One day, when curiosity got the better of me, I reached out to my international Facebook friends to get their top three answers to this question. And here’s what I got:
Mountains, chocolate and cheese.
In that order. Not too bad a combination, right? Then why have I met so many people who either skipped Switzerland completely or only stayed for two nights before continuing their race through Europe?
Their reason was obvious.
It’s too expensive.
And that’s a fair point. Paying 200 bucks to visit the Top of Europe is way out of any backpacker’s league. As is spending 15 CHF on a quick meal at McDonald’s. Not to mention the 8 CHF for a beer in Zurich. I understand what keeps budget travellers from visiting my home.
But still. After more than two years on the road, I’ve come to appreciate the many perks that Switzerland has to offer. With mountains, chocolate and cheese only being the top three. That’s why I decided to put my little country on the backpacker-radar.
But who am I?
Hi. My name is Seraina. I was born and raised in the countryside of eastern Switzerland, in an area called Appenzell. This area is mostly famous for its beer and liquor, some obtrusively smelly cheese, a famous dessert called Biber and the Alpstein mountain range.
I grew up with my two younger brothers, a cat, three bunnies and a handful of chickens. I used to be one of those kids that would get homesick before the holidays even began. I swore to myself that I’d never ever travel long term. Only over my dead body was I going to throw myself into unknown places where people talk weird.
This attitude got me into many a heated discussion with my mum, who tried to convince me otherwise. A lot has changed since then and today, we laugh about those arguments. Because mum was right. (Why are mums always right?)
Once I was off for my first trip to New Zealand and Australia, the travel bug immediately got the better of me. Lots of destinations followed over the years and nowadays, I can’t believe I ever thought travelling was stupid.
My everyday (travel)life
When I’m not travelling, I work as a traffic planner. And before you ask: yes, that’s a real job. Not an excuse from someone who doesn’t want to admit they’re a spy. I once got accused of that at a house party in Taiwan when I told people what I did for a living. 🙂
Anyway, after I finished my degree in urban planning, I got my first real job and started saving up for a trip I’d been dying to go on. After two years of working with timetables, bus lanes, traffic jams and tunnels, my bank account finally allowed me to hit the road. For 15 months.
In January 2017, towards the end of my round-the-world trip, the fear of diving back into my old life as if nothing had happened got the better of me. To escape this reality, and based on that little chocolate survey with my friends, I came up with an idea.
Why not become a backpacker in my own country and try to go as low-budget as possible? This could be a great way for me to explore my own backyard and tell people about it, right?
And just like that, the idea for Lost in Switzerland was born.
I’m aware that Switzerland is never going to be cheap. But I still think that, with the right tricks up your sleeve, you don’t have to end up in tears or bankrupt upon going home. At least no more than you would after visiting other popular places like Australia, New Zealand or Canada.
So, if you’re either…
- planning on visiting Switzerland,
- on the verge of putting it on your bucket list but a little nervous about the high prices,
- generally curious about what this little country is all about,
- trying to answer questions about accommodation, food, transport, activities etc.
… or all of the above, I can help you out.
I’m very excited to have you on my site and I hope you find what you’re looking for. If you have any questions, feedback, recommendations, ideas for posts or anything else you’d like to tell me, use either the contact form or email me directly at [email protected] I’m looking forward to hearing from you.