Talk to people. Wherever you go. It's pretty lovely how small the world becomes the more people you meet. Continual connections and newfound similarities with those from different backgrounds and unfamiliar lands proves our ability to relate and adapt.
We're three American chicks, who are now the adopted children of the most wonderful swiss family in the whole of the country. I'm sure of it. The adoption process may have been unofficial, but the love is real. Sarah met Manuele while he was traveling the states... and thank God for that. We couldn't feel any more fortunate this friendship was formed. Not even for the perk of a free place to live for a few days- which was amazing- especially when visiting one of the most expensive countries in the world. But the friendship! What an incredible guy with the most kind and welcoming family. He graciously invited us to multiple outings with friends who generously allowed us to experience a glimpse of an average day in their life. We truly couldn't feel any luckier for having the opportunity to meet such amazing people.
One of our favorite memories of Manuele was when we were having a beer on top of a castle in Schaffhausen. His phone rang and so a normal conversation ensued. Schuyler said, "He sounds SO Swiss German on the phone." And without hesitation or even eye contact, the most Americanized, "Fuck you" came from his mouth... and then his Swiss German conversation continued. At this point we already knew we were friends, but that "fuck you" solidified it. And fifteen minutes later... We hugged goodbye. Although, we wouldn't call it a goodbye because we insisted he meet us later in our travels. It was sad. What a guy.
Just before we left Zurich, our new Dad told us, "If you shout into the forest it will come back to you, so make sure you shout something beautiful... which you girls obviously do, which is why everyone has been so wonderful to you." He also gave us the sweetest book called The Little Prince to read together during the rest of our travels. It's a book about how our creative mind and our view of the world drastically change from childhood to adult life. Though we've only gotten through the first few chapters, it seems to teach the art of preserving these adolescent traits that are fundamental to experiencing a full and meaningful life. Simply amazing.
The interconnectedness of people from opposite sides of the planet is beautiful.
Travel. As much as you can. And don't forget to talk to be people! You never know who you might meet... and who may turn your life upside down. Or right side up.