Today I’m reflecting on travels in Switzerland, because it was 5 years ago this weekend that I took a quick jaunt there with one of my best friends. That was a different era in our lives- we were both studying abroad and had far more flexibility than at present. Postgrad life, jobs, and the real world in general tend to get in the way of exotic travels.

In retrospect, that’s what really made the trip special. We had no other real concerns weighing on our minds- our coursework was manageable and we didn’t have stressful jobs or anxiety-inducing living situations to bring us down. It was just the two of us, exploring Geneva and Montreux.

This was one of the first trips I ever took where I flew alone. I navigated an airport where English was not the primary language and found my way exactly where I was going. I’ve flown alone much more since then (though not much in foreign countries) and it’s become the norm for me. Traveling independently is a good and important skill to have. It feels good to be on your own and know that you can navigate the world.

My senior year of college, I wrote an honors thesis on Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction and memoir. Little did I know when I was in Montreux, but the little town was Nabokov’s home for several years. He lived in the Montreux Palace Hotel from 1961 until his death in 1977. Montreux gained extra significance in my eyes over a year after my visit, solely because of all the connections to my thesis research. Funny how the lens of memory can have such an impact on how we feel about things long after they happened.

Here are some photos, to indulge in this stroll down memory lane.

Next post will be Rochester-focused, so stay tuned!


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