Nearly 4 years ago Mike and I took an amazing winter trip to Germany and Switzerland. One of the most notable differences I witnessed from European living vs USA habits, was how the people completely embraced winter. You'd see families wrapped up to their eyeballs in scarves as they zipped by on bikes. Cafes and pubs did not pack up their patio furniture, but instead every chair had a sheepskin tucked onto the seat and a warm blanket draped over the back of the chair.
I remember one Zurich, Switzerland evening in particular when it was about 45 degrees outside and we stopped to get a beer. My usual "Let's sit outside!!" was a very common statement. (It still is today.)
I'll admit, I've gotten a little American-soft again since that trip. Our recent sunny 60 degree days at the cabin have been pretty divine. I've even confessed to a couple friends that I'm dreading when the snow finally lands. But I'm working on shifting my thinking again.
One of the ways I keep my eyes open to the world is by following some interesting people on Instagram. Megan Gilger, a Michigan resident and author of The Fresh Exchange blog is one of them, and so is Jill Thomas who is currently living a year in France and explores ancient towns with her bundled up family.
Here is a lovely sentiment from one of Megan Gilger's recent Instagram posts:
"I believe in the power of being outside in the winter and how it keeps us from getting sick and that we need the outdoors every time of year but especially in winter. The cold air is good for us and even on the days I don’t always want to get outside..."
Want to embrace winter more? Here are a couple of ideas:
Get bundled and take a brisk morning walk.
Forage for some fallen branches or twigs and put them in a large vase.
Pause and take time to chat with a neighbor on your walk. Tip: think of a question or compliment to begin the conversation if you've never met.
Bundle up again and enjoy an evening walk with all of the Christmas lights. Tip: bring an adult beverage in a mug.
Play H-O-R-S-E. So this is a wild card but it's been really fun for me and Mike. I'll admit a warm summer evening and cold beer is a little more our style, but we will get bundled, grab our new basketball and play a round or two at the local playground.
What do you do to embrace winter? Drop me a reply.