healthy holidays - cowbells instead of cellphone ringtones?
family holidays on an alpine pasture: some healthy time out – away from technology and everyday life
one or two of you already know me directly or indirectly. hello, my name is sonja hagen and some of you have previously seen something of me. i come from the rhineland area and live near cologne. i crop up in nabo’s creative team as a qualified graphic designer for the bottrop naturopathic practice, and to a certain extent, as a partner who is jointly responsible for photographic work and design details. this summer, i took a look at the lifestyle and health blog of the youtubers and naturopaths, farid zitoun and christian rüger. it featured a video on the topic of "cow cuddling" and another film with health tips on the subject of "media competence on vacation". the idea then occurred to me to experience this, to actually implement and share the tips from the naturopathic center.
this is how you should spend your vacation, once in a while - far away from everything - in the middle of the countryside – amid absolute peace and quiet. these thoughts shot through my head when we came across an (apparently) abandoned alpine pasture while we were hiking in the alps. i, a big city dweller, was suddenly confronted with seclusion and a simple life. what do we need a fully equipped kitchen, a rain shower or a washing machine for? you can surely do without them for a few weeks of the year. intentionally.
i stuck to my guns, investigated, wanted to know more. and after some research it turned out that one of the huts could be rented as holiday accommodation. one summer later, we opened the door to another decade: our hut was very old with very basic furnishings. for hot water, heating and cooking, we had to fire up an oven in the kitchen, which surely dated from my grandparents’ time. the only home comfort was electricity and a small basic bathroom. on the ground floor of the hut was a simple cowshed. every morning and evening, rupert the farmer came up from the valley to the alpine pasture in order to collect the cows from the meadows, milk them in the stall, and release them again afterwards.
we were the only Human inhabitants
during our vacation week, we were the only Human inhabitants of small alpine pasture. i absolutely found the hoped-for peace. the mooing of our four-legged roommates and the ringing of bells were pretty much the only thing we heard on those days. our girls, lea and male (aged 13 and 11), especially enjoyed the week in the alps. as soon as rupert came up to the alpine pasture, nothing could hold them back. the somewhat reserved but extremely patient styrian farmer was very happy about the girls’ enthusiasm. they were allowed to be everywhere and, of course, can take an active part in tasks. it was particularly great for the two of them to collect the cows from the meadows. the animals live in freedom up here; there are no fenced-off pastures. the narrow stall is really only for milking.
each cow has its own name. lea and male could tell them apart after a very short time. the good-natured ruminants have their own Personalities. each of them has different characteristics, which can be established after a few days. for example, ‘rosalie’ is the only cow that cannot be milked in the stall. the good lady is pregnant. as we know, the hormones can always play havoc there. and so she sulkily stood evening after evening in front of our hut, waiting for us to comfort her. her mood often changes abruptly. rosalie enjoys the tender loving care. but she isn’t the only one. how beautifully warm and soft such a large cow body is! it’s a great feeling to be in close contact with rosalie. the calmness of this creature is immediately apparent. it transfers directly to oneself.
the animals determine the daily routine
the daily routine in such a hut is quite different from at home or on other vacations. we have been able to experience this first hand. up there on the alpine pasture, the animals predetermine the time. and nature. everyday things have to be planned. and planned well. do we have enough warm water? will the amount of purchased food last for the next few days? even the waste disposal must be well thought out. not everything is there, as it would be at home in our regular everyday life. not everything is available without making a great effort. and therefore it is suddenly no longer taken for granted.
getting up early and going to bed early is not everyone's thing, i admit. neither are the minimum of 150 flies, which hovered around us every day. why? this is obvious. after all, the dung heap is right behind the house.
a true key to relaxation and happiness
but just letting this go and concentrating on a very simple everyday life in the mountains during this week is the key to relaxation and happiness for us. our family is the only thing that matters at this moment. being outside for the whole day, away from civilization. it has a very special charm on me. here i can completely relax and switch off. what was important becomes wholly unimportant. fun, games and conversations at the cozy cast-iron stove, no ringing cellphone or annoying computer to dominate the time. to watch the children, how much joy they have with the animals. they are on the move the whole day in the fresh air. playing until it gets dark.
already after a few days, you notice how the pressure slowly lifts, how much more satisfied you becomes with yourself, although you don’t really do anything special, apart from living. we will not forget this vacation - it will always remain unique. not as easily interchangeable as some beach / hotel vacations, not as demanding as a stay at an amusement park, nor tiring like a city tour. such a vacation on an alpine pasture is something very special. original. and when i think of stressful days at this time, i would prefer to immediately pack the suitcase once again...
what do you understand by ‘particularly relaxing holidays’ or what were your experiences?
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