A little over five months ago, our family of three took our first steps into the unknown of “what could be”. The only things we knew with absolute certainty when we stepped on the plane was that we were headed to Switzerland and that we had an apartment to stay in for the next three months.
We made the decision to move together as a family, each one of us fully aware that this would not be easy and that we needed to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. The fact that we made this decision together has helped in the many ‘WTF’ moments that have followed as no one can be blamed for making the decision to move alone.
We are learning to turn our backs on fear and to look to the unknown with great anticipation and excitement. We’re learning to embrace the unknown and are trying to take advantage of any and every opportunity to say ‘yes’. Well, two of us anyway … the tweenager seems to becoming more and more comfortable with saying ‘no’. In fact, for someone who used to reach her 20 000 word allocation per day by 7:30 in the morning, her vocabulary is getting rather limited.
An example of our daily discussions:
Me: How was school today?
Me: What did you do?
Every. Single. Day.
For us, it is more practical and effective to actually just do it with her then to tell her it is a great idea with our words and this is exactly what I did when Heidi and Christian knocked on our door on Tuesday evening and invited us to join them for a “little” walk the next day.
I jumped at the opportunity without little thought and managed to convince Jules that it was a good idea. “Let’s go for a walk”, I said. “It’ll be fun!” My eagerness was short-lived when I saw the look on Heidi’s face yesterday whilst she was [disapprovingly] inspecting our choice of footwear, and completely disappeared after she told me that she’d packed some minerals for our water to stop our legs from cramping during the walk. (At this stage, we were already buckled into the car, heading swiftly towards Canton Uri – well played Heidi!)
What followed was the worst
4 hours of my life most gruelling, steepest uphill hike through the mountains in which I learnt a lot about myself.
Lesson #1: Don’t answer the door to Heidi
Lesson #2: ASK MORE QUESTIONS!!! (Although in all fairness, I would have said ‘no’ had I known).
Lesson #3: Buy good hiking shoes.
Lesson #4: Always pack warm clothes when travelling into the Alps.
Lesson #5: What you think are warm clothes won’t come close to keeping you warm when you’re in the cold, windy, wet Alpine weather. Buy warmer clothes.
This was our halfway mark – see the little rocks at the top of the mountain … that was our end destination.
The end was in sight.
This girl though, she didn’t complain once (at least not within earshot of Heidi and Christian). She simply soldiered on putting one foot in front of the other, twirling her hiking sticks as she went and even managed to do “the Floss” mid-way.
Whilst the effort was huge, the rewards were even greater! Yesterday we were rewarded with the perfect cups of hot chocolate and the fluffiest and lightest Maroni cake served in a traditional Swiss chalet, Bratwurst, Rosti, warm beer and süssmost at the top of our summit, dinner in an authentic Italian restaurant, Prosecco, new friends and the biggest sense of accomplishment.
Everybody needs a Heidi in life. I’m so glad I found mine!
P.S. If you’re wondering where Benito was in all of this … he was at work! He officially joined the working world on the 1st October and sadly couldn’t join us.