Home Sweet Switzerland

by Gigi Griffis

I want to hug the trees.

The thought came unbidden to my mind as the train swooshed into the Lauterbrunnen Valley.

My whole body relaxed, like a giant sigh of relief.

Home, I thought. It feels like coming home.

Only a few days ago, I was thinking about making Pennsylvania my home base. About being near my best friend (and, let’s be honest, near a certain man I’d unexpectedly met while housesitting in Harrisburg). About having somewhere to hang my pictures. About still traveling, but having one particular place to come back to.

And then I landed in Germany, met up with my expat friends, ate a Schnitzel, and remembered again why I travel the way that I do. And why I love Europe particularly.

With each passing day, I became more certain that if I do choose to someday have a home base (something I may well eventually do), it would have to be in Europe. Where I can comfortably live without a car. Where good, fresh food is a priority. Where I can take a train an hour in any direction and encounter a wholly different culture. Where I’ve fallen in love with the landscapes, cultures, lifestyles, and people.

From Germany, I took the train into Switzerland, winding around the mineral-green lakes, then into the Alps, feeling gratitude welling up inside.

And so I pulled into the vast and beautiful valley, thinking that I want to hug the trees, to kiss the clouds, to press my face against the warm earth, and to stay like this forever.

Suddenly, I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

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Rebecca September 16, 2013 - 11:23 am

I say go for it… go hug that tree or heck add another hug for me too. Cant help with the kissing clouds part but, I do understand…maybe the next time it is foggy you can.

gigigriffis September 16, 2013 - 1:10 pm

You know…I think I will. I was feeling metaphorical about the whole thing, but I may take my impulses literally next time the rain clears and I get out on the trails.

Greg & Molly September 16, 2013 - 6:09 pm

Switzerland is my favorite country too. In particular, Murren, overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley from the top of the cliff. I have some very happy memories there. I look forward to returning to make some more. Enjoy!

gigigriffis September 17, 2013 - 12:27 am

Oh, I love Murren. I always tell people that if they want the full mountain panorama, that’s where to get the best views. It was the first place I hiked to when I arrived here.

Will You Travel Forever? (Yet Another Big Announcement) | the ramble October 21, 2013 - 12:36 am

[…] When my train first pulled into the Lauterbrunnen Valley this year, it felt like coming home. […]


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