Emilie Stewart: What I’ll miss about Austria

They say your 20s are the years that will create and define the foundation of the person you will become, with every new year evolving and developing, where 25 marks the ‘age’ you are set in your personality and ways, and the rest of the time is dedicated to figure your *ish out. I don’t know about you, but that pretty much sums up my 20s. And I have committed a chunk of my crucial developmental years in a country where I didn’t even know of its location 4 years ago or the language it spoke- they could’ve spoke Austrian for all I knew hehe (def not a geography major).
With this said, I’ve decided to write a series of posts, dedicated to wrapping up the last four years of living in Austria through photos, stories, recollections that I’ll miss about this marvelous country.
Where it might be entertaining for you, it serves as a closure and reflection purpose for me– To remind myself of the little things I enjoyed while living in Austria and to figure out how to incorporate them into our new life in America.
Enjoy.

WALKS

Reading over my ridiculously pathetic, yet extremely entertaining journal from college, I acknowledged some traits of myself, one being: I hate that traveling takes time.
Not all aspects of my life are efficient, but I do have a bit of OCD when it comes to some things and their efficiency, one of them is traveling. I used to get in my car and get to where I was going as fast as I could. I would arrive and think, “why the heck did I haul ass to pick up my sushi take out??” Because the inefficiency of traveling consuming time bothers me so much, why? Remains a mystery. How do you minimize time loss when traveling? Find a faster way of transportation. In my many years of studying time consumption when traveling, I came to the conclusion that walking was the slowest way of transportation, making it the biggest waste of time. Literally I sometimes used to run to places, because I couldn’t stand that walking doubles wasted time. Again (to me), time to travel = waste of time. Don’t get this confused with the issue of arriving on time, because we all know that I come from my mother, therefore lateness will forever be an unfortunate characteristic of mine. My issue with efficiency of time concerns only travel time…. and incompetent people… but that’s besides the point. Confusing, I know, welcome to my life.
Anyway, moral of story: walking=waste of time.
I can already feel the Austrian readers cringing at this, crying: Blasphemy!!
Walking in Austria is the solution to any problem, ailment or struggle.

“Are you tired today?” -Yes “Oh, you should go for a walk in the nature, it will fill you with energy”
“Are you sick today?” -Yes “Oh, you should go for a walk so you’re cheeks can get red from the cold and sun, it will heal you”
“Did you roll your ankle and can barely walk?” -Yes “Oh, you should go for a walk in the nature, it will heal you”
It’s common knowledge in Austria that walks in the nature is healing

As much as I laugh at this, it is quite true. Taking a break when your life is on a running treadmill is soothing, peaceful, and, I do dare say, healing.

***(EXCEPT, for that one time or 2 weeks ago, when I rolled my ankle, and then down a small hill, throwing a ball for Schatten. It’s still stiff)***

I really didn’t realize this until we got our precious baby boy, Schatten, our extremely over humanized dog (we def don’t have anything to do with that…). It’s the one time out of our crazy human life, where we get to experience a ‘doggy-dog’ life.
Our favorite spot is Viller Feld, which is a vast field directly in the sunlight with amazing scenery. When you live in the cold, your life literally revolves around the sun. Austrians choose their location of their house, the rooms of the house, office location, walking location, hiking location, skiing location, everything dependent on sun.
Walks are an ordeal here. We usually plan our walks with friends or family, setting up dates sometimes weeks in advance. Instead of let’s have lunch next week, let’s go for a walk. We also have play dates with some of Schatten’s friends.
Stefan and I ask each other if we should go for a ‘you know what’ with ‘you know who’. After we’ve decided when, we ask baby boy using the magical words: ‘walk’ ‘go’  ‘gehen’ ‘spazierien’ (I just said the last one out loud to get the spelling right, and Schatten immediately bolted and cocked his head at me, so proud of my bilingual dog).
I then direct Schatten to get my shoes from the cellar  “Wo sind meine Schuhe??” and my jacket and his harness. Although it would probably take half the time for me to just go get all this stuff, I love his proud smile when retrieving our walking gear.
We then set out. Schatten loves water in all its forms: schwimming in the lakes with Wubba (his water toy), bounding in the snow after snowballs thrown by Stefan, running in the mud for his tennis balls.
The best part about our walks, is that baby boy passes out so hard (after trying to fight sleep for about an hour, to show he’s ready for round two) and Stefan and I get some real peace and quiet.

I probably still would never go for a walk for myself, or to heal my most recent ailment, or without a distinct purpose . I’ve even found myself speed walking, only to have my turtle (Stefan) fall behind and slow my pace. But I have found my own pleasures in walks: seeing baby boy have the time of his life, rewarding myself to a beer after strenuous hike, and wasting time appreciating life at walking speed.  I definitely haven’t changed, just evolved.

–Find Schatten–
XOXO,
Em

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Emilie Menghin (Emilie Stewart)
Emilie in AustriaLand
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