Once you know what you like, it’s hard not to replicate it. Whether it is work style, favorite food, people to spend time with, or places to vacation, we all have our ‘go-to’ favorites.
Every now and then however, it’s not a bad thing to try something out of your ‘favorite’ zone. We like what we like because it predictably makes us feel confident, competent, and comfortable. Don’t get me wrong – affirmation is great. But so is learning and a little stretching along the way can teach you about the world and yourself.
When I am fortunate enough to take vacation, I tend to prefer a beach or a big city. Being able to view water always seems to slough the tension from my neck and shoulders and the vibrancy and variety of what a city offers makes me eagerly anticipate what lies around every corner.
This month however, I changed it up and went to Switzerland. It provided some of that – and none of that!
It was not about museums; I only went to one.
It was not about shopping; it’s a very expensive country (though I did see a watch for $65,000!).
It was not about history; the Swiss have almost always preferred to keep a very low profile on the world stage.
It was, instead, about the alps and mountains, the valleys and lakes, the chalets that look just like I remember them from the cover of ‘Heidi’, (complete with window boxes filled to the brim with huge geraniums). There were cows in the fields with bells that musically rang as they walk, goats grazing on hillsides, incredibly fresh air, and crystal clear lakes. The trains efficiently ran quickly and quietly on time, the streets were very clean, whether paved or cobblestone.
It takes three trains to get to the top of Jungfraujoch, the highest train station in Europe; a place that is breathtakingly brisk with incredible views. If you remember it from ‘Where in the world is Matt Lauer?” I can only tell you that television and photos don’t do it justice.
I visited 4 different towns, each with it’s own feel and flavor. The people I spoke with in the restaurants, hotels and shops, were rarely from Switzerland, but instead had emigrated from a wide variety of other countries for the standard of living, way of life, and proximity to the lakes and mountains.
I will also should admit that the smell of Raclette, a dish indigenous to parts of Switzerland that is made up of melted cheese, boiled (or roasted) potatoes with small gherkins and pickled onions kept me from actually trying any.
It doesn’t have to be a ‘favorite’ to be interesting and enjoyable. I know there are only so many days in the year and dollars in the bank account, so the idea of getting out of your ‘favorite’ zone may hold no appeal for you.
But think about possibly expanding your world. It could make life more interesting – and in turn, maybe make you a little more interesting.