2546 meters up Bunderspitz the icy wind chilled my bones, and fatigue set in, but with one glance at the sun emerging from the horizon all my aliments dissipated- I was on top of the world and the heavens were surrounding me. In the summer of 2009 I had the adventure of a lifetime, two-week trip to Switzerland with my fellow Girl Scouts. While we didn’t visit any other countries on this trip, the preparations and the trip itself taught me that a single round-trip flight can in fact be part of many different journeys. We did everything from whitewater rafting down a raging river to making chocolates with world-renowned chocolatiers, from taking a dip in a glacial lake on top of a mountain to climbing up a cliff face. This trip opened my eyes to a world full of culture and simplicity, of natural splendor and beauty, of adventure and history
We first began planning the trip when we were freshman, and spent much of the past two years working to make it happen. Over 20 fundraisers helped us with about half the fare. Tons car washes, Girl Scout cookies and fall product sales, selling World Finest chocolate, and we even organized campouts for younger girl scouts and also a Breakfast with Santa just to raise enough. We also tried individually raising money by baby, pet and house sitting. With each event our excitement grew because we were one step closer to our dream.
Apon arrival, we placed ourselves in the hands of the staff at Our Chalet, one of four girl scout world centers located around the around the globe. There we had the amazing opportunity to bond with girls from everywhere imaginable, gathered in Adelboden, Switzerland for an experience we would never forget. I never imagined I would climb up a snow-capped mountain in the dark of night to see the sunrise: growing up tropical, mountain-less Florida I didn’t even know how to imagine it. We even went to a Adventure park, I found myself zipping across a gorge and tiptoeing along a wobbling monkey bridge I even found the courage to jump of a bridge knowing that once the rope caught me I would swing to and fro like a human pendulum. Never did I believe that I would have to guts to jump into a glacial lake with a temperature of 4 degrees Celsius, or have the opportunity to stand on the highest point of Europe throwing snowballs at my friends in the middle of July. We got to experience more than just the simple life of the Swiss countryside, we also tried to see these places as a Swiss teenager would: by wandering through busy streets, seeing Swiss movies in local theaters, and browsing a farmer’s market in Bern. We discovered rich history around every turn, seeing things older than 400 and 500 years old blew me away: Monuments carved into cliff faces, intricately constructed cathedrals, Einstein’s house wedged in between modern day stores and fountains decorated with Swiss legends.
My first trip out of the country has opened my eyes to a world of adventure and culture. I realized that each place to go no matter if its 50 or 5000 miles away you not only learn about other ways of life, you learn about your self and the things you can achieve when give the opportunity.
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