Moving, Personal, Travel

Swimming with Mountains

Part of the view from Saffa Insel
Part of the view from Saffa Insel

When I was in Zurich my hostel was right by Saffa Insel, i.e. Lake Zurich; it was a horribly hot day, so of course, I went swimming. I just… I can not even describe the moment I looked towards the Alps and went ‘Oh.’ I was hit with so many emotions; treading water I was almost in tears. There was the surrealness that I felt and then there was everything else I was feeling. I am so very proud of myself to be blatantly honest. I have made it across the world this year.

As the year was starting it was not even sure if I could go on exchange. I was waiting for medical results that would define this year and had also just had surgery. I was still in pain and the wound was only starting to heal. Luckily, my results were clear and I headed out to my exchange, still healing but excited and scared.

I have found more of myself this year than I think I ever even knew there was. Leaving home for the first time made me grow up. I’ve learnt to negotiate living with people. I’ve learnt about dealing with new medical problems and have even learnt to do my own washing (kind of).

There have been moments where I was terrified, or angry or plain upset and wanted my family more than anything but having to work through my problems and my own thoughts has given me a strength I never knew I had.

It has also made me realise that I can do and be anything. There is nothing holding me back. The same with every person. We are not stuck in one place, to one job, or to certain people. We can get up and leave; we can explore and wander and find new things everyday, whether that be within ourselves or in surroundings.

The point I am getting to here is that I am amazed at this world and I am amazed at the possibility in every human being. I hope, more than anything else, that everyone can see that possibility and grasp it. Take a risk, do something silly, do something insane or maybe just take a tiny step outside your comfort zone. You may just discover the world is not so scary after all.

Image by Roland zh (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


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