Hallo aus Stuttgart, Deutschland!
As I pass the midway point during my time here in Europe, I want to thank PKF Mueller, PKF Wulf, and the PKF network for giving me the opportunity to partake in such a unique experience. I am a big believer that true fulfillment in life comes from exploring new places, trying new things, and ultimately seeking discomfort. Although these principles can be tough to stick to at times, I have promised myself to continue to strive towards these goals. Following this ideology will, without question, discover new interests in life as well as gain a new perspective. Needless to say, I guarantee that you will also meet some amazing people along the way, as I have during my various adventures thus far.
Germany is a country overflowing with history, and as someone that has always been intrigued by the events that form the places that exist today, it was the perfect destination for my secondment. Every city, every town, and every castle has stories waiting to be heard. I cannot help but think about the cliché saying, “If these walls could talk,” as I walk past every historic structure that has been standing for decades or even centuries. The breathtaking architecture demands your gaze as you contemplate the various influences that other places in the world have had on it. From standing atop the Stuttgart tower to exploring the historic streets of the city center, I focused on absorbing all of the history each location had to offer.
One of the best features of Germany is how much of a central location it is in Europe. The country is surrounded by other beautiful places that are easily accessible. As an American from such a large country, we are not used to being able to travel to different nations so easily. Here in Stuttgart, a roughly 4-5 hour drive in various directions will lead you to numerous different Cities with rich histories that are begging to be explored. Back home in Chicago, that same drive would get me to my grandma’s home in Southern Indiana.
With the opportunity of easy travel at hand, I decided to explore some of what the gorgeous country of Switzerland has to offer. As someone who enjoys hiking and the majestic nature of mountains, I was ecstatic to get the chance to view the Alps. On our journey to the mountains, our tour also made a stop in Lucerne, whose beauty is not to be forgotten. Upon arrival at Mount Titlis, we began our ascent to the peak. There is a specific feeling you get when you view the world from a high altitude. A feeling of peace and tranquility, a feeling of being one with nature, a feeling of being in a place where the stresses of everyday life cannot reach you.
Following my day trip to the Swiss Alps, I was fortunate enough to have time to walk around the breathtaking city of Zurich. Upon talking to some of the locals, I was surprised to learn that the Swiss speak a different version of the German language, a version that not even the Germans can fully understand. With a handful of hours, before I had to head back to Stuttgart, no trip to Switzerland would be complete without a chocolate tour! I proceeded to take a ferry across the stunning Lake Zurich, which was an experience in itself. Like Charlie arriving at the chocolate factory, I was greeted by the rich aromas flowing through the air surrounding the Lindt museum. With a full mind, heart, and stomach, I made my way back to my German home.
I look forward to the final month of my secondment and the additional experiences that are on the agenda. Again, I thank everyone involved in making this experience possible. I am truly grateful. I also want to thank all the wonderful people I have met along the way. Your kindness has not gone unnoticed.
Senior Audit Associate
+1 847 717 8339