A Little Taste of Comfort and Home

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and new colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

I stumbled upon this quote this week during my daily visit to Pinterest. I am not going to even begin to sugar coat this, it hit very close to home. I teared up a little bit writing this.

I have to say I am no longer afraid of staying in Pennsylvania (my home state) after graduation. After this experience,  I am finally comfortable with the idea of wherever I end up is where I am supposed to be for a reason. I can finally say yes I did go out and experience the world. Just because I might be in the same place does not mean I have never left nor have not seen all the world has to offer me. Sometimes getting out of a place is just a vacation not a permanent destination.

A month into studying abroad and of course it is completely natural to experience homesickness and it hit me this week. I needed a dose of home and was not sure where to find it. Little did I know that the comfort of home was awaiting me in Switzerland.

I have been fortunate enough to have traveled all over the United States prior to my adventure in Europe. A place I have always felt like I have left a little piece of my heart in is San Francisco. I never really found a place like it again until Switzerland. For someone who never particularly loves the cold, I embraced it and ended up loving it.

There was a warmth and changing of season that I was in desperate need of especially since we are still wearing shorts some days here in Florence. We drove into the Lake Como area of Italy first and my breath was taken away. To overlook the changing trees and in the background see a peak of the snow caped mountains of Switzerland was truly breathtaking. We spent so much of the day just sitting on the docks of the lake just taking the in the beauty and talking. It was a day I will never forget. The raviolis I had for lunch might also contribute to the good day also. When I booked this trip I did not honestly know what to expect but thank God I went.

Trust me I am not as cold as I appear

Later that day we drove through Como into Switzerland. We drove up steep winding hills in a tour bus, now imagine that. There were many times Yasmeen and I held our breath and closed our eyes. We drove a huge bus through the small towns in Switzerland we thought we were going to hit houses!

Just one of our many adventures together

I am pretty sure that Sunday is still a dream from beginning to end I think it was completely perfect. It is going to be one of those days I forever wish I could relive. To begin the day we opened our blinds and out of our balcony window were snow covered mountains, it was again the movie set feeling we keep experiencing! If I could not have asked for any more we went down to breakfast and FOUND THE CLOSEST THING TO AMERICAN COFFEE I HAVE HAD IN WEEKS! It was quite a beautiful moment! After we gained energy for the day, it was time to explore the old town of St. Moritz. I like to compare St. Moritz to Arendelle from Frozen (if that gives you an image as to have much of a fairytale it is).

Pictures will never do this town justice

Again I am stressing the importance of experiences rather than physical things. Let’s be real you cannot go to Switzerland without buying chocolate and getting hot chocolate. I will forever remember ordering a very expensive (thank you conversion) hot chocolate and sitting out in the town square just staring at the snowy mountains. I think Yasmeen and I looked at each other at least 5 times and said, “What the heck! We are in Switzerland.” I might never be able to have another hot chocolate in my life, its was buttery, creamy and not too sweet. Honestly just perfection. The only thing that was not perfect was something I was so hoping would be incredible. It was the chocolate! It was nothing special 🙁 it actually was not even that sweet I will definitely stick with Hershey!

This is what we woke up to

I dream of visiting Switzerland again. I almost cried boarding the bus realizing I might never return, but also smiled realizing the day had happened. I can forever say one of my favorite places in the entire world is St. Moritz, Switzerland. That is what this experience is about learning new things, discovering new places, and leaving your heart in as many places as you can.

Olivia Pienta

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