A Big Change From Sydney
Arriving in Kandersteg can be a bit overwhelming. It’s exciting, and it’s mind-blowing, but it’s also different. Very different.
For a start, travelling from Australia means that the time zone is different. The season and the weather has swapped around. Looking both ways before you cross the road becomes really important – even the roads and driving are opposite to what I know. The food and landscapes are all foreign too.
I have always been part of a small, tightknit family. At KISC, I am suddenly sharing a room for the first time with two blokes from the UK and Spain. Across Switzerland and even at KISC, the languages are different and the accents too. It’s a big change from Sydney. Different can be challenging, but it also represents the new. And new is exciting and memorable. And these experiences are the whole point of being here at KISC.
Despite all these differences, KISC feels like home. Arriving on the first afternoon and seeing the Centre and its rivers and mountains in the flesh after years of looking at pictures was a buzz. And its got better and better ever since.
The different accents and languages are amazing to listen to, and the Staff come from 23 countries – so there is plenty to learn and experience. The time zone and time difference is easy to manage, and the weather is not all that different after all – we have had fine and sunny weather at KISC for a month now and it feels more like an Aussie summer. And luckily Andy (UK) and Toni (ES) are great blokes and sharing a room is a whole lot of fun that seems completely natural. I’ve swapped my small family in Oz for an extended family of 61 Pinkies - some of the coolest people I have met. These are bonds that will last a lifetime.
It’s a big call to head across to the other side of the world and Live The Dream – but it is totally worth it. The beauty of it all is that Kandersteg International Scout Centre exceeds all expectations, and living in a real-life postcard with an incredible group of people is almost too good to be true. There are plenty of differences – but that is part of the adventure and this crazy place really does feel like home. We are brought here from all corners of the globe, driven by our love of Scouting and sharing the common desire to learn, see and experience as much of the new and the different as we possibly can.