Learn to appreciate the place you visit

Mackenzie Freund, City Editor

Traveling abroad is an amazing experience that not a lot of people get to have.

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Germany and Switzerland my senior year of high school to sing with my choir.

I got to go to all of these amazing landmarks and churches, and I got a tour of the house that Beethoven lived in when he lived in Bonn, Germany.

Traveling abroad is something that I want to do for the rest of my life once I have enough money to do it.

I love traveling to other countries to get to know the culture and the history behind the historic landmarks.

For instance, did you guys know that in the Dom Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, there is the oldest known large crucifix? What about the shrine to the three wise men?

I see many people go study abroad and are excited to be there, but then they do not go out and explore the historical side of the country they are in.

When I was in Switzerland, I was able to sing in the Jesuit Church in Lucerne.

We went on a tour of the church and learned that it is the first large baroque church north of the Swiss Alps.

There are so many different historical landmarks to be explored when people go abroad.

Did you know the oldest wooden bridge in Switzerland dates back to the 14th century and has original paintings underneath the roof?

It is the Chapel Bridge and, while it had to be restored from 1993 to 1994, part of the bridge is still the original.

Going out and experiencing different cultures can better us as students and as people, but actually wanting to learn about another country makes all the difference.

I personally find the history of a town or a country or even just a church interesting, because it adds another view on culture to the place I am visiting.

When we were in Lucerne, we got to see the Lion Monument, which is a dying lion carved into a wall of sandstone that sit above the pond.

Learning about the history can be interesting as long as you make it so.

I have heard people talking about how they want to go somewhere just because it is a “cool place to visit” and then do not experience the culture.

When I was at dinner one night in Switzerland, we learned the hard way that if you drop something in the fondue bowl, you have to go around the table and kiss everyone of the opposite gender on the cheek.

That may not seem like a huge deal, but with a group of 50 people, it can take up some time.

I think people underestimate the amount of fun they can have when they are learning new things.

At that same dinner, I got up to learn a traditional Swiss dance and ended up learning a couple of more dances from a Lucerne resident.

I wish people were more excited about learning about the history of a city in another country.

I also wish more people were open to trying other food and not just going to a chain restaurant because it delivers.


Mackenzie Freund is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]