From Seychelles to Switzerland

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Taken with my Canon EOS650D. No filter.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of chillin’ with the very humble, very knowledgable and very experienced (as in life and everything life has to offer) Robert La Bua. He’s a truly spectacular individual, who is a Sydney-based travel writer for the CEO Magazine. I first met Robert in Seychelles, when I was an intern at Raffles Hotel and he was a press trip guest. I showed him around the resort and hosted a dinner with him, his photographer (John), and my boss. I was instantly drawn into Robert and John’s travel stories; they have been to countless of cities and exposed to more cultures than I can ever imagine. When Robert found out that I studied in Lausanne, we immediately exchanged contacts as he planned on coming here in December.

About a month and a half since we first met in Seychelles, Robert came up to my university in Lausanne. It was such a surreal experience- having met someone in Africa, and seeing him again in Europe. After I showed him around my university, we went to my dorm and talked about the places he had been the week before in Switzerland. He showed me gorgeous pictures of the Matterhorn and slightly creepy pictures of automatons in Neuchatel. It baffles me how much of Switzerland he has seen in one week compared to what I’ve seen in my three years here. This was his umpteenth time in Lausanne, so when he mentioned the existence of a Thai pagoda in Ouchy I was shocked; I had no idea such beauty existed. “Get your shoes on and let’s go!”, insisted Robert.

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Now that’s something you don’t see everyday- people all bundled up in front of a pagoda!

As we journeyed our way to Ouchy, I prodded Robert with questions about his life. How did he get into writing? What was he doing before that? When did he become an Australian citizen? Why does he speak fluent French? With every answer to my question, a riveting story began. One day, with more time and in another continent, Robert and I will sit down at a street-side cafe while I ask him about his life again. This time, I will publish a biography of his journey. Mark my words.

When we decided to go to Ouchy, I took my camera with me into Lausanne for the first time. I am so grateful I did, because I got to capture the beautiful landscape you see at the beginning of this post. It was around 4pm and the sun was just beginning to set. At the bottom right, you can see the clouds engulfing the city center (it was super gloomy and grey once we got to Bessieres) and far into the horizon you can just about see the silhouette of the mountains. This was a quick snapshot as I didn’t have time to move in front of the sign post, but I am still awed by it. The sight was beautiful to the eye, and it is even more beautiful in the picture (do you see the sun’s reflection in the car window?)

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