Peaking in Switzerland
Cleary, Florence, Spring 2017
February 21, 2017

Wow, I learned a lot about myself in the short time I was able to explore the Swiss Alps.

Shredding the slopes with these guys

I have never felt so light and free. I am in Switzerland and peaking in life. This is the most visceral connection I have ever had to a land. If there is a god out there, please let this be my eternal resting place. I had the best weekend, but right now I feel I am bursting with joy because I really picture a life here. As my bus weaves through the snow covered Alps passing charming villages with grass lands peeping through the frosty grounds, I envision myself owning a humble cottage near the train station to have easy access to the slopes. I see myself snowboarding and climbing mountains every weekend and returning home to have warm Swiss hot chocolate. I want to live in a grassy meadow and nourish my body with clean air and an outdoor lifestyle. I think part of the reason I love this place so much is that you get the best of both worlds with the access to the snow and awe-striking mountains but also enjoy the sunny days, grass covered hills, and unfrozen lakes (due to the lower altitude of the valley).

The views are unreal

I’m not sure exactly what is it about these lands, but they have a magical rejuvenating and uplifting effect.  I mean, I have gotten no sleep on this trip and went snowshoeing, night-sledding, snowboarding, and still I feel phenomenal!! I’m in heaven on earth…this is the definition of heaven on earth. The entire trip, my friends could not stop saying six phrases: “this is unreal,” “I don’t want to leave,” “I can’t comprehend,” “amazing just amazing,” and any other synonyms of epic! Because it’s epic! I don’t think I can live in America after this trip…it has made me realize that living is so much more. Living outside and exploring different lands and cultures and learning new languages and diving into history…this is what living is! If there is one lesson I learned from this weekend…having fun and enjoying life really depends on the people you surround yourself with and the perspective you take.


Cleary is a spring 2017 SAI Florence student from UC Berkeley.

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SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.