I had an amazing start to my summer! The week after finals were done I jumped on a plane to head to Europe on a backpacking adventure. All I could bring was one backpack with maybe a total of seven outfits—for a month. Yes, maybe it does seem doable to some, but when there aren’t many laundry facilities around those seven outfits begin to feel like three. But anyway we won’t go there :)
I went with my good friend Sam and we kind of decided to just play the trip out as it went. We had some set plans like which countries we were going to, but how long we were staying, what we were going to do there, and where we were staying was all up in the air. I can’t say that was the best idea we had at times but it all worked out in the end.
We started off in Dublin, Ireland for a few days and then headed to Paris. The food in Paris was my favorite! I would list what I had ordered if I knew how to spell it and if I even remembered it but I do remember one thing and never will I forget—Nutella crepes, but I am not listing the number of Nutella crepes I very much enjoyed. From Paris we went to Interlaken, Switzerland, which was breathtaking in every way possible including the price of food. Our hostel suggested a cheap burger place to go to…so we went and paid $25 for a burger and fries!!! We decided not to go to the cheap burger place anymore and went to the market where prepackaged baloney sandwiches became both our lunch and dinner.
I went paragliding in the Swiss Alps, which I still look back on and have no idea how I got myself to start running off the mountain. We also climbed Harder Kulm, Interlaken’s home mountain with an elevation of 1,322 m (4,337 ft.). It took us about two hours and the name perfectly emphasizes the hike. Once we got to the top the rain stopped and a rainbow awaited us. We also rewarded ourselves with some chocolate cake at a restaurant that was at the summit of the mountain.
After Switzerland we ventured off to Venice, Italy, which is actually called Venezia in Europe so, if you ever go don’t get confused and get off at the wrong stop—twice. We finally learned that Venezia is the correct name. The whole time we were in Venice we were so sick that we had to stay in our hotel for two days straight. I only got two pictures the whole time I was there, but that’s okay because I’m determined to go back there someday.
From Venice we flew to Berlin, and then headed to Potsdam where I have a few friends I met though an exchange program. We saw a lot of cool things in Germany: the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, Holocaust Memorial, some palaces, and so many other cool sites! The last leg of our trip we headed back to Ireland and visited a small town called Galway on the western side of the country. We also traveled further south through a bunch of small little towns in Ireland, and saw a lot of other really fascinating places. My favorite spot was the Cliffs of Moher at the southwestern edge of the region. They were literally and figuratively breathtaking. There were no fences, gates or protection around the cliffs and tourists pass by a stone that remembers the people that lost their lives there. In spite of that, I crawled on my stomach out to the Cliffs and it was worth it!
After a month long journey of backpacking through five countries, getting lost a dozen plus times, and eating a dozen plus pastries (and Nutella crepes), it was time to head back to good old Sioux Falls. I learned so much on that trip about myself and about life but I won’t bore you with that stuff.
I haven’t been home a week yet and still adjusting to the time change but I am super pumped for the rest of the summer! I am keeping busy with babysitting, being a part-time nanny and volunteering when I can. I am also having a lot of fun running a book club with my youth group girls. I’m also really looking forward to lake days (my favorite) because I just got my fishing license and nothing beats sitting by a lake in the summertime. Running and biking are other fun hobbies of mine so in hopes of good weather I’m excited to start both up again! And I’ll be playing tennis of course; it was a nice break in Europe but I’ll be playing the rest of the summer to prepare for tournaments this fall with the rest of my Cougar teammates.
All in all my summer has been off to a great start and I am excited to enjoy the rest of it :)
- Joey Bosch
Junior, Women’s Tennis