As I am writing this, it’s been a week since we came back from Switzerland. An exhilarating short trip that has been made possible and more memorable by the generosity of a couple we knew. Let’s call them Uncle H and Auntie B and here are some of the things we were blessed with:
- Uncle and auntie offered us a place to stay for the rest of the week (the best place I’ve stayed on since I started traveling in 2010- it’s more like a hotel, really!);
- They made us meals (always yummy and imagining it now still makes me crave for more)
- They drove us around (honestly, this is so much more than a chauffeur service- we didn’t have a hard time getting to places— and yes- it’s free!),
- and took us all to as much city and countryside areas in a span of nine days (the entire itinerary would have taken us longer- I’d say three weeks at least)!
Scenic, picturesque, breathtaking, spellbound— I’d run out of magical and wonderful words to describe the places we’ve been and the sights we’ve seen. We did a lot of picnics, we hiked most of the time to see falls, green fields, mountains, old houses,we ate by the lake, in the park, in front of museums, cool restaurants, at home and almost always with a hearty conversation. But more than that I had so much of a great time meeting and knowing Uncle H & Auntie B- what they’ve given me- the experience, the wisdom, inspiration, and the love- is a gift that I’d always treasure for as long as I live.
I have never been struck by the life of someone else after meeting and being with them for a short span of time. But this was an exception. The encounter had left me in awe, it supercharged my heart, my body, and greatly enhanced my perspective in life. If you can imagine walking with springs in the soles of your feet and wings on your shoulders- like you’re almost leaping and flying with a wide smile painted on your face- that would pretty much describe my current state. I feel super happy and super blessed, no words can express!
Most nights I wonder, “where is all the love coming from,” “how can they give so much selflessly, not just things that money can buy, but the time, the effort (the cooking, the long drive), “how do uncle and auntie recharge their energies after a day spent outdoors and hiking in the mountains (did I mention they’re already in their 70s?!)”, and they have so much wisdom, knowledge, and stories- – I could just listen to them all night and it’ll be like having read a book or two, and just see the world through their eyes.
I wish to grow old like them- full of life, wisdom, love, and abundance- – to put more heart in everything. They may not be a perfect couple but to me, they are. I’ve met their daughters and their grandkids and you can just see the energy, warmth, and kindness that runs in the family. Being around them made me feel at home and there’s always sincerity, kindness, laughter and of course, delicious food (can’t be missed)!
With all the delightful memories I brought home with me, those nine days can be summed up as:
Living in a postcard (with all hearts, smiles, and sunshine drawn all over it)
Signed: by the coolest, sweetest, enthusiastic couple I’ve ever known.
The goodbye wasn’t easy. I dragged myself from bed the morning of that day. I had no words to speak and I was already missing them and the place while we were having breakfast. The drive almost felt like an eternity, if I can just turn back time or reset the journey to day one, I would not have given it a second thought.
All the way to the airport, check-in counters, to the passport control, Uncle H & Auntie B were with us, escorted us like little kids- they’re always thoughtful like that. I held back my tears as I hugged them for the first and last time. As I went in I looked back and waved as quickly as I can so as not to cry. I sure hope to see them again. I wish them long life, good health, more adventures and more strength. Uncle H & Auntie B always carry with them a sort of charm, exuding slowly as you spend time with them day by day. I was charmed. And I will always be grateful for that.
Now to me, Switzerland means more than just the Alps, the chocolates, and the cheese. It’s so full of marvelous people & wonderful nature of stunning simplicity and warmth. And somewhere in that little country, uphill on the slopes of Monte San Salvatore, live an extraordinary couple that continues to touch hearts by their lives. They definitely overwhelmed mine.