RTW: Summer Holiday

This Week’s Topic Is: 
How did you spend/how will you spend the summer after graduation?

Having graduated high school in South Africa, our summer holiday was actually over Christmas. Still, I had a full two months off before starting university. My best friend from school and I spent a wonderful month in Switzerland living with her family in Chur. It was my first experience outside of the country and man did it open my eyes to the existence of a way bigger world than I could’ve imagined. We also spent a week in Vienna, Austria just before Christmas. Trawling the Christmas markets, attending a Mozart concert and visiting the wintry gardens of Schloss Schönbrunn are definitely some of my best memories.

Sadly not my photo (thanks Google) since I was still using film back then.

 

I graduated from my Bachelor’s degree in 2008. That time I had 9 months between graduating form one school in South Africa and starting my Masters degree at university in Finland. So with all that time to spare what’s a girl to do except hop continents. I spent 7 months in Perth, Australia teaching piano and bonding with parakeets. It was the first time I’d lived at the seaside and I took full advantage of that fact.

That's me watching a spectacular sunset over the Indian Ocean, photo taken on a camera phone.

 

Last summer having pretty much wrapped up my Master’s degree, I spent two lovely weeks in Romania meeting my fiancee’s extended family and hunting down Dracula in the Carpathians. I was less successful at the latter. Then I was back in Switzerland – the French side this time – for a long weekend before finalising my graduation papers.

Dracula's legendary hangout

This summer, which is technically the big bridge between being a student and being employed, I plan on doing as much writing as I can before the reality of being a dance teacher kicks in in August. So far I’ve been to Ireland to visit my extended family and will be spending mid summer away at a summer cottage in the middle of nowhere – as is Finnish tradition. Later this summer we’re heading to Berlin to kick back with a friend of mine who I studied with in South Africa. And that’s it. Then it’s time to be all grown up and actually earn a living for the first time in my life without the discount status of ‘student.’ Scary thought!

Rolling green hills of Ireland

 

I see a pattern here. Most summers since finishing high school have been spent in transit. But I love travelling so that’s just fine with me. Think we need to plan an epic road trip for next summer :)

 

So what are your post-graduation summer plans?

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  • http://www.colindsmith.com/blog Colin

    Wow! It’s cool that you’ve traveled so much, Suzanne. And having summer graduation over Christmas holidays seems odd to us northern hemisphere-ers. :) I hope you have great fun over the summer, and that everything goes well for in you in your job.

    • Suzanne_Writer

      I’ve been really luck with the travelling. I still think winter at Christmas seems strange :P And thank you for the well wishes :)

  • Stephanie Scott

    I love that you’ve been to so many places!

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Those were just during the summer ;) But yeah, I’ve been really lucky in my travels.

  • Robin Moran

    You know, I wish I had taken the advantage to travel and see Europe or America. But I needed the pennies first! Luckily I work in education so I still get a long summer holiday… maybe there’s a chance in the future!

    Sounds like a fantastic way to graduate!

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Travel! Even on a shoe-string. That’s how we do it. We even slept on a stranger’s couch in Latvia for a weekend because we didn’t have cash for a hotel or hostel. There are inexpensive ways to get around :)

  • Jaime Morrow

    Wow, you’ve been to some pretty great places. That photo of you and the sunset over the Indian Ocean is fantastic! So beautiful. :)

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Thank you. I really miss those evenings on the beach in Australia…

  • Melanie

    So jealous of all your travelling!

    • Suzanne_Writer

      :) If I could get paid to travel full-time, I would! :)

  • Crystal Schubert

    Your summers are way more awesome than any of mine have ever been! Awesome post.

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Thanks ;)

  • http://angelicarjackson.blogspot.com/ Angelica R. Jackson

    Wow, those are some great places and great experiences. I’m learning to love travel more–I’ve always been such a homebody!

    • Suzanne_Writer

      I go crazy if I don’t get away a couple of times a year at least. Once that travel bug bites, there’s no turning back :)

  • Sara Biren

    Whoa, you have been to some amazing places! Sounds like you’ve had some great experiences – and plenty of material to use from your travels!

    Enjoy your summer and good luck as you transition to, ahem, real life. :)

    • Suzanne_Writer

      Thank you! Yeah, have to start being all grown :/ but only in August!