Zurich Openair 2018

 It was one of the last summer weekends we had, so we made the most out of it with screaming and dancing at the Zurich Openair 2018.

This was my first time going to an actual festival, that wasn’t just for one day. Unfortunately, school started some weeks ago and because of that I missed out on acts like Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar. That didn’t stop us from having the best time on Friday and Saturday.

We bought our tickets already almost half a year ago, which resolved in not knowing the acts that were playing. This was probably pretty risky, but we knew that no matter who is playing the music is going to be great. My favorites definitely were: Dennis Lloyd, songs like “Nevermind” or “Leftovers” are on top of my playlist, Alt-J, which I didn’t know before seeing the lineup, but I LOVE his songs and even more after seeing him life and Justice, a French DJ-Duo that had great beats.

The Zurich Festival is filled with nice food stands, different tents that are either full with tables to eat, lounges or DJ’s that give an option to the normal acts on the main stage. I feel like the age range was mostly between 20 and 30, so we were pushing that age down a little. Also, next to people dancing and enjoying the music, fashion was a big thing. There were loads of people with really nice outfits, maybe sometimes a little over the top for a festival…

The weather was on our site, which maybe didn’t look like it on the first glance, but we were supposed to have rain 24/7, the whole weekend. But, surprisingly we never really were in the rain, because the evening always cleared up. Nevertheless, our shoes were covered in mud and directly made their way into the trash.

Over all I loved it. It was a great first festival, it was a great weekend and it was the best end to an amazing summer.

The pictures are all taken by either a disposable camera (colored) or the old analog camera from my dad (black and white). This also mainly the reason why it took me so long to publish this, because I’ve just been too lazy to scan all the pictures. So here you go

 Justice

 

English Vacation

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before t gets dark.” John Muir

If you think about England, things like rain or bad food maybe pop up in your head. Well, I spent two weeks on the coast of Cornwall with almost no rain and delicious food every day.

I totally fell in love with England, even though I only saw a little part of it. I’ve only visited London, but I really liked already. Now I had the chance to see more of England’s nature and smaller towns that aren’t the most well-known but definitely worth a visit. Next to nature and cities, the English people were a blessing and just really nice and polite.

I travelled with my family and we rented a car in Bristol to drive down the coast. We stayed in three different cities starting with Newquay. It’s a total surfers paradise and that’s also how the shops and cafes were like, modern and especially good for young people. It was filled tourists which maybe was a little too much, but I guess I can’t say much because in the end I’m a tourist too.

I’ve never surfed before, but I wanted to try it since forever. I had a lesson of two hours which gave me a nosebleed, a big smile and sore muscles. And I’m definitely going to stand on a board soon again.

Our next stay was in Penzance, which is was a little bigger and less touristy than Newquay. Only 15 minutes driving will bring you to St.Michaels Mount, which is an island that you can walk to, during low tides, and you need to take a boat to, during high tides. For the second time we chose to go to Truro, mainly because I wanted to do a little shopping trip, but we ended up spending a lot of time in an old teahouse for high tea. Another day we looked at the Minack Theatre, that’sa theatre built in a cliff where you not only have the view on plays, but also over the ocean. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get tickets anymore for the remaining days.

Our last stop was Falmouth and it was by far my favorite place to stay at. It’s a proper city, maybe not the biggest one but filled with really cool spots. One thing that surprised me a lot but also made me so happy, was that in this little city there were second hand shops on every corner. Especially, because they were really nice ones, that had their one feeling. From this city we also made a trip to the Lost Gardens of Heligan, which is probably more for families but still it’s pretty amazing to see a jungle landscape in the middle of cloudy England.

Once and for all, I loved my time there and I’m looking forward to the next time I can visit. I was extremely surprised of all the unique stores, coffeeshops or restaurants that were in every town, but especially Falmouth was filled with them. I wish I had eternal space for home and decorating pieces, but at least I could take a lot of impressions and pictures with me.

La Dolce Vita in Italy

Going on vacation is probably most people’s favorite thing to do. But it’s an adventure itself when you pack your bags for a vacation with your best friends.

With a train and some unlucky train confusion we arrived in the little village Pella in Italy after around six hours. We were eight girls, in a house with three levels that had the rooms inside but the stairways and corridors outside. Our bedroom was a mess, our bathrooms were filled with make-up and we had mountains of food in the kitchen waiting to become our day and midnight snacks. This could be the nightmare for every mother but for us it was the recipe for one week of perfect Italian vacation.

Most of the time we had, we spent on two small boats and floaties in the middle of the lake. Almost catching a sunburn, blasting out loud music that varied from Spanish to English or our personal singing-favorite: Swiss…

On our second day we went up to the church that is literally on the edge of a cliff, which is called “Madonna del Sasso”. To get up there you need to take a train, that looks like a real-life toy-train and barely fits through the little Italian streets. The view from there was absolutely stunning and you could see the whole lake.

The following day we decided to take a boat tour to the other end of Lago d’Orta to see the weekly market of Omegna. Omegna is small and there are parts of it that almost reminded me of pictures from Venice or Amsterdam, but it’s definitely not a huge city. Italian markets are always really nice to stroll through and look at all the little pieces. My favorite part is always the food, which is really authentic! I ended up only buying a foot bracelet and some food for my family.

On our way back to Pella we stopped in Orta, which as my parents would say, is like Italy in the fifties which pretty much sums it up. There are no big stores but little jewelry boutiques and tourist shops.

Italy is always a treat. No matter if you end up in a big city, the beach or like us, a little village at a lake. We had the best week, not just traveling but spending time together. Especially after not seeing most of us for a whole year there’s a lot to catch up with. And something I got to experience was, that even if we didn’t see each other for so long the friendship stayed the same. We definitely didn’t live Italy wrong, because we tried the ice cream, the pizza, the pasta and the wine.

All in all Pella made us feel a little less swiss and a little bit more Italian and I am definitely not mad about it. Ciao and the next destination is England, stay tuned!

Thank you Virginia Beach

Is it a goodbye or a see you soon?

We will always stay under the same moon

And while we’re apart,

This year will stay in my heart. – Antonia Lienhard, 4/11/2017

One week ago, I entered the airplane that made me leave the United States, my home for one year. Ten Months passed by extremely quickly but at the same time I feel like I have been living in Virginia Beach forever. Leaving is always hard, especially if you meet the amazing people that I can call my friends now.

Thank you, Virginia Beach. For an amazing year at the other side of the world. A second home, that I know I can always go back to and find people that will always have a special place in my heart.

Thank you, to those who always supported me. That wanted me to live the full American culture, with every restaurant, sports event, school activity or song choice. That are all part of the memories, which I could take home in the form of pictures and souvenirs.

This year maybe wasn’t always the easiest, sometimes I struggled, maybe I missed home, maybe I missed moments, people or places. But I know that it was the best experience you could possibly make. I know that I learnt a lot, of course I can say that I am pretty fluent in English now, but I also realized that sometimes you just have to make the best out of a situation. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and go for it, don’t hesitate if it’s the right decision, because I only had this one year to make it as great as possible, and if you don’t take the chance you lose it.

So again, thank you America and especially the Americans, for treating me well. I don’t know how my life would be without any of you and I am glad that I had the chance of getting to know you and your culture. Virginia Beach could never be my second home, without you guys there, but you gave the places a story.

I hope I can see you soon, if it is in Europe, America or anywhere on the world. Because life is not complete anymore without a little American sparkle in it.

The Last Days

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney

10 months are coming to an end. In one week I will already be home again and start my life in Switzerland. This year has been so fast and at the same time I saw so many things. I went all over the East Coast and even had the chance to travel to Hawaii. But most importantly I met people that I can call my friends now and learnt about a different culture.

Saying bye is the worst. And that’s what I have to constantly think about now. “Is this the last time I will see them?” I already had to say goodbye to some of the first friends and to be honest, it sucks. You’re wondering if this is even the last time you will ever see them. Of course, I would like to travel back to the US one day, but you won’t see each and every one again. I tell people to visit me in Europe, but unfortunately there’s a whole ocean in between.

The only way I can describe the feeling is a total mixture between excitement to finally come home and sadness because you leave everything you called home this past year. Of course I don’t want to leave, of course I don’t want to say bye to the people I started to love this year and that also made it as great as it was. But if I am honest I am also extremely excited to go home again, to finally see everyone again and live the life I am used to.

The countdown is going down and the last week will be done in a minute. This leads to stressing about packing and last things I want to do. Now I just hope all the packing goes well and I have the time I need to do everything.

Stuck in the Airport

16 hours inside Charlotte Airport, North Carolina

Impatiently waiting for the airplane to get faster, until the point where we will take off. But this moment is not going to happen in the next hour. The pilot sends out a message: we are over one hour behind because of a storm over the East Coast. Well, that day we didn’t make it on our second flight from North Carolina to Norfolk. The planned way home from Orlando to Norfolk took us in the end 13 hours longer than expected.

We were stuck. In an airport. Over night. What an adventure, is what I would answer. If something goes wrong you should make the best out of it. And that’s what me and my hostsister did: dancing Zumba in front of a Mexican restaurant, going up and down the escalator, drink some coke, drink coffee, more coke… caffeine kept us awake. After stocking up on snacks that the airplane gave out to the guests that stayed overnight we wanted to talk to people. A lot of other passengers had to stay there so we thought we use this chance for Storytime.

We talked to two fishermen from North Carolina, that showed us pictures from all their trips all around the different waters in America. We told them about our exchange year, about where we went, where we want to go and where we are from. One of them was a little older and he told us about stories of his trips in Europe and how much he liked it.

1 a.m., we met a pilot. He joined our conversation with the others. We kept on asking him questions about flying and how he deals with the responsibility of it. He told us how everyone blames the airplane cancelations on him, even though it’s because of storms or technical difficulties. It only took him one year to become a pilot, and wouldn’t it be with all the responsibilty behind it I would definitely consider this job.

No matter what time it was, we were awake and we were never alone. Someone is always working, cleaning, building or preparing.

This was the perfect ending of my trip to Orlando. It showed me that sometimes things don’t work like you planned them, but it can be the challenge you were waiting for. After those 16 hours without sleep and inside the Charlotte Airport, the only thing I wanted to do was to finally leave it. But I will never regret not going inside a hotel, because once in life you just have to sleep in an airport.

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the bed for the night

A whole new world

«The happiest place on earth.»    

Disneyworld doesn’t carry that title for nothing. Last week I could experience the magic in Florida and dive into a completely different world. I really like Disney and all their movies but I am not a fanatic. I can’t sing the soundtrack, I haven’t seen every movie (including Toy Story and the Lion King, yes I know guilty…) Still, I loved every minute in there. The rides might not be huge but they are really detailed and as cute as it can be.

But let’s talk about Magic Kingdoms big center: the castle. It’s in every movie and it’s also pretty disappointing when you realize that you’re not able to go in and that it’s not as sparkling as I imagined it. But let me tell you about one thing that is more magical than I ever expected it: the firework show. Every night at 9 PM they have a huge projected show on the castle, with the most famous songs featuring legendary scenes and matching fireworks that leave you speechless.

“It’s like stepping into all your favorite movies.”

After two days of Magic Kingdom we visited the Universal Studios and Universal’s Island of Adventure. I would definitely recommend you to go to Universal Studios if the weather isn’t great, because most rides are inside. Universal has a lot of 4D experience, where you think you’re on a rollercoaster but it’s only your chair that is moving and for example water or wind in your face. Island of Adventures has more rollercoasters and water rides, but each one is still movie themed. But by far my favorite part was Harry Potter World, which is separated in Diagon Alley in the Universal Studios, including all different stores and Hogwarts and Hogsmeade in Island of Adventures, where it is a must to try the sweet Butterbeer! It was like diving into a new world, full of magic. Also the rest of the park was as if you go from city to city, travel back in tme or into places that don’t even exist.

This was definitely a great experience and also a great last trip with my hostfamily, because in less than a month I’ll fly back and end this year.

A Night To Remember

It’s just all of us together and this one perfect moment.

The reason why people choose America as their exchange destination, the sparkling event that you admire: PROM (or in my case Junior Prom which is called Ringdance)

Everyone has their own expectations, some of the most popular movies give us a little taste of holy prom: from Footloose to High School Musical, Back to the Future or Twilight, Grease and Mean Girls. As you see there’s a big chickflix pattern on the list and maybe more girls look forward to show of makeup, hair and princess-like dresses.

But in the end if you buy your ticket it’s something you look forward to, no matter if you have a date or a good group of friends.

My day actually started the night before. To try curling and braiding versions we all slept over at a friends house and we ended up playing games and talking into the night. The next morning started early, because the time is gone faster than you think and after hair, makeup and dressing was finished, we already had to go for pictures. Before taking pictures me and another girl already lost lashes, which ended in a dramatic saving of the neighbor and fortunately we still had enough time to take the pictures, because if you don’t have pictures it didn’t happen (a wise saying of the Americans).

Dinner at the oceanfront and suddenly we were walking the steps into the Aquarium, a great place to have prom, because who doesn’t like to dance almost next to fish and stingrays? And there we were, in a room filled of everyone you see in school but at the same time we all looked so different. The popular crocs are now high heels or polished shoes, jeans and tshirt are switched with a suit or a long dress, everyone is shining (also with sweat because believe me, if you danced you were sweaty, there was no going back). Everyone looked great and everyone also knew they looked great, which left a nice confidence in everyone’s eyes. The songs were the most popular ones at the moment or some all-time favorites of America (like Kiss Me Thru the Phone, if you plan on singing at those dances this one is for sure there) and one where they sing the dancing steps you need to do. The high heels were outside from the first step into the Aquarium, so don’t buy expensive shoes you won’t need them. Of course you also have a king and queen (at Junior Prom it is prince and princess), that gets their title in the middle of the dance, followed by a slow dance.

Don’t go with high expectations, just enjoy the time and dance as if nobody looks at you, everyone will just feel the moment and not think about how others dance. Movies either show the picture perfect night or a horrible night. In real life it probably isn’t the best night of your life, but if you feel good, you will look good and you will dance good. The whole day was a blast, it’s not only prom itself, it’s everything around it that makes it a night to remember.

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Ringdance 2018
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Ringdance 2018

Southern Vibes

Spring Break calls for a new trip and this time I ended up down south. A week ago, I was fully in vacation mood, but that faded as fast as my attempting tan. First, I was tanning (or at least I was trying to) on Cocoa Beach. This was directly next to Cape Canaveral which is famous for the launch of the first rocket in America. And I’m proud to tell you, that I even saw a rocket launch from our balcony. My literal highlight of the week was, when I was flying over the coast of Florida. And if you thought I was flying as a passenger, you were wrong because I was flying it myself (with of course pretty big help of an actual pilot).

After that we went on the road back home, but because the way is around 12 hours of driving we decided to stop on Jekyll-Island and the small city of Savannah, Georgia. Jekyll-Island is one of Georgia’s barrier-islands and extremely beautiful. The whole island is covered in green, is biking and if you bike to a lake you might spot alligators and turtles, which you for sure won’t get on a lake in Switzerland

Savannah. What can I say, Savannah is small, historic and incredibly charming. For me one of the most interesting things was the girl scout’s history that took place in the city. In Savannah the American girl scouts was founded and even if I’d say that the scouts I am part of in Switzerland is more like Americas boy scouts, it was interesting to see how this organization developed.

Savannah is picture perfect. The trees all over the city, a wonderful Soda Pop Shoppe from the 50s and a man that was singing for us, about a beautiful day in the city of Savannah 100 years ago. Unfortunately, that also ended the trip and it ended my spring break.

An important thing for me is no matter where I go, I have to see a sunrise, especially when I’m at the beach. Here you are with a cloudy, early morning in Florida.

 

Exploring Hawaii 2.0

From hiking to the top of the volcano to snorkeling between corals.

Life is about reaching for the top and finding something beautiful on the ground.

Hawaii’s nature is one of a kind, the islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean have probably some of the most famous beaches and hikes. To experience a little bit of both, I first went on to Diamond Head, which is a volcano on the island of Oahu. The hike was really easy and after walking for less than an hour I was on top of it all with a view over forests, the ocean and Honolulu. Unfortunately we didn’t have perfect weather conditions, but even with a cloudy sky, it was worth it.

Let’s be honest, if you think about the first thing that comes into your head if you hear Hawaii, it’s the beaches that leave us speechless. Almost everyday we somehow ended up on Waikiki Beach, maybe in a sunrise, maybe running in our bikinis because a sudden storm came up. Waikiki Beach, is not only the basic sand and shore, it’s the little things like the music playing from all the small speakers and still harmonizing, the little campfires warming the night and the park right next to the beach, giving you an alternative to all the sand.

But to be honest with you, this wasn’t my favorite beach, I fell in love with Hanauma Bay. Hanauma Bay is a beach in a former volcano along the southeast coast of the Island Oahu. This was the first time I went proper snorkeling and I am afraid of sharks, jellyfish and anything else that’s dangerous in the sea. Even the smallest touch makes me freak out. But none of this mattered anymore when I was diving in the crystal clear water. I saw millions of different fish, every colour, every shape and the thing that made me the happiest girl in the ocean was when I saw two sea turtles. The silence underwater is one of a kind, it’s making you appreciate the whole underwater world even more.

To come to an end, you probably realised that I fell in love with Hawaii and the week I spent there.