If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, I have frequently (and aptly) referred to my traveling lifestyle as a roller coaster. There are plenty of ups and downs, twists and turns, peak moments of being high on life, and times where my stomach does flips. Well, being sick in Switzerland definitely fits the bill.
I spent the whole week bargaining with my body to go outside and explore (I'm NOT a homebody) if I gave it certain amounts of rest. There's nothing quite like bargaining and bribing your own body to do what you want it to, despite its protests. Lots of begging, cursing, and talking very seriously and sweetly, and promising to give it everything it needed IF ONLY I got a little bit from it. I *somewhat* succeeded. It earned me a couple hours a day out and about. It definitely drove a really hard bargain.
You may remember my last post about traveling from Budapest, Hungary, to Montreux, Switzerland. I went into fairly vivid detail about realizing I was coming down with strep throat. Well, that in turn kept me on bedrest for much of my week visit to the beautiful country. I was incredibly fortunate in that I was able to couchsurf with a friend I made from one of my traveling groups on Facebook. She was the best hostess, and made sure my entire stay was as comfortable as possible (even let me use her medicine while I was dealing with insurance to cover my doctor's appointment, free of charge!) This girl is absolutely the sweetest, and I loved my stay with her. I don't know how I would have survived without her hospitality!
Even though I didn't get the chance to explore much, I still definitely got to venture out of my little sick bubble a bit and visited the Freddie Mercury memorial <3 as well as the Montreux Christmas Market. I loved seeing tributes from around the world being paid to him. It was quite the social hotspot, for obvious reasons.
I also made my way up to one of the mountains (no, not the Swiss Alps unfortunately, but there's always next time) and talked to my late grandfather about the experience, as I have always shared his love of mountains. It was a super special moment, knowing I have a small part of him around my neck to cherish for the rest of my life, and the ability to bring this part of him with me on my travels. It was another moment of healing for me, as earlier this year was definitely one of the hardest of my entire life.
Ultimately, life just happens sometimes, and despite wishing I could have gone out and explored more, I'm really grateful to have been able to rest like I needed to and recover. I learned just how taxing and stressful it can be to get sick while on the road, so being able to stop over in a safe place and STILL have the opportunity to explore some at my leisure was the best medicine.
I mean, who WOULDN'T want to visit Freddie Mercury in Montreux, Switzerland while they're sick? ;)
Switzerland, I experienced overall, is absolutely stunning (and CLEAN), has higher standards of living, is VERY multi-cultural and multi-lingual (even though French is the primary spoken language), and yes, VERY expensive. The currency used is the Swiss Franc, and it's almost exactly comparative to the US dollar, with the US dollar falling slightly short. That being said, everything is priced more. I attempted to purchase locker magnet souvenirs for my godkids, only to discover I would have spent around $15 for 3. Thank God for travel insurance (I currently have a plan with Allianz, as I would have paid over $300 dollars for my care at a walk-in clinic if not.
I also SOLELY ate groceries I pre-purchased in Budapest and some restocking in Montreux. So I saved a tremendous amount of money by NOT eating out, thus giving me the extra boost I needed in terms of my doctor visit and more. Paired with the gracious hospitality shown by Dew, I definitely came out on top in terms of finances. Total silver lining to an otherwise unfortunate situation.
Despite this particular trip not going anywhere near what I thought and planned it would, I still made sure to enjoy my time there. I would happily go back again (when I'm not dying, haha). The Swiss Alps are calling my name!