Tuesday, July 17, 2012

{guest post! my sister dylan on "mountains & what they've done to me"}

lets go deep today.

I had the opportunity to study abroad my junior year of college...Rome in the fall, London in the spring. Throughout these two semesters I traveled all over Europe, from Budapest to Stockholm, Vienna to Bruges. Being away from home was definitely hard at times, but the year was unforgettable and extraordinary.

When I came home in December for two weeks between semesters, Liv says I was a different person. And she's right. Looking back I don't even remember the first two days at home because 1) I was deliriously jet-lagged & 2) I just left a semester that imprinted on my soul. It was very depressing.

Living abroad is an amazing learning experience. You really have to go big or go home. I said "yes" to things I would normally say "no" to, tried foods before knowing what it was, & most importantly, dove head first into embracing culture.

moment of clarity

I traveled to Geneva, Switzerland with three close friends the first weekend of November. I had been to Switzerland before but never this city, so I was very excited to experience new territory. The Swissland is a gorgeous country where two of my favorite languages are spoken: French & Italian. French is spoken in Geneva, so my friend Greta & I were able to break out our French {although mine was pretty bad} that we hadn't spoken in quite a while.

We decided to cross the border of Switzerland into France & ride a cable car up to the top of a French "Pre-Alp" {that means it's basically connected to the Swiss Alps, but it's in France not Switzerland}. When we arrived at the top of the cable car, we were about 75% up an alp called La Salève, which is 4,600 ft. high. One of my friends & I decided to hike to the top of the mountain, where we were greeted with a 360 degree view of Geneva & the Swiss Alps.  Did you ever have a dream of hiking to the top of a mountain and finding yourself in a pasture of sheep with a breathtaking view?  I lived it!  It was insane.

It's become a trend of mine to have epiphanies at the tops of mountain.  The first time was in 2007 at the top of Mount Yale in Colorado.  I hiked for 12 hours & 9,000 ft. later, found my way at the top of a Colorado Rocky Mountain.  Seeing nothing but white-capped mountain peaks {in July, mind you}, surrounded by new friends that have seen you at your lowest, {around 6,000 ft. up & dying}, & your highest, {managing to make it up the whole way}, is an indescribable feeling.

And here I was experiencing yet another moment of clarity, realization, or whatever you want to call it.  I was sucked into it.  "It" meaning wanderlust & wanting to continue to go for the unknown, take chances, and live life {mostly} unrestrained.  I stood at the top of La Salève in silence for about 25 minutes--staring down at Lake Geneva & the surrounding city, & looking up at a mountain I'd only read about in watch advertisements {Mont Blanc}.  My friend & I only had to look at each other to know what each other was feeling...no words could even begin to do the moment justice.

the lesson

You'll know when you've taken a risk or pushed yourself when you feel a deep burning in your chest screaming exhilaration.  Once you have it, you'll keep going back for more.  I have something planned in about two weeks that some may deem very "unlike me", but to me it's very "like me".  It is definitely a risk, but I already know what it feels like to jump into the unknown & come out an even stronger person.  Olivia has promised me another guest post to talk about it...so keep reading! 

Below are some pictures from that trip...

mont blanc 

 sheep pasture and swiss alps

my geneva gang

1 comment:

  1. I think I visited you in Rome the weekend after this trip! The pictures are amazing.