Living in the mountains and being close to nature is a dream for many. The lure of the Alps draws people from all over the world to Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. All in search of the idyllic mountain lifestyle in the great outdoors.
So what makes the Alpine lifestyle so appealing? Is it the fresh air, the landscape and proximity to nature? Or is it the mountain sports, the small communities and the après ski culture in winter? After six months of living in the Tirol region of Austria, I would say it’s all of the above. People are drawn to the mountains for numerous reasons, often swapping metropolitan cities for a more rural way of life.
I arrived in Tirol in April, just as winter was ending and spring was blossoming. The summer involved barbecues, hiking, lakes and trying to learn German (an ongoing project). Autumn is revealing itself as a slow, quiet period. The landscape is being transformed with changing leaves and locals are planning winter adventures as they wait for the snow.
After half a year and two seasons in Austria what have I learnt so far? Basically, that German is hard to learn in a dialect-speaking region, and the surrounding mountains are embedded in the local lifestyle. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, hiking, drinking beer in mountain huts or simply admiring the landscape, life in Tirol is dominated by nature.