Cultural Immersion by: Kathleen Moran

Many individuals dream of traveling the world. It is those who are fortunate enough to pursue their adventures that are able to share their incredible stories.

Traveling has always been an important part of Susan Bauer’s life. She enjoys experiencing different cultures as well as visiting her family.

Susan Bauer has been a world traveler her entire life. Susan’s late father, Victor LaFranchi was from southern Switzerland and she traveled there many times and still does to this day. “When I went there for the first time, it was life changing,” Susan said. “My family there is wonderful and seeing where my grandmother grew up and where my uncle was born was very special to me,” she said.

Out of the 12 different countries Susie has traveled to, Maggia, Switzerland is her favorite place to visit. It is a place where she can hike trails; take in the sights of snow capped mountains, lakes, rivers and small villages. Susan said when she retires; she would like to live there a couple months out of the year.

When asked what her favorite thing about traveling was, she said she loved meeting people from various countries and of course the amazing food.  Some advice she gave for travelers was to, “travel light and don’t take too much. You’ll be happier if you aren’t lugging around a huge suitcase.”

With traveling to 23 different countries it is safe to say Jamie Alliston has experienced quite the variety of cultural experience. Jamie is a junior at Washington State University and has skied in the Swiss Alps and also lived out of a backpack for two months.

Jamie said her favorite part about traveling was, “not only meeting new people but seeing their perspective on life.” She said different things become more important and it takes going to different parts of the world to realize that.

Jamie’s main piece of advice for traveling was to go alone. “I can’t even explain it, but it rids you of a crutch and forces you to branch out,” she said. Some of the best places she went to were off the beaten tracks. Lastly, she said to spend your money, “not on stupid things like chocolate and pop, buy souvenirs for yourself and go on excursions, you will regret it if you don’t.” Jamie’s fondest memories were skydiving in Switzerland and riding horses through the national forest in Ireland.

After all of her incredible excursions, she said traveling brought her new insight to her life. “It has changed the way I see the world, our country and especially myself,” she said.


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