Every lifestyle has its upsides and downsides. And life in the Alps is no exception.
Switzerland has an amazing transport system. It is fast, reliable and hassle-free.
Slightly different story up in the mountains, where we live, as there is only 1 train per hour. Though the most annoying part – the last train runs around 9 pm. You might wonder that after sundown there is not much to do here anyway. But, not true! Nearby skiing village – Villars-Sur-Ollon has clubs and bars, where events often start at 8 pm. Without a car or willingness to walk 5 km back home, we can say goodbye to social events.
Switzerland is expensive as it is (bag of crisps is about CHF 4.50). But shopping up in the mountains will cost even more than down the valley. Most cleaning and beauty products are twice the price.
Lack of entertainment
Some mountain villages have decent amount of entertainment options. Though, the one we live in only has 1 café, 1 restaurant, and 1 shop.
Steep and narrow roads
Of course, the roads are narrow and steep, after all – I am living in a mountain village! Regardless, flat roads gain completely new appreciation, when a quick walk to shop makes me feel like I just ran a marathon.
Everything is down the valley
Mountain life has a very limited offer in terms of shopping. If you need anything specific, like…WiFi box you have to go down the valley. Putting this and all reasons above together – it is essential to have a car if living up in the mountains.
Fresh air and water
In high altitudes, it might get slightly difficult to breathe, but nonetheless air quality is great. The same goes for water, our local commune publicizes water stats, and I have to say it is better than most bottled water – pH8, sodium 1.8, chlorides 0.5.
Not a lot of people
After years living in London, it is refreshing not to fight your way through busy streets and train stations. In fact, last month I was in Lausanne to run some errands. And somehow, I was there at the peak of rush hour… Packed station, crowded trains, stressed commuters…you name it. Commuting in London made me angry and anxious daily. And I must say – I am extremely happy I don’t have to do this anymore!
Wooden chalets, neighbors that greet you…somehow small villages emit coziness. Every house is different and has its own character, whether it’s Christmas decorations or pots of plants. You won’t get that feeling in a big city. City center might look beautiful, but the sleeping blocks are usually plain constructions without that special spark.
Switzerland is expensive, everyone knows it. But, I no longer spend that much money. Firstly, I don’t pass by tens of shops (just one) on daily basis. So even if I wanted to buy something I don’t really have the chance.
But most importantly there are no ads on every step of the way trying to sell things I don’t need! You may say that ads don’t have an impact on you, but that would be a lie. Even if you don’t buy a certain brand, ads can make you think of a product or experience you might want. It can linger in your mind before you actually commit, but the thought is still implanted in your brain. Try as hard as you can – the culture of consumerism has a very strong impact on everyone.
Natural beauty surrounds you in the mountains. And if you can get past the few inconvenient circumstances then life in the mountains is certainly rewarding. You might think differently, but I do believe that life in mountains brings more value than city life.
Our precious time on Earth should not be spent commuting on packed trains; working most of our awake time and then spending the money we earned on things we don’t really need. It might sound cheesy but the most rewarding experiences in life are still for free – a walk in the forest, watching a sunset, having a snowball fight…