My study abroad trip to Riva San Vitale, Switzerland is more than just another stamp in my passport. It is a test of my faith, willingness to be uncomfortable, and ability to adapt.
My journey began on Saturday, May 19 at Dulles International Airport where I caught a 6:00 p.m. EST direct flight to Zurich, Switzerland with three classmates — Brendan, Ella, and Hannah. We arrived the next day at 8:00 a.m. EDT after an eight-hour flight of uncomfortable coach seats, okay food, and free movies.
After gathering our checked luggage, we withdrew Swiss Francs from the airport ATM and waited for our classmate Christina. Once she arrived, we worked together to purchase our first train ticket.
After spending 6.80 francs for the one-way ticket, we met our classmate Henry and faced our toughest giant yet – figuring out how to use the restroom.
The ladies traveled to the nearby Starbucks outside of the train station to find an extremely long line. We ventured back into the station to find a bathroom and realized that we had to pay 1.50 francs to pee!
I was the only lady who had a bill smaller than a 50, so I paid my fee while they bought snacks at the coffee shop to break their francs. They inserted their coins into the machine only to hear them plunk in the coin return.
Several ladies came to use the restroom and faced the same challenge until… heaven sent an angel. An older German-speaking woman paid the fee and forcefully held the glass doors open so everyone else could come through behind her.
Less than two hours into another country and my friends were already breaking the law.
We traveled via train for three hours from Zurich to Riva San Vitale, experiencing the beauty that will surround us for the next two weeks. It looks like this trip is going to be more interesting and historic than I thought!
Watch the first video of my “A Minute in Switz” series below.