Beneath the Matterhorn

Okay. So I couldn’t see it well, but I did indeed see The Matterhorn. Even better, I went snowshoeing in The Alps for the second year in a row. Last year I was in the Austrian and Bavarian Alps. This year, I’m in the Swiss Alps, and this is The Matterhorn!

I went snowshoeing BENEATH THE MATTERHORN!

I mean… how cool is that? Probably the most famous mountain in the world… and there it is (behind that blizzard). When I took this picture of my snowshoes with The Matterhorn in the background, I had been hiking for about an hour. I sat down on a snow-covered rock and had a little lunch. It was a total Swiss lunch: pretzel roll with some vegetarian bratwurst, finishing it all off with some dark chocolate Toblerone. (You read that right dark chocolate Toblerone, which you can only get in Switzerland).

It was a pretty good day. One of my best in the past year, I’d say, and I’ve had many good days since I started traveling around petsitting. Right up there with this day was when I rode across the English Lake District on horseback, sea kayaking off the Isle of Skye, digging up a Roman fort, saw Wordsworth’s Daffodils, and the many excellent shows I saw in the West End and on Broadway.

I’ve been living in Zürich for the past month watching two sweet cats. My temporary home is a few blocks away from the center of Zürich, so the location is excellent. I had a harder-than-normal transition once I arrived in early February, largely because of some personal stresses mixed with some professional stresses on top of the normal jet lag from international travel.

The first few weeks were rough, but then I made a new friend named Jeanne. She and I walked all around Zürich virtually every morning. Jeanne made a difficult time bearable, and she brought much kindness and support into my life. 

I did take some day trips outside of Zürich, like this one to Zermatt to snowshoe beneath The Matterhorn, as well as a day in Luzern, a quick trip to Mürren (too snowy to see anything, sadly), and a day exploring Rheinfall and Schaffhausen. Switzerland is truly a beautiful country.

(Be sure to follow my Instagram feed for many more travel pictures.)

My day in Luzern was quite interesting because it was the day before Mardi Gras, so the streets were filled with the famous carnival. Although all the costumes and make up were wonderful, my favorite part was seeing the Alps for the first time since I had gotten to Switzerland three weeks before, as seen in these pictures below.

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As was true when I started 15 months ago, traveling helps me cope with the challenges of life and love. With each step I move forward, embracing the present and looking to the future.

With divorce pending, a newfound love lost, and a career change on the horizon, my life is as unpredictable and tumultuous as it’s been since my husband left two years ago. As things change all around me, I learn more with each passing day how to move with these changes instead of standing firm against them.

Traveling has helped me do this. Moving from place to place, I learn to let go more readily and face the next adventure, or next challenge, increasingly trusting that the one person who is always with me is the only person I have ever needed.

Me.

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