They sent me to Binghamton

I've always wanted to be on the east coast, and the universe responded…by sending me to Binghamton, NY. Oh you've never heard of it? Neither had I, but I do so love adventures and that's how I choose to view this. Let the adventures begin!


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Follow Your Curiosity

I’ve heard various talks and read several posts over the years regarding passion. From,

“Follow your passion! Don’t let anyone stop you from going after your dreams!”

to

“Following your passion will make you lose love for that passion! It’s good to have work separate from your passion!”

But I have to say, I think Elizabeth Gilbert’s take on it (author of Eat, Pray, Love) may be my favorite. After years of preaching to follow your passion no matter what, through the long days and even longer nights, through the doubts of yourself and others, and through the seemingly futile efforts to get anywhere only to end up exactly where you started from, she rescinds her former advice. She talks about a moment in which she realized that although her path worked for her, a path clearly marked by her undying passion that she’s had since the age of 5, not everyone can relate to that. In fact, most people in her personal life, whom she admires deeply, did not have a clear path marked by a single passion. Instead, their paths were more like a labyrinth, or a pinball machine, as she described it. Messy, seemingly all over the place, but leading them to a wonderful place nonetheless. So now, rather than advising people to follow that one burning passion until the end of time, she instead advises people to follow their curiosity. When something looks interesting, tilt your head a little a la German Shepard puppy style and see if it leads anywhere.

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If not, eh, no big deal, but you never know. It may end up leading…to your passion.

I suggest watching the video because my paraphrasing certainly does not do it any justice, but basically my take-away from it is that when it comes down to it, you should just

doyou

😀

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Going Off the Grid in Switzerland

While I was in France, gallivanting through Paris, Versailles, and Reims, I was active on social media and interacting with my friends back home quite regularly because I knew they were worried about me traveling by myself given the recent events in Paris. However, as soon as I met up with my family in Zurich, Switzerland, I went off the grid. I stopped uploading photos, stopped looking at Facebook and Instagram notifications, and felt absolutely free.

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In hindsight, I probably should’ve informed my friends whom I was interacting with regularly that I was planning to do this so they didn’t think something bad had happened…oops…but when they emailed me, at least I responded then, right? Right.

In any case, it was my first time visiting my family in Zurich. I’m one of the last among my cousins to visit them. Again, oops…but better late than never, right? Right.

As I got off the station, I was greeted by this huge Swarovski-bedazzled tree.

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My aunt and uncle came to get me and as we went outside we were greeted with…more lights!

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The next day they took me to Lucerne where I got to see the Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) and the Dying Lion Monument.

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Kapellbrucke (Chapel Bridge)

 

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Crossing the Kapellbrucke

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The Dying Lion – A memorial for the Swiss Soldiers who died fighting for the French Revolution

I also got introduced to the Swiss gingerbread man, which is like a pretzel man with raisins. Delicious and available only around Christmas time.

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Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Switzerland without fondue and raclette, right? And so…

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Raclette with the family

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Cheese Fondue (mmmmm)

On my last day, we explored Zurich during the day. We had Gluwein (mulled wine), macarons, crepes, walked around and shopped for a bit (well, I did at least), and enjoyed the sights along the way. The photos below were taken from a spot where my cousin apparently takes all her dates. I can see why she takes them there. 😀

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It was so wonderful to be disconnected during this part of my trip. It made me realize how much I’m on my phone when I’m back home, which is likely why my mind hardly gets as quiet as it does when I’m on vacation. I love it. While I do love being connected to people, I also cherish the times when I’m just doing what I want to do, not communicating with anyone other than the people I’m physically with, and just being truly present in the moment.