Semester Flashback


As I look back through my pictures, keepsakes, and postcards I realize I have ventured. Of all the words I could use to describe these past 16 weeks, I know that “wasted” is not among them.

London, Bath, Oxford, Cambridge – England.

Aix-en-Provence, Marseille – France.

Dublin – Ireland.

Geneva, Montreux – Switzerland.

Cinque Terre – Italy.

Zadar – Croatia.

Edinburgh – Scotland.

Unbelievable. I’ve experienced more than I could have ever imagined. Dreams that once seemed unattainable suddenly seem doable. I know the possibilities are truly endless now. It’s almost like my time in Europe has given me a second wind. Try new things. Meet new people. Enjoy what I do. Make time for the important things.

While I’ll still probably achieve the near-shameful act of watching and re-watching whole seasons of TV shows, laying in my bed eating dozens of cookies, or relaxing on rainy day, I know what’s out there in the world. I’ve engulfed myself in new cultures and am confident I could do it all over again. Even more than that: I want to do it again.

Who knows when or if that will happen, but somehow in the back of my mind I know my own capabilities. I know the millions of options available. And thank Jesus that I am able to experience and follow-through on them. I’ve acknowledged Big Ben more times than I can count. I’ve hiked to the top of Italian villages and traveled by train through the Alps. I’ve had fresh seafood on the French Riviera and seen the most beautiful sunset in the world. I’d say I’ve lived.

This will be a semester that I will never forget. It’ll be the stepping stone into an exploratory life, lived in full, with adventure at the forefront.


A Wale of a Time

Cardiff, Wales.

Dragons are for real, and castles are the city center.

Being only a short four hour bus ride from London, it was ideal for a day trip in between studying. In less than 24 hours I was falling in love with this city and it’s excessively elongated language. Not only did it have the cutest hostel, but also the cutest coffee shop. Cute may sound like a kiddish compliment, but these were exceptionally inspirational. The hostel had daybeds in their lobby, fabrics galore, mason jars scattered, and a desired quaintness. The coffee shop had dozens of different light fixtures, exposed brick, and sea-foam colored tea pots – what more could a girl ask for?



The cities main park was filled with blooming tulips shouting spring, an incredibly peaceful river, and these flowers that look as if they came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Without even scavenging the entire town, I knew it was a splendid place. It’s more of an underrated tourist attraction, making it even more appealing to a traveler like me.

A hidden gem of sorts.



From The Peak of a Mountain

My parents and I began our 11 day adventure in Geneva, Switzerland. We arrived only able to see distant, clouded mountains. Here we toured the town, stumbling after Swiss-renowned goods such as chocolates, watches, knives. Between the three of us, we knew next to no French. I would say we did exceptionally well at getting by, even with the language barrier (minus one mishap that included a salad loaded with anchovies). The chocolate, though, is something worth mentioning. It may seem obvious that Swiss chocolate raises the bar, but wow. Their chocolate is a dream, a beautiful dream.

Overall, this quaint, business town was a great beginning.



And from Geneva it went only uphill.

Train-traveling through Switzerland was one of our best ideas. Not only is it far less stressful than flying, it’s also more scenic. Amidst the towns on Lake Geneva and growing deeper into the Alps, we were shown what seemed to be the greatest parts of Switzerland.

On we headed to Montreux, Switzerland. By itself, the town was a little quirky. Our itinerary originally had not included this mountainous city, but to our surprise resulted in not one, but two nights. Here we trekked to the Chateau de Chillon, a curious castle from the 9th century. We ventured by train to the peak of Rochers-de-Naye. We sought out the glorious Toblerone Mcflurry (believe it or not) from the familiar McDonalds. And we realized how incredibly expensive Switzerland truly is.

But by far, the most enjoyable time was spent on the top of a mountain.

From the peak of a mountain seeps awe, beauty, indescribable detail. 

From the peak of Rochers-de-Naye in Montreux, Switzerland, the details were no less. I can attest to my mouth being wide open for both the train ride up the mountain as well as the landing site at the top. Although I have breathed in only a small portion of Colorado’s best-offered sights, the Swiss Alps were incomparable. Seeing mountains, recognizing steepness and adventure, experiencing new altitudes in almost something that cannot be fully grasped. It was addicting and thrilling. It was exactly how I pictured Switzerland.