From the Tropics to the Alps
After spending 4 months in Southeast Asia we really appreciate being back in the western world. You learn to live without the many amenities the west prides itself on, like hot showers, pedestrian right-of-way, and flushing toilets.
We arrived in Switzerland at the beginning of June and upon stepping out of the airport we immediately experienced culture shock. We walked into the cross walk and both flinched as a car came at us even though it slowed to a stop to let us pass. We marveled at the small things we didn’t even know we missed, and we embraced those luxuries we missed the most—the food.
We went to the grocery store and had so many options we almost couldn’t decide what to get. We picked up some cheese and wine before stumbling on the chocolate aisle. The sight of it made my jaw drop. Just about every conceivable flavor of chocolate made it difficult to decide, but we managed to settle on a bar of chocolate truffle.
Traveling in the developing world helps you realize that more is not always better and the simple life can be just as satisfying as life filled with so-called conveniences. For us traveling is an exercise in adapting to our surroundings and accepting things we cannot control. These skills serve us well by giving us perspective on what is really important and where to focus our energies. There are many aspects of Asia that we will miss during the next chapter of our trip, but most importantly we will revel in the subtle differences and similarities that each new place brings.