A Day In the Life of an Honorary European

by Gigi Griffis

Every few months, I document an average day in my not-so-average life. Last time, I told you about watching BASE jumpers and hiking in the Alps. Today, I’m still in the Alps…this time living here full-time while writing travel guidebooks. So, what does a fairly average day look like now? Well…

8:45 / I wake up slowly and lay in bed for a few minutes, listening to Luna’s quiet sleep sighs and staring out the window at the grey-brown cliffs and muted evergreens before crawling out of bed for all the general morning routine stuff: breakfast, shower, taking the dog out, etc.

10 / By 10, I’m settled into the coffee shop down the street answering emails, sending off writing project revisions, and chatting with the BASE jumpers who stop by to grab a coffee on their way to the cliffs.

11 / When a friend asks if I’m going hiking today, since it’s so nice out, I think “holy crap, I should,” and quickly pack up my things and run home to switch shoes, grab a water bottle, buckle Luna into her harness, and hit the trails.

Red berries

Hiking - green fingers

11:30 / I decide to hike toward Isenfluh, a small town about an hour up the mountain. It’s an uphill hike, but won’t take me above the snow line. And, as far as the local hiking goes, it’s pretty easy going.

About halfway up the trail, I stumble upon a windy trail beside a waterfall. It’s one I’ve noticed before and wanted to explore, so today I follow it, calling it “research” for my Swiss book in my head so that I can feel more productive.

12 / My current hiking background music is the lovely electronic/violin mixes of Lindsey Sterling. I walk to the beat as the trail switchbacks up the mountain beside the rushing waterfall.

12:30 / Hiking often makes me feel philosophical, so it’s no surprise when the trail dead-ends at a road (where it looks like it used to continue, but has been overgrown now), I think how life is so like hiking: full of false trails and switchbacks and change around every turn. Or at least my life is like that. I take a strange path beside a waterfall just to see where it leads, and I’m always, always surprised.


12:45 / At the T created by the road, I choose the downhill slope and very quickly I’m glad that I did, as the slight irritation of wearing in a new pair of shoes has turned to real pain on the side of my left foot. A blister, I’m sure, but there’s nothing to do about it now except make my way gingerly home.

12:50  /  A few steps down the road, I am delighted and surprised to discover that even though I’ve taken a totally new trail, I know where I am. Suddenly, it’s as if these mountains have opened themselves up to me. They’re familiar. Comfortable. Full of intersecting trails and familiar fields. Perhaps I’m just a little like a real local.

1:30 / At home, I peel off my socks and discover a nasty blister that has popped, peeling away a large chunk of skin. Starved, dirty, and uncomfortable, I stand helpless for a while trying to decide which of my basic needs should take precedence.

I decide it’s a shower. Then water gets in the nasty blister, which inspires screaming and profanities. Showering was a bad first choice.

2 / Lunch comes next, which, in this case, means instant veggie soup, breadsticks, brie cheese, and juice with sparkling water.

Luna has retreated to the bed to pass out, stretched out upside-down.

3 / I stop by the grocery store to pick up sparkling wine for girl’s night, which starts in just a few hours. Then, I stop at the café again to check email and work a little. I discover a lovely offer of free accommodation in the French countryside in my email and think that every day is an interesting combination of beautiful, bad, and unexpected. I may be missing two inches of skin from my left foot, but people are offering me long weekends in French cottages, so life is overall good.

6 / After several hours of reading and discovering several ticks on Luna (which were horribly painstaking to remove and will inspire a vet visit tomorrow), I start prepping for girl’s night. The menu? Bruschetta, artichoke-tomato pasta, pesto cheesy bread, and sparkling wine.

Prepping dinner

The first of my lady friends arrives just after 6:00 with her sweet, boisterous dog. Luna spins around in excited circles for a while and then the dogs settle into their normal hanging out pattern, which mostly involves Luna occasionally rolling around on the floor in front of Chunk and then smacking him in the face with her paws until he puts her whole head in his mouth.

8  /  My second friend arrives after a long day at work and we start in on bruschetta and sparkling wine while I finish warming the pasta and the pesto bread.

10  /  After we’ve demolished a bottle of sparkling wine, one friend (who is attending a costume party in a few days) breaks out her costume for our opinions. The fishnets, sparkly knickers, and hooker boots earn our hearty approval and I lend her my black tank top to wear under the leather bustier.

We are all class here, folks.

12  /  Sometime around midnight, both ladies depart and I fall immediately asleep.

What does a day in your life look like, these days?

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Jessica Sage August 18, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Your day sounds FANTASTICO!! It’s so awesome how different people’s lives are!

My typical day revolves around caring for my child, school work, giving psychic readings to clients, and trying to keep my house clean LOL.

gigigriffis August 19, 2014 - 12:32 am

Thanks! Sounds like you’re juggling a lot!

Rebecca August 19, 2014 - 11:52 am

My day starts at 5:30 am (way too early for man or beast in my opinion), wake daughter up for school, get her dressed, breakfast and out the door to catch the bus by 6:45, after she is out the door I usually have breakfast and coffee finally. Then I either knit something in hemp right now too warm for warmer knits, watch a bit of youtube, eat lunch and then deal with my computer stuff. Fix dinner and go to bed by 8:30 or so. and it starts all over again.

Your day sounds much better especially waking up at 8:30 I personally would love to wake up after dawn it would be so nice and hang out with friends until midnight so fun.

gigigriffis August 20, 2014 - 7:53 am

Oh, yikes – that is early!

Maria Falvey August 20, 2014 - 10:20 pm

What a day Gigi – what a life!

gigigriffis August 21, 2014 - 1:42 am


Andreas Moser September 1, 2014 - 1:39 am

It’s a tough life, but somebody has to do it.

gigigriffis September 1, 2014 - 1:49 am


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