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Three of the things in life that I find the most joy in are travelling, photography, and learning- all of which I can do through this program. ASU will be providing me an opportunity like no other where I get to do and see the things I am most curious about while earning upper-division honors credits. I think the widened perspective on global culture that comes with travelling to a foreign country is invaluable and something everyone should have the chance to do. Seeing as this program includes a week in Switzerland and my mom's side is Swiss, I want to take this as my best opportunity to pick up on the customs and traditions of my ancestors.
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Due to my bad spine, I was dreading the actual travel aspect- flying for 12 + hours and frequent train rides. However, for Christmas, as a present from my grandpa and grandma, I received a more modified travel pillow for my neck (so hopefully I can sleep on the plane and not worry about pain so much).
And because I'm so fond of traveling, I also got a world map to hang up in my dorm room and pin point the places I have travelled to. I hope I can add to my destinations by taking weekend trips to nearby cities while I'm abroad (Berlin or Munich might be cool). If anyone has any suggestions for weekend trips, I would love to hear them!
Switzerland: My Identity & The World's Happiest Place
After doing some digging around on Ancestry.com over the holidays, I was able to trace my mothers side back to Switzerland. Her maiden name, Rummer (or Römer in the original spelling), is Swiss and she is primarily Swiss as well. Truthfully, the only thing I really know about the Swiss is the stereotypical chocolate and yodeling. So, yes, I have much to learn about my own background.
However, one of the reasons why I am so excited to visit is not only the ancestry I have there, but the fact that they are within the world's top 5 happiest countries year after year. I want to figure out what is it about their culture and overall ways of life that make them so happy as a collective. This is why traveling is my favorite hobby- you're able to pick up on the little traditions that make a culture great.