps!!
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The sunrise on my way to school on the bus at 6:53am. I actually love riding the bus!
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Everyday I walk through the courtyard to the entrance to the first building.
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I have not been in this building yet, but it is another part of the school!
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The center of one of the buildings of the school. This is taken from the fourth floor where my class is located!

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Le biblio (the library) If I am not in class, I am usually in the library. Instead of taking German with the other students I spend my time reading French newspapers and magazines to better my French. It is a very nice hour break on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday!
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The courtyard aka where I spend my the other half of my time during my 2 hour lunch break!
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Views from the bus ride home
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I visited the commune today to apply for my residence card! Super exciting times!

Florida 2016

Hi Friends!

Florida was incredible! I cannot believe I spent the last 16 days in paradise! The first week was spent with all of my extended family, and the second week was just my cousin Bella and myself with my grandparents. My favorite moments included bike rides, trips to Seaside, and enjoying Papa’s incredible cooking! I am incredibly blessed to have such a supportive and faith based family. I will definitely miss waking up to hearing my grandmother say, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!”

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Bella and I relaxed in Ben’s Eno after we had attempted to jet ski. Let’s just say I am a much better passenger than driver.

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With days full of adventure and nights filled with movies, coffee was definitely a necessity.

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Baytowne did not disappoint!

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Tuesday was a day full of sun, Sandestin chairs, and laughs. We sat in the chairs from 11:00am until 5:00pm!!

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So blessed to have such an incredible male role model as my dad! We definitely enjoyed eating out at Lulu’s with the family.

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Seaside will forever be one of my favorite places to go while in Florida!

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Spending two weeks with the same person may sound scary to some people, but I could not have been more joyful to spend the past two weeks with Bella! I love you!