Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dudingen!! (DOO-ding-en)

Whelp after 12 hours in a plane and 24 hour awake I finally made it to Dudingen, Switzerland!


I can not believe I am finally to this point. It seems like it was just yesterday I was signing my contract and saying to myself, “pfff, I have like 4 months until I leave. This is going to be the best summer ever!!”  Well I got one thing right. I had an AH-mazing summer. Even with work I found time to have a blast with all the people I have become so close to over the past 3 years living in Hermosa Beach aka “The Bubble”.  But now, here I am…sitting on my flight to Zurich, with SO many emotions rolled into this event. (one of them being frustration for the lack of wifi on this flight. I mean COME ON!!)

(my face when I found out no wifi for 8 hour flight to Zurich)

On the one hand I have been looking forward to this day for…well months now. And on the other am nervous, emotional, and even scared. Now, some of you may be saying, “why scared? You have done this before, been gone from family and friends for months at a time, played everyday and been all over the world blah blah", but it is very different this time around. Before the last few years I spent in Hermosa, I have not been in the same place for longer than 6 months since I was in college! The life I had in Hermosa was not only amazing (yay beach!) but I made some wonderful friends who became more than that…there were my family.  :) I smile right now thinking about the inside jokes/nicknames, themed parties, ace tournaments, monday night vball teams, netflix marathons and of course Wednesdays….those are my favorite. (you know who you are) 

This summer was no exception. To say I was a social butterfly may be a bit of an understatement.  Denver with Sloves, ace tourney’s with….everyone, Adult Nationals with “Thanks Champagne” (thanks Nikki!), WINNING 6-man (again Nikki!), #splooshhaus with my favorites, and of course my last weekend in the states at my parents in AZ with everyone that came to send me off. I can’t even remember one free weekend for months! (pictures to least one from each event) We always had something going on. EVERY summer I think the last one can’t be beat, and here I am saying, omg this was the best summer yet. That is a pretty great problem to have. 

I am so excited to be moving on to this next adventure. After my shoulder surgery 3 years ago I did not think I would ever be going back to play. What can I say? “The Itch” got me again.  I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the passion I have toward volleyball. This opportunity came and was something I couldn't pass up without regretting it forever.  I am SO excited to play again, be apart of a team again, and travel as much as possible. Switzerland is a unique opportunity that  allows me to do something I love and still be able to enjoy life outside the volleyball aspect. Days off I am free to travel and roam and see as much as I can (CASTLES!!!). Which I plan on taking FULL advantage off. 

The flights over to Switzerland have been great as well. For traveling half across the world, the travel time has been great. One flight from AZ to Washington DC (4 hours) and then on to Zurich from there (8 hours). Our coaches were waiting to pick up all 5 girls at the airport in a bus that will take us back to Dudingen. (need to find out how to get the two dots over the U when I type it…).  The toughest part so far was getting into Zurich around 8am, waiting for 3 hours for our teammates to get in and then driving 1.5 hours to Dudingen.  By the time I got back to the apartment I had been going on no sleep for 24 hours and was quite cranky. SORRY! We got to take a 2 hour nap (saved my life and possibly others too) and then had a light practice with most of the girls. This volleyball program is very cool as they integrate their younger girls directly into the team so we had a few of the elite girls on our team as young as 16! (holy hell does that make me feel old...which I am. The oldest on the team. -_- )

Of COURSE, our first night we had to go out. Don't ask me how I did it. I think I was delirious and just went with it.  There is a city about 10 minutes down the way by train, Fribourg, that has a fun social scene so we all went out to a local Irish Pub. It was so fun! The girls have a ton of energy and love to dance. Even the younger girls can come because the drinking age for beer and wine is 16. We have no practice this weekend so I didn't feel bad being super tired. We got home around 3am and I slept like the dead until 11:15am. Glorious.

(with a few of the girls, and wine of course. L to R: Des, Sarah, Allison, Me)

There are 5 girls on the team that are foreigners.  My roomies: Deseriee who played at LSU and is a MB, and Allison who played at KU and is an OH. Both girls are very nice and I think we will have fun living together. The other two are Kristin, who played at Iowa State and is our libero, and Lucky (Andrea) who is from Montenegro and our other MB. I am still getting to know more about her so more to come. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming.

 We are a walk away from anything we need, including the gym we play at, and a train ride from many other bigger cities including Berne, the capitol.  Our apartment is big and has everything we need, including wifi that reaches the whole apartment (insert sigh of relief). Our grocery store is on the way home from the gym so that is also very convenient. 

I can't wait to start a normal schedule here on Monday.  We leave very soon for a preseason tourney so I need to get in as much volley as possible. Can't wait to keep you posted on more about the Swiss adventure I am going on.

Next post will have pictures of the area and apartment. <3


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