Friday Postcards from the hills of Stettlen Switzerland at sunset

 In Europe

As parents, we often think about what our kids need. We put them first above all else, especially our own needs. While in London we gave the boys a weekend to just play. We didn’t do any sightseeing, no matter how much I wanted to hit a few more of the museums. The boys just played with our friends and their son for two days straight before the next leg of our trip took us to Scotland. This was all well and good for my kids, but what about me? My husband flew home after the first week of my planned 5-week journey around Europe. The other four weeks I’d be a solo parent with very little downtime. When did I get my weekend break? Would I ever get a little me time?

Surprisingly it came in the form of Stettlen, Switzerland.

This little hamlet (village) outside of Bern, was near my friend’s house. We were staying with her and her family for just under a week at the very end of our long journey. Our kids went to bed around the same time (meaning around 7:30pm). Her husband didn’t know it was going to happen, but he soon became our nighttime babysitter so we could go for a walk almost every night of my stay. Now, a walk may be a bit mild for what we did. Switzerland isn’t exactly flat, especially if you are close to the Alps. We hiked up a hill. Waves of grass interwoven with poppies blew in the breeze as we climbed higher and higher. This was supposedly the “easy” hike. We would do the steeper walk later in the week.

As we crested over a hill she told me to turn around. If I squinted I could see the Alps through the haze.


After living in Seattle for almost 9 years and being constantly surrounded by mountains, I didn’t realize until that moment that I missed living near mountain views now that we were living just outside of Washington, D.C. There is something so peaceful about seeing those towering peaks on a daily basis. It’s similar to the peace I feel when I’m at the ocean.

We hiked at least two hours a few nights that week, just catching up on life, all that we had missed, what we were feeling and thoughts on where life would be taking us next. She is one of my best friends, so as you can imagine, only getting to see her about once every one to two years leaves us with a lot to chat about when we are finally in person together. Skype chats, phone calls and emails can only get you so far. I know it’s corny to say, but I treasure those walks we took and I still miss them almost two months later. Heck, I was getting to chat with my friend and get some really good exercise in at the same time. I can’t ask for much more than that when I need a little “me” time.



Friday Postcards

READ FIRST: Welcome to Friday Postcards, a place where I will share a small memory or “postcard” moment from our travels. I hope you will join me too. Link your favorite photo-driven post here if you have a blog so we can share the joys of traveling with each other. If you would like to spread the word, please link back to this post in your own post so others will know where to find a little travel inspiration to end their week. #fridaypostcards

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Showing 7 comments
  • Tara

    I’ve been following your travels for a while now, and just submitted my first Friday Postcards link. Your photos are lovely. I love how you embrace those quiet peaceful moments.

    • Keryn Means

      Thank you so much Tara! I’m so glad you could join in the photo fun!

  • Mama Munchkin

    S T U N N I N G!!!!! Your pictures are amazing. Are you a professional photographer? Did you take courses? I’m in awe of your skills. Glad you took some time for yourself… us moms really need to. It’s SO important!!!

    • Keryn Means

      Thank you Mama Munchkin! My undergrad is actually in photographer, although these shots were just taken with my iPhone while we hiked around. I really needed those hikes. Kept me sane on the long flight home!

  • Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe

    Keryn, great photos here. I came to this page searching for info for my trip to Switzerland in December and glad it took me to a page I read often, but for some reason have only linked up a few times and shamefully I think this is my first comment here. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I found your photos stunning and really inspiring me to spend a little longer in Switzerland than we’d planned.

  • RamblinLove

    Simply stunning countryside!

  • Shobha

    Beautiful countryside! I do a similar pattern with my husband – he stays for a weekend or a week and then it’s me and the kids for the rest of the time. I also wonder when my downtime is – really nice that you got your time with your friend. Mostly my downtime is when I get back home and the kids are back in school!

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