1. Zermatt is international
Expats from all over the world settled down or live here for a few years. Australia, England, US, Austria, Scotland, Portugal, Bosnia, Sweden and the list goes on. For this reason we speak English on a daily basis which surprised most of my friends on their visits to Zermatt.
I was willing to learn from them and gain a bit of knowledge. Maybe not as much as I hoped to but if one is open-minded, there are so many possibilities to learn something about other cultures. Everyone has its own traditions and we still keep celebrating these in Zermatt, why not, its our home away from home. Not only did I improve my English skills I have also learned that kindness is not relatable to any culture.
2. You don’t need a car.
Tiny Zermatt, Zermatt is tiny. But still, I always met people I haven’t seen before for some reason. Some do have a bike but most just walk. Those small hills, which have killed me at the beginning, weren’t even recognizable after a few weeks. On my daily way to work there was no traffic, no stress, no car accidents, no annoyed people. All I had to do is to leave my house 10 minutes before work and whatever happened I never came too late (at least not due too much traffic haha)
3. “In Zermatt you will never be alone”
Once I met a guy and while I said jokingly ” Oh no, I don’t have friends here, you know, I am always on my own” he, surprisingly, didn’t notice it was a joke, wanted to cheer me up and said “In Zermatt you will never be alone” and OH he was absolutely right! Its soooooo easy to find someone to have a drink, go for dinner or party all night and the easiest way to do so will always be to stand at the Bahnhofstrasse and wait for a few minutes ( I mean yeah, Migros and Coop are good as well) it won’t take 15 minutes until there are more than two people who ask if you want to hang out.
4. You don’t need that Chanel bag to go out, but its okay if you do have one.
As a place where a lot of international people come together, there are also differences between style opinions. These differences are more than welcome. Finally I could go out without a bra and the night after wearing my high heels, no one would care. I was able to stay true to myself. Some days I felt like wearing a lot of make up, but who would judge? Anyone. Other days I went partying with my sport clothes but that was okay though. The ability to stay true to myself, moreover to learn about myself was one of the most precious things in Zermatt.
5. Environmental Awareness
Zermatt is a car-free village and the most self-sustaining winter resort in Switzerland. There is a strict law for waste disposal. Plastic has to be in these orange garbage bags and we do have to dispose them at one of the official waste collecting points. As these bags are not quite cheap (one of them is around CHF 3.00) it requires to seperate organic from plastic and paper. The destination takes care of nature and uses its resources judiciously. If you want to learn more about Zermatt and its sustainability just look it all up here
P.S. Before I moved to Switzerland I suffered from Sinusitis around the whole year (6-7 times). I have been living in Zermatt for 16 months and it never recurred, moreover I only got sick for two days in almost 1,5 years.
6. The biggest reason of all.
Matterhorn. Horu. Cervin. Diva. Cervino. Big mountain. Horn. I have heard it all. But nothing, no existing word could be compared to the strength, the hope and the power this mountain radiates.
4’478 m/14,692 ft above sea level. First ascent on 14th of July 1865. Straddling two countries: Switzerland and Italy. Pictured on a world famous chocolate bar TOBLERONE. More than 500 people who died while climbing or descending the Matterhorn.
I always respected the mountains and the danger they bring along, as well as I have admired their irreplaceable beauty. But this mountain is different. It’s a friend along the way for everyone who lives in Zermatt. The first one to say hello in the morning and the last to say good night. It’s hardly possible to describe what I am feeling as long as one hasn’t experienced it by themselves. The greatest competitor of all but the one and only source of true hope. As stupid as it may sound but there is definitely a kind of magic involved. A mountain that reminds you that there are bigger things, bigger than you and ahead you.