Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alpine cure for the going out craving

When friends come for a visit they say the same thing.

"This place is breathtakingly beautiful, but what the hell do you do for entertainment around here?" "Don't you go stir crazy?"
"How are you going to meet a man here in the middle of nowhere?"

Answering is a struggle.

"Uhm… we have a book club,"  I say. "We sometimes go to the movies, er... to dinner or to a concert…. Oh and there's bowling!"

The truth is: I don't crave entertainment anymore. No longer do I fear missing out when I stay home on a Saturday night.

Has living in the Alps cured me?

Now I like: trying out a new gluten-free recipe, reading life-changing books, practicing a Chopin Nocturne or Brahms Intermezzo, hanging out with a cup of herbal tea and playing boardgames with family and friends.

Perhaps it's my age or having kids, or perhaps I've been living in a place where people are in nature often, work hard, and spend time alone. Perhaps, these values have rubbed off on me.

One thing I can say is that when I do choose to go out, it's out of a genuine desire to do so and not out of some nervous compulsive thrill-seeking urge. And there are things to see and do if one chooses to venture out: concerts, theatre (in Swiss German), restaurants, lectures, gallery openings, pubs and dancing, and live music concerts.

So, when people ask me that question, I should just say the truth without fear of being called a recluse. Check out a great blog post on the topic of "Affluenza" called "The Swiss Vaccine" on the expat blog The Fondue Files: Lost in Lausanne .

3 comments:

  1. Immersion into foreign cultures is a wonderful way to test life - long assumptions about how success is measured. Your own preferences about how you spend your time are probably as much about your own maturation and aging as your setting. Your article was very personal and heart-felt. I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Love this post. I do believe you must live it to understand it. Made me smile big time. Thinking of you in the Berner Oberland where we just spent a smashing week of skiing.
    Regards from a very polluted Paris!

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