As an Austrian, you inevitably grow up surrounded by the most magical landscape that very often is defined by mountains. This is also the reason why Austrians, as soon as they are able to walk for more than an hour without starting to whine about how tired they are, are sent out into the world to be introduced to the adventures you come across when you start exploring aforementioned mountains.
I have gone on hikes with friends and family since I was a little kid and I have always enjoyed the picturesque sceneries I have continuously confronted with, even though reaching the peak of a mountain is not always without moments where you’re just about to give up and be like “Screw this I’m going back.” More than once I have been rewarded by the most amazing view once we had reached our destination. Hiking takes me back to the basics, makes me realise where I come from and where my roots are, something that is important for me, especially now that I’m so close to moving to the UK. Even though I love the UK and that is where my heart is truly home, a part of me will forever belong to this beautiful country that keeps surprising me even after spending all my life here. I have been thinking about the definition of home for a long time and now that I’m cutting loose and am about to explore the world on my own it has become an even more prominent thought in my mind.
I am not scared to walk away, not at all, because I have always had the opinion that life’s not meant to be spent at only one place, it would drive me insane knowing that there’s other marvellous places out there that I haven’t seen with my own eyes. It’s important to be rooted, to know where you come from, but you have to find your own place in the world all by yourself. And sometimes these places are far from what you’ve called home for a very long time. I am more than ready to explore our beautiful planet, travel to places I’ve only seen in books so far and I’ll carry my home country in my heart. I find it in my behaviour, my traditions, my mind set. No matter where I end up, it’ll never be gone. You are shaped by where you come from and sometimes it overwhelms me that I was blessed to be born into one of the most beautiful landscapes you can find on this planet.
Yesterday’s trail lead us to a lake located on the border between Austrian and Italy, called Lago Volaia in Italian and Wolayer See in Austrian. I am used to hiking but, admittedly, that’s been one of the hardest trails we’ve ever been on. All together it took us 6 1/2 hours to get to the lake and back and I literally felt like passing out of exhaustion in the car on the ride back. But the views were all worth it. Walking through a landscape of mountain flowers and sheer rocks, passing by groundhogs and other animals, I felt like being taken back in time. The pictures I took with my camera don’t do the beauty justice at all.