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Showing posts from December, 2016

Health benefits and disadvantages of Swiss alpine living

About a year ago, a reader emailed me asking about the health benefits of living in the Swiss Alps as well as its disadvantages. I’m no doctor, but I do have opinions on the matter that some of you might find helpful. So here we go. (People love lists anyway.)

Health benefits:

fresh air - Good for the lungs; great for asthmatics
dryness - Good for people with dust mite and mold allergies
clean water out of the tap - I end up drinking more water
beautiful views promote physical activity and gratitude - Looking out the window at a clear blue sky and mountain peaks entices me out of the house; the beauty of nature reminds me of life's beauty; easier to feel grateful when surrounded by beauty
lots of sport opportunities - Hiking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, river rafting, downhill skiing, ski touring on skins, cross country skiing, swimming if near a good pool, etc...
silence - I sleep better without the sound of traffic; it's soothing to the nerves and conducive to meditation an…

Self-responsibility increases freedom

The USA is known as the "land of the free," but I believe Switzerland wins here. Yes, it has its laws, and everyone is insured to the max. Yet despite this, the Swiss have a lot of personal freedom. They have the liberty to judge if what they are doing is safe and to do so at their own risk.

Much is left to their personal judgment and responsibility. I believe this is what makes Switzerland more fun--and less expensive--than the USA.

Regarding fun: for one, Switzerland still has diving boards. The powers-that-be at our beach club in Newport, Rhode Island, removed the diving board, a source of amusement during our childhood summers. Perhaps, they did so due to its proximity to the bar. Wait! We were children and certainly not allowed at the bar. Secondly, you can walk a dog off the leash as long as it's voice controlled. This would be unheard of in the USA, where dog owners are treated like second-class citizens. Thirdly, you can ski down a mountain at night after consumi…