Escaping Zermatt


Zermatt is a tourist city, there is no denying that. The moment you step off the train you feel the “tourist vibe” humming around you. The people behind the desk at the tourism office have a rehearsed spiel, the streets are teaming with selfie sticks and each little shop has its own carousel of beautiful postcards. Personally, I am not a fan of the “tourist vibe”, as hypocritical as that may be. The cities that have grown to accommodate tourists always feel stifling + staged…but they grew for a reason. The mountain trails + wilderness surrounding these kitschy tourist cities are stunning. And the true perk of these overgrown cities? Most tourists stay in the cities, or at least close … Continue reading



A lot has changed over the past two months, but at the same time life feels very normal. Weirdly normal. I’m living in Switzerland, working for a couple I’ve only known for a few weeks, living in a hostel with a revolving door of strangers and grocery shopping with Google Translator in hand. — photo credit: Roland Pabst, a Swiss American photographer I met at Cabana d’Orny with his wife — Some people might say this is because destiny put me where I belong. Maybe. Or I’ve just figured out how to adjust and adapt to the world around me, creating a life I really love. Either way…life’s been doing pretty good and this is what I’ve been doing + thinking lately… … Continue reading

Sunshine + Rain: Cabana de Plan Neve


It turns out the Swiss Alps really are littered with Swiss Alpine Club huts and their privately owned lookalikes. At Chalet Martin I met Caroline, another WorkAway from the States, and after a few days of extra fridge cleaning and bed making we ran away from civilization for a night in a mountain hut. At Merlin’s suggestion we headed toward Cabana de Plan Neve, a smaller hut nestled in a mountain valley. When we left the hostel the low hanging clouds were threatening rain but as the day progressed the sun broke through the clouds and we ditched our rain gear for tank tops as we trekked down into Les Gorges, through Les Plans and up toward Pont de Nant. Hiking … Continue reading

Chalet Martin: My New Home


About two weeks ago I lugged my over-sized duffle bag up a gravel trail to Chalet Martin, the hostel that would become my home for the next three weeks…or two months. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. I had “met” the owners via WorkAway and we’d both agreed to commit to at least three weeks of a volunteer exchange — I helped out around the hostel [changing beds, basic housekeeping, etc] in exchange for a place to stay. As I walked in the hostel reminded me of the farm house I grew up in — a mud room for shoes + gear and cement stairs that led up to the creaky wood floors of the main level. … Continue reading

The Chrinnenhorn Summit


I have done a terrible job of planning ahead for any part of my Switzerland wanderings. The actual events of my life are rarely planned beyond the upcoming 12 hours. Heck, prior to showing up at Chalet Martin I’d usual start my day with no real plan for where I’d lay my head that night. It was freeing, liberating. Waking up in the Glecksteinhutte was no different. I got up, ate breakfast, stared out the cabin window…and made the impulse decision to do a day hike up one of the “alpine mountaineering” trails leading to the peaks surrounding the cabin. Now, I wasn’t a complete fool — I had been listening to the other hikers/mountaineers talking about the technicality of … Continue reading