Great things never came from comfort zones
It all started long time ago. Out of dreams from the school times right when I started learning German and Country Studies, it was born – that crazy idea that once it should happen – I just have to visit the country of spectacular Alps, sweetest chocolate, delicious cheeses, precise watches and reliable banks.
And then Rotaract happened in my life, but the Swiss trip didn’t right away. I had to wait, it turned out for 2 years literally – at first another beautiful Ukrainian rotaractor – Anastasia Sleptsova was chosen, Country Representative of Ukraine in ERIC right before me; one year after Swiss rotaractors didn’t announce anything – was following them 😅 and finally 2017 – spent like 3 hours on filling in all the forms, applied fingers crossing. However, my effort were paid off – I received email and couldn’t believe my own eyes: “Dear Lena / Congratulation! You were chosen to join the Swiss Roundtrip 2017 in July”
There was no limit to genuine childish joy, because at last – that cherished dream had to come true. Then there was a transfer fee for the participation and tickets bookings. Such trivia, I guess.
And I didn’t have time to recover as I stood at the beautiful Zürich airport and waited for two lovely ladies from the HOC team – Natascha Hort (Country Representative of Switzerland and Liechtenstein) and Michèle who were patiently taking care of us, another 5 participants, during the whole Roundtrip – so that we would not get lost, not miss the trains, so that tickets to all the activities received, so that the host clubs did not “offend us” – kidding. Let’s say that the trip stays in our memory forever. As an unforgettable and exciting adventure.
To the words of the participants – the squad was once again well-balanced – I will start with the girls, apart from my beautiful person, – Tiffany Hsu, RAC New York at the United Nations, and Zoe Lim, RAC Sunway University, Malaysia. The men’s half of the “dream team” “built” Genaro Lopez, RAC Tijuana Nueva Generación, Mexico; Levent Tökün, RAC Maslak, Turkey, and Lionel Roth from RAC Brussels Coudenberg International, Belgium. And one more significant thing – we had our own photographer Craig Simons (RAC London, Great Britain) who wasn’t a participant himself but without whom we couldn’t imagine our trip be such a great success.
Then, according to the classics of the genre, it was all the more exciting – that feeling when you are jealous of yourself, because you are able to see all this beauty of the mountain ranges, snow tops, the transparency of the mountain lakes with your own eyes, when your skin picks up the pleasant coolness of the narrow tunnels which are taking you all closer to the incredible landscapes, which take your breath away and you do not know whether to inhale or to cry from happiness (literally), when you are barefoot walking on the green grass, and then just lying on it and sleeping in the shade of the trees after another great city tour. Traveling for me is always about feelings, perception and experiences. And also about people. There were plenty of them all. Rotaract, new friends, after meeting whom your heart falls apart when you have to say those painful goodbyes in each single city (btw there were a lot – Zürich, Bern, Lausanne, Zermatt – the foot of the Iconic Mountain Matterhorn – you probably know it by the chocolate Toblerone, Basel, Lucerne, Lugano and again Zurich).
Between the cities we took trains – SwissPass bought in advance saves a lot (price was even higher than trip participation itself – not a cheap country if you want to travel on your own), which allowed not only to skip buying tickets, but also to have discounts or even “rides” on the steamboats or climb the cable car. We also visited jazz festivals and museums (in particular, I was impressed by the Museum of the Olympic Games in Lausanne), and enjoyed a cheese fondue in Zürich and riding kickbikes (hybrids of a bike and skate) down the Zermatt Mountain. Advice – if you are trying something like this – be always careful on steep turns. I somehow managed to do that without injuries this time 😂
About Switzerland itself I can talk for hours, enjoying the red dry in the close circle of friends, but it’s better to see everything with your own eyes, nobody will describe and color it better than them. Believe me I know as a person who travels quite a lot. Now Switzerland is among my favorites. HOC team and our dream team girls and boys are all my close friends now. Unbelievably thankful to the Universe – it gave me such a gift to meet all those people and be part of their lives.
After all, as someone from the great people said “Great things never came from comfort zones” – do not be afraid to sail off the safe shore and just apply if we are talking about those Roundtrips. So what you are getting after and staying with you forever – impressions – cool and unforgettable, in fact, fabulous landscapes, adventures, true friendship for half a life at least 😂 or something why the heart fades and we got used to call it love. Hah yeah almost forgot – some practical souvenirs ofc – we got a wonderful Swiss knife – HOC team thank you once again for that – it’s full of lovely memories as my IPad folder with all those beautiful pictures. I just took tons of them 😅 Just couldn’t stop myself – such a beauty around.
Vice President 2017/18 of
RAC Kyiv City
Country Representative of Ukraine in ERIC 2015/17