What The Alps Teach You About Life And Relationships

June 16, 2020

For many tourists, the Alps are just a destination in the middle of Europe, centered on France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany. The region features some of the most spectacular peaks in the world, surrounded by beautiful countries with plenty of tourist facilities. 

But when you get up into the mountains, you soon discover something you don’t expect. This area is still very much an untamed wilderness, with practically no development except the odd ski lift here and mountain pass there. For all intents and purposes, you could be walking through lonely mountains in northern Canada or Greenland. It’s that remote. Even when you look down into the valleys, there’s almost nothing to see. The ice gives way to tundra and then grass. And everything looks immaculate and orderly. There are none of the usual trappings of civilization. In the Alps, you’re alone with the elements. 

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Mountains have a funny way of teaching you things about life. History and legends are full of stories of people setting off into the hills and making profound discoveries and insights. And despite all the technology of the modern age, it is still very much the same today. You go to the mountains to have a kind of spiritual experience where you learn about life and your place in it. 

You Learn You Have More Stamina Than You Thought

The Alps are no ordinary mountain range. They’re one of the world’s tallest, with peaks above 4,400 meters. You only find mountains of that size in a few parts of the world, including the Himalayas and the Andes of South America. In many ways, mountains of this height are ideal. They’re tall enough to make climbing them an epic challenge but not so high that you need expensive breathing equipment to keep you alive. There are still risks of scaling Mont Blanc, but they’re nothing compared to those you face when you try to overcome other peaks. 

As you walk through the Alps and climb relentless slopes, you realize that you have more stamina than you thought. While it is tough, you get used to it after a few days. And eventually, your muscles and lungs adjust. Some people get headaches, but usually, they pass if you stick to the lower altitudes. If things get too intense, you can always descend the way you came up and rest at more moderate levels before giving it another go. 

You Find Out Your Body Is More Of A Machine Than You Thought

Whether we realize it or not, we sometimes think mystically about our bodies. They seem like magical devices that create consciousness and allow us to experience the world. The Alps, though, teaches you that your body is a machine and you need to optimize it if you want to thrive in the extreme environment of the mountains. Plenty of water, high-energy food, and warmth are essential if you’re going to be at your best. 

Your Learn That You Need Other People

When it comes to vacations, the Alps are an exciting place. Instead of booking individuals rooms or cottages, you find that most of the places to stay in the regions are for large groups. Chalet Genepy in Val d’Isère, for instance, accommodates up to twelve people. And there are plenty of examples like it.

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But why is this? The Alps are perhaps Europe’s premier adventure destination. When you go to a place like this, therefore, you want to be surrounded by people. It makes sense to go in a large group so that people can adventure with like-minded individuals, or split into smaller groups.

There’s also a strong community feel here. The danger of the terrain naturally helps to draw people together in a type of camaraderie. 

You Learn How To Deal With Fear

Most of the anxieties that we have in daily life are slow-burning. We worry that our bosses will call us in the evening or that we’re putting on too much weight. Whatever it is, it isn’t something sudden. 

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But in the Alps, you can often find yourself facing fears you didn’t expect. Ski slopes, for example, are very scary the first time you slide down them. Even if you’ve practiced on training slopes, you can’t prepare yourself for the real thing. Likewise, if you find the weather changing on the mountains, you can rush to get down to lower levels for better visibility and safety. 

Visiting the Alps, therefore, is more than a holiday. It’s an experience – and one you won’t forget. 

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