I was 23 when I first left my country. The first time to be away from my family, the first time to travel to Europe, my adventure. I could still remember that day when they all took me to the airport, my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends – quite disheartening, actually. I was sad to leave them, but at the same time, looking forward to my journey.
A week after I’ve arrived in Switzerland, it started snowing. I couldn’t believe my eyes; the whole world was blanketed in white! It was so incredibly gorgeous and perfect, no footsteps in it, just lumps and bumps where plants sat in the gardens and cars entirely covered in snow. I was mesmerised. As soon as I’ve felt its powdery texture, I thought to myself, “This was the White Christmas people were dreaming about.” I couldn’t imagine that just a week ago, from sweltering morning – traffic starting to build up in Manila. The noise of cars, taxis, motorcycles, vans and jeepneys beeping and honking, children going to school and adults to work, street vendors selling taho (soya) or peanuts. Such a difference! A normal hectic day in Manila compared to a peaceful, snowy one in Switzerland.