My sister left Switzerland a day or two after my arrival, and I spent the rest of the week alone in her boyfriend’s family’s spare apartment. It felt completely strange to have the whole space to myself. I could leave my things lying around without worrying about them being stolen. I could sleep in a room by myself and close the door. I even unpacked my backpack into the drawers. I laughed when I didn’t even have enough belongings to fill one drawer. And they were small drawers.
It was a very small town, so there were no shops to look at, no parks to be ignored in, no sites to see. It suited me just fine. I was dead exhausted. After frolicking Basel with my sister for an afternoon, I was set. Basically the week in Switzerland consisted in wandering my way to the grocery store, where I purchased pastries and chocolate, wandering my way back, cooking, eating the cheese and chicken the family had given me, sitting on the balcony reading Emma and journaling, and watching a lot of “House.” Absolute. Utter. Relaxation.
Don’t get me wrong, I still explored in my way. I took walks between fields in the mountains, and Danny’s father took me for a hike to see the Alps and told me about Swiss architecture. It was very peaceful. My favorite was the path between one town and the next, in a field on the mountainside. A perfect view of the valley and the sunsets. There was also a field of flowers where you could cut whatever flowers you liked and stuck money in a little box and everyone was honest about it. Only in Switzerland.
The funny thing was, after feeling so centered and at peace in Paris, once I passed that halfway mark I realized that it wouldn’t be long before I had to go back to the real world and actually interact with people and have goals and accomplish things in life, etc etc etc. And my brain went into overdrive. Some days were good, some days weren’t. There were a lot of break downs and a lot of meditative periods reflecting on how incredible this time had been. It was a good time to be isolated for a week in a country where I could not communicate that pigs were flying let alone how messed up I was. I had a few days to lay out all the cards and sort them out. I had a chance to figure out what I wanted, what I was afraid of, and why. And the Swiss countryside is the most beautiful place to do that.