"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Sunday, August 08, 2010


This made me miss my summer in Switzerland back in 1990.

Twenty years ago, I spent a summer in Europe walking trails, reading and writing a lot. And believe it or not, eating a lot of vegetables! (That was news when I was 20. I was not the healthiest eater. And mind you, that hasn't changed much!)

I had just finished university and had not started working. My aunt who lived there hosted me and my friend Peach joined me in my trip. We also got to go to Austria, Germany, Belgium and the UK. But Switzerland was where I spent what is so far the longest, most idyllic vacation I've ever had in my life.

That was also the first trip I took outside of the Philippines, and you know anything that you see or experience for the first time is a little more special than the other times that follow. Since then I've been fortunate to have seen many other countries, but I remember Switzerland with much fondness. Traveling really does open up your mind, and if you're lucky, your heart too.

I wonder when I'll be able to take a vacation that long again. I met up for coffee and cake today with this friend of mine who has left her job and has taken the rest of the year off. Wow. How does that feel? Would I even want to do that? Twenty years in the workforce has turned me into the kind of person who can't take long vacations. Or at least one who prefers not to. Since I started working, the longest vacation I've had was three weeks and it was already too long. I got bored by week three.

I'd like to think I still have it in me. That I can still take a break like my trip to Schweiz. How does it feel to have time to stare at walls? Or 'dare to eat a peach?' Or hand-write one letter after another?

(Photo credit: Katarina 2353)

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