What are the first three things that come to your mind when you think about Switzerland?
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:
In that order. Not too bad a combination, right?
Then why do I know 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 spent travelling the world since 2009, 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. 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. (Want to know more about me? Here you go…)
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 silly arguments. Because mum was right.
Why are mums always right?
Once I was off on 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 today, 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. 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.
Ever since I got hooked to travelling in 2009, I’d had this idea in the back of my head that I needed to travel for a full year at some point. And here I was. After two years of working with timetables, bus lanes, traffic jams and tunnels, my bank account finally allowed me to hit the road.
And those initial 12 months turned into 15… Because things never turn out the way you plan, do they?
Toward the end of my big 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. And people don’t seem to skip those for the high expenses...
So, if you’re…
- planning your itinerary for 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,
- looking for helpful travel resources or trying to answer questions about accommodation, food, transport, places to go, activities etc.
… or all of the above, you’ve come to the right place.
I’m very excited to have you on my site and I hope you find what you’re looking for.
PS: Please note that I don’t offer an individual travel planning service and therefore can’t help you create your personal itinerary. (I tried doing that in my e-book series here.) However, if you have any questions about this site or something else you’d like to tell me, either use the contact form or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
What about hidden gems?
By running a blog about my own country, I'm walking a fine line. On one hand, I love telling people about all the cool, hidden little places I discover in Switzerland. But on the other hand, I've seen what over-tourism can do and I'd hate to be responsible for turning what was once an insider tip into an overrun tourist spot.
(Not that I'd imagine my blog could ever have that much of an influence. But you never know...)
This is why I've come up with a compromise for the people that are serious about visiting the real Switzerland and look behind the scenes. To unlock a bunch of insider tips, hidden places, language guides and so on (work still in process), head over to my Patreon page and learn more about my insider programme. I can't wait to see you over there!