Today marks 5 years since we moved to Basel. FIVE!! We did that.
It’s a helluva lift to pick up your 4-year-old and move across an ocean to a country where you definitely don’t speak the language and you definitely don’t know what the hell you’re doing.
Driving to France or Germany weekly for groceries? Finding a pediatrician auf Deutsch? Navigating European shoe and clothing sizes? Living without air conditioning or smoke detectors? Finding a studio where I can teach yoga in English? Decoding appliance settings in Italian, French, and German?
Done. Not easy at first, but done.
When we took this photo, it was literally the first time we’d been across the Rhine. After about two months, my heart no longer raced every time I had to pay the gas station cashier auf Deutsch. Five years later, my kid has a stellar native accent and our German is considerably less sh*tty. And I am proud to have learned a (hard) new language in my 40s.
Google Translate and GPS have definitely saved our lives countless times. (I can’t imagine living overseas without either.) More importantly, so has our amazing community. The relationships we’ve made here have become forever-friendships beyond what we ever could have hoped for. Truly the best part of this whole experience.
Thanks to everyone near and far who’s been a part of our Swiss adventure thus far. When we first moved here, we thought it might feasibly last only six months. Super proud to now have five years (and a lot more cheese and chocolate) under our belts.
There are a million fitness bros on the internet trying to sell you on bone broth and intermittent fasting and the evils of seed oils. F*&k that.
Just take a walk. Every day.
I’ve got a thing lately for urban design — in particular, the power of walkable communities. Living in Europe has stoked this fire.
One of the fascinating tidbits I’ve learned is that Americans often
1) Romanticize their college life — because it was the one time they lived in an actual walkable community with everything they needed and their best friends within a few minutes’ stroll, and
2) Yearn for the magic and charm of the vacations they experienced in walkable European cities like Paris or Barcelona or Prague or even, gulp, Disney World. Do you know what made them feel so magical? The mixed-use zoning that allows for cafes, apartments, and businesses to occupy the same block.
Did you feel it trick-or-treating last night? How great it felt to walk around your neighborhood and see people out and about and breathe the crisp autumn air and crunch leaves on the sidewalk alongside your littles and be in your body instead of strapped into an isolated metal bubble on wheels?
There’s wonder and wellness and connectivity in walking. Not to mention the power to save the planet.
It’s simple and accessible and you can do it with people you love. Or listen to a podcast and feed your brain and your spirit while you’re at it.
Our bodies are designed for this. Trust them.
You don’t have to pay for some expensive gym.
Being well — being every day embodied, out in the world, sharing space and breath and nature — doesn’t have to cost a dime.