My Summer Abroad

(All photos courtesy of Chelsea; featured photo is Palma de Mallorca- Spain)

When the last day of my first year abroad came to an end and I walked out the door on the final day, I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I was free! ….And then the weight came back a bit when I realized I forgot my phone there, haha! But in any case, the summer of 2013 was before me, and I enjoyed every second.

Firstly, let me explain the plans I had made for the following year (the school year of 2013-14). When I came to the area, it was with the conviction that I would become fluent in French, which proved much more difficult than I realized. So, for several months, I searched for ways to stay and work on my French. I ended up applying and getting accepted to a French program for foreigners at the University of Geneva, which would give me a diploma and take one and a half years to complete. I also set up a job with a new family actually located in Geneva (as opposed to my location across the border in France the first year), though I didn’t put a lot of effort into the search, which I would come to regret later.

My first three days of vacation were spent house sitting for some friends up the hill, who had a sweet senile dog, a kitchen full of food, and a pool. What more could a girl ask for during her first free days? I attempted to tan, which didn’t work, but it was amazing nonetheless. I don’t think I’ve ever been so relaxed.

Adventure #2 was to take a one week vacation with my Brazilian bestie on the island of Mallorca. The trip was full of cheap food and booze, an endless beach, free floaties to borrow, and hot European men. Seriously the best way to spend time with a girlfriend, especially one as gorgeous as her since there was not one hot guy who failed to look her way. I think Mallorca is a required destination for the young and single.


(Mallorca beach Brazil)

The next stop was home! Oh, how it’s good to be home when you live so far away! The time spent is never enough, but the memories are always sweet. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to, but I got the boost I needed to soon return to Europe. I only had one more little trip left before returning to Geneva, and that trip would be my last breath of fresh air for awhile.

My last summer adventure was to Ireland, specifically Dublin and Galway. I went with no plan other than to spend the first two days in Dublin with a friend. I got to explore both cities fairly well and decided I definitely have to return, both for Galway again and to see the rest of Ireland. Everything was magically beautiful, excepting only the dirty streets of Dublin. I really felt like I was in a fairy tale, being well supplied with amazing scenery, kind people and good food. I would love to spend an entire summer or semester there.

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(From top to bottom: the Mini Cliffs of Moher , A “Grandma’s” teashop in Galway, Dunguaire Castle -Ireland)

Finally, it was time to return to Geneva and start my new job right away. Not only that, but I also had to study for my French entrance exam and mentally prepare for proper schooling again. The schooling has definitely progressed better than my jobs, but that’s for the next post  ;)

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(Powerscourt Gardens and Castle – Ireland)


Chelsea Fairless

Chelsea is a home-bred Texan currently living in Geneva, Switzerland and studying French at the University of Geneva, while living and working with a family as a part-time nanny. She has been living in the Geneva area since August 2012. You can follow more of her story on her blog and other social media sites.