The GoGlobal Blog

Role Reversal

Role Reversal

Since March, I’ve spent nearly every weekend travelling and discovering new places, including Malta, Barcelona, Montenegro, and Vienna. During these trips I’ve made memories that I’ll never forget, but the travels have also started to slowly become overwhelming. Typically, I’ll come back from one destination on Monday or Tuesday, and by Thursday I’m on the plane heading to another new place.  Although I can’t wait to continue exploring Europe throughout the rest of my exchange semester, the last few hectic and travel-filled weeks have made me crave a bit of rest and familiarity. Therefore, this past weekend was a much needed change of pace, as instead of personally doing more travelling, my sister came to Zurich to visit me.

Aside from providing a break from the continuous travelling, seeing my sister also helped to stop the feelings of home sickness that I’ve been having lately. I’m about halfway done with my exchange semester so far, and it feels like each week my phone calls with my parents are becoming longer and longer. However, from the second I gave my sister a big hug in the airport, all of those emotions went away and it almost felt like I was back home again.

In addition to my sister curing my home sickness, having her visit me had a lot of other minor perks, such as all the American snacks she brought and the hotel in Zurich she got us for the weekend. Living in a dorm for so long almost made me forget how amazing it felt to sleep in a normal-sized bed and not have to share a bathroom with 15 other people.

View from the hotel

Now, while I could probably write this entire blog about the hotel or the American snacks, I did actually have to show my sister around Switzerland and act as a guide for the weekend. After being a lost tourist in every place that I’ve been too lately, it was interesting being the one that knew where everything was and how things work. That included everything from buying train tickets to planning out the days. It was satisfying to know that within two months I’ve mastered the basics of living in Switzerland enough to properly navigate someone around, a drastic progression from the twenty minutes I used to take to buy one train ticket.

My sister arrived on Friday, and most of that day was spent relaxing, walking around, and most importantly catching up with each other. I didn’t even really want to do anything that day besides just hang out with her, as I’ve realized that no amount of phone calls or texts can beat actually being with someone in person.  Plus, even though I live only 20 minutes outside of Zurich, I haven’t had that many chances to casually stroll the beautiful city.

We could’ve talked about life for the entire weekend and it still wouldn’t have been enough time, but we did have to do at least a little bit of sightseeing in Switzerland together. Having been to Mount Rigi once already and Luzern multiple times, I knew that it was the perfect choice for a day trip to take with my sister.

The day ended up going better than I could’ve imagined. This was about my third or fourth time in Luzern, but the town looked more picturesque than ever. There was an entirely different atmosphere walking around the town with the sun shining than when it was 20 degrees last time I went. The streets being filled with food markets combined with the people laying out and tanning by the lake made me feel like I was back in Barcelona instead of Switzerland. That environment continued when we went up to the mountain later on in the day, as it was covered in greenery and flowers, instead of the snow that I remembered. I don’t think my sister expected to be wearing shorts and drinking iced drinks on a mountain when she booked the trip to Switzerland a few months ago. To top it all off, we took a boat from Luzern to the base of the mountain, which was a far better experience than the bus I took last time to get there.

                   Spring time Luzern
                          View from Mount Rigi









Now, there was another, and far more insignificant, reason that my sister came to Switzerland, besides to see me. On Sunday, she had to take care of just some business: running a marathon. Actually, my sister running and finishing a marathon was anything but insignificant. This was about my sister’s fifth marathon and the one with the toughest circumstances so far. She had only flew in two days prior, which meant that she was still dealing with the jet lag from the flight. It was also the hottest day and most humid day of the entire weekend, which even made me sweat just from cheering her on. However, despite these tough factors, my sister completed the marathon and I couldn’t have been any more proud of her.

Monday morning it was time to part ways and for me to go back to my regular study abroad life. However, the weekend was just as enjoyable and far more meaningful than any trip I’ve done so far. Seeing my sister confirmed that there truly is nothing more gratifying in life than the simple activity of spending time with family and loved ones. I wouldn’t want to walk around Zurich or visit a Swiss mountain with anyone else, and inspired is an understatement for how I felt when she crossed the finish line.



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