365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy

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Geneva is a great place to ‘leave.’

Day 147Less than 24-hour travel-dive – my new thing.

We jokingly say, “Geneva is such a great place to leave”. And it is true that, in addition to it being ranked this year as the city with the highest quality of living in the world, Geneva has another advantage, it is in the middle of Europe, which makes it so easy to – leave – and feasible to make quick trips to other places in Europe within an hour or two, either by car, train, or plane. Since Geneva is a quiet and small city, I find that leaving this little place from time to time and get a dose of some energy and pulse is very refreshing.

It is not always feasible, nor desirable, to be away for several days when traveling. Traveling often eats up a lot of time and it is easy to loose momentum with the projects one has going. That is why I decided to only do a 20-hour trip to visit a good old friend who has taken a sabbatical year in Paris from her hectic and busy life in Stockholm. She has lived in Paris with two of her children. This was a creative and courageous decision, and the year has offered her and her children tremendous value.

I spent 20 hours only in Paris, and I feel energized and inspired by this quick dive into my friend’s world in this mesmerizing city. I arrived yesterday in time to share a lovely lunch with her and another Parisian friend. We sat outside in a courtyard and had a glass of rosé and agreed, “this is life” – to have this opportunity to sip rosé on a Wednesday in lovely sunshine and eat a delicious French meal in Paris.

It might sound like too hectic to be away only 20 hours, but we truly spent quality time together (and I worked both on my way there and back, so I did not loose any time). One of the fun highlights was that we exercised with a fantastic personal trainer in a nearby park, which was filled with lots of people. It was great fun to be amongst all the local Parisians who were running and exercising or just lying around in the grass. We ate a delicious dinner outside in the courtyard/terrace at Costes, (we Scandinavians are very fan of eating outside when possible, for obvious reasons) a beautiful restaurant with super food, interesting people and an almost mystical ambiance, (rare to find in Geneva).

I had a good night sleep in my friend’s lovely apartment and even had time for a nice chat at breakfast before taking a 40 min flight back.

Short trips can quickly give you inspiration and energy, and can easily, and maybe even preferably, be done alone.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine

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Stress-free travel

DAy 68“Do you know the real reason behind why I wanted to move to Switzerland…?” my husband asked me this morning. “Because of the well-developed train system,” he claims (jokingly) – which the Swiss have been the most clever country in the world at developing. (My husband loves to travel by train, partly because of his experience of traveling all over Europe by train during his childhood as his father was in the railway business.) I have also come to love traveling by train and the reasons are many.

The Swiss have over the past 100 years built the most outstanding railway system in the world that traverse and penetrate the mountains just like in a Swiss cheese. In addition to being efficient, comfortable and clean, the trains are also reliable and on time – to the extent that you almost can set your clock/watch after them.

Traveling by train is in our opinion (my husband and I) the most comfortable and stress-free way to travel by far. Considering how long time it takes to go through security these days, it might not take much longer than to fly (shorter distances). It generally takes about the same amount of time as going by car – and what an added pleasure it is to have the freedom to move, talk, work, read and see the view, which is unbeatable from a train. It is also a wonderful way to spend time together.

In a world that is moving faster and faster, where we rush from place to place and compete against the clock, taking the train instead of a car or a plane can add a peaceful dimension to our travel. I never get the same “monkey feeling” boarding a train as when boarding a plane, and not the same hysteria upon arrival – when most people go a bit manic to get off the plane.

We traveled by train this morning from St Moritz towards Zurich in a panorama wagon/car with spectacular views of the mountains, ancient castles and villages, waterfalls and ice-covered cliffs. This particular train ride is listed in the UNESCO world heritage.

In Switzerland you can buy a half-price card for a year that cost 175CHF which pays off very quickly, making taking the train more affordable.

There are numerous particular scenic train rides in Europe and around the world that I am looking forward to exploring in the future.

Peaceful travel!


Living our cultural heritage

Day 67My body and mind is a bit fried as I sit down to write today. I have been skiing for the first time the Engadina Ski Marathon, 42km ‘classic style,’ (not skating).

The marathon today reminded me of how much cross-country skiing is part of my cultural heritage, and something I can feel the cells of my body have missed. It was thrilling to be back on skis and amongst so many others who love the sport.

I grew up in Norway where cross-country skiing is a national sport. During my childhood our family cross-country skied quite often, but only leisurely. I was not passionate about skiing as a child and racing was for sure not my thing. However, the older I got the more I came to enjoy the tranquility of the sport particularly because I was mostly skiing in the mountains above the tree line.

It was while cross-country skiing in the Norwegian mountains I came to learn about peace of mind. Skiing in this wide-open, untouched landscape, above the treetops, with no or few people in sight, with the diagonal movement of cross-country skiing, harmonized my brain and touched my soul.

It is thirty years ago since I left Norway. I have missed my old love of being out in the wild and cross-country skiing.

I am grateful that my husband and friends encouraged me to participate in this ski Marathon. It was a thrilling experience to be skiing amongst 25,000 participants (some doing the half marathon and others doing the full distance). It felt like I had come back to my element.

Somewhere along our life journey we may give up part of our cultural heritage and who we used to be. If we meet a partner who does not share the same heritage or if we move abroad, many of us let go of cultural heritage and values we love.

If we reclaim the old ‘parts’ of us, these can bring loads of joy and energy to our lives.