Category Archives: travel thoughts

Cycling the Coast of Croatia

10 Jul 17
Heidi Kumm
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In a few hours, I’ll be hopping on a bus to Croatia. I’ll be leaving behind my life of comfort + ease in the Swiss Alps for a month of sitting in a bike saddle as I tour the coast of Croatia on a newly acquired bicycle. Everything is in order [I think] + somehow all of the details have fallen into place [hopefully]. The trip to Croatia was planned out of necessity [visa requirements + such], the idea to cycle the coast was born by insanity + the details were hammered out courtesy of many creative, enabling + determined minds.

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A Cloudy Col des Chamois Attempt

27 Jun 17
Heidi Kumm
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After weeks [years?] of talking about a trek up the Grand Muveran it finally started to look like it would happen. Gemma + I set aside a day, stared at a map + chatted up a friend…then we checked the weather. After a solid 10 days of blazing sunshine, we were headed into a long weekend of thunderstorms. The dicey weather combined with late-season snow vetoed our plan to snag a Grand Muveran summit.

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Travel Guilt

08 Jun 17
Heidi Kumm
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3 comments

It’ll hit you when you least expect it. For me, it was as I was driving down a narrow mountain road completely mesmerized by the fresh snow on the mountain peaks towering above, happy. Incredibly happy. The kind of happy that makes your insides feel like a perfectly toasted marshmallow. Everything seems right in the world + I was invincible to the doubts of reality.

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Les Gorges: Into the Valley

06 Jun 17
Heidi Kumm
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When you tell someone you’re headed to the Swiss Alps for the summer the general assumption is that you’re going for the mountain peaks. That’s not untrue, but the Alps offer up more than summits! I first found the gorges [aptly named “Les Gorges”] on a rainy day last time I was here…they’re kind of a perfect rainy day hike. However, they’ve become one of my favorite hikes near the chalet, even on the sunny days! Let me tell you why…

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Taking on Switzerland

10 May 17
Heidi Kumm
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Taking on Switzerland

I’m back! Back in Switzerland + on my way back to the tiny mountain town I fell in love with a few years ago. I booked my flight to Switzerland as soon as I accepted that winter job in the Colorado Rockies last October. As ridiculous as it seems, I was legitimately concerned I’d get a “real job” [seasonal as it was] + forget how to leave the country. My crazy doesn’t always make sense, but this time it got me back to Switzerland so I won’t apologize for it!

After van-tripping around Iceland I hopped on a plane to Switzerland to start a summer in the Alps. I’ve been in Zurich for a week. An uneventful week, for the most part. I’ve been nursing a cold [the only souvenir I brought back from Iceland, ironically] + dodging even more raindrops. Yes, more rain. Mother Nature’s tears have been following me around the world + each country I end up in. I need to start plotting a way to cheer her up…soon!

My time in Zurich has been spent wandering city streets, sleeping in, eating $32 burgers, reading books, drinking $8 lattes, writing memories, pondering life + slowly going stir crazy. Of all the big cities I’ve been in, Zurich is easily one of my favorite [I think Vienna still wins]. Even so, this girl can only take so many days surrounded by concrete + asphalt.

This past weekend was a nice break from the big city. I tagged along with friends + friends of friends down to southern Switzerland for a few days. We crashed a family’s BBQ, indulged in an Italian meal whipped up by Swiss-Italians, drove insanely steep + windy mountain roads, watched street hockey tournaments, ate homemade cheese in the barn it was produced in + wandered wanderwegs. It wasn’t what I expected, but it was kind of awesome! More importantly, it was a weekend I would have never been able to pull off on my own! I was just the girl along for the ride. I rarely had any idea what the game plan was, even when I was the one driving! Language barriers are real. Very real.

Surprisingly, my fluency in German did not magically increase while I was gone. Last weekend, I also learned that even my shoddy Spanish is more useful than English when surrounded by Italian speaking Swiss. It’s also been hypothesized that being fluent in Italian makes you a good chef. I may need to spend some more time testing this hypothesis, which I’m okay with!

At the moment, I’m surrounded by bits + pieces of my gear + clothes. Everything is nearly packed up. Mostly. I’m almost ready. I am about to break this constant cycle of packing, unpacking + repacking. In about an hour I’ll be on a train headed west…to Gryon. Tonight I’ll crash my head into a pillow under the roof of Chalet Martin. I can. not. wait. My heart is ready to chase happy in the mountains + my brain is begging for a little more structure + responsibility in my every day life.

There is a lot to love about Switzerland, no doubt. However, the time I spent volunteering at this hostel that I came back for + that I’m craving. I’m here for the relaxed mountain life, surrounded by people with rich histories + ambitious futures in the mountains. The Alps. I really don’t think my mom had any idea how appropriate of a name “Heidi” would end up being for me… [thanks, Mom!]

Iceland; By the Dollars

09 May 17
Heidi Kumm
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one comments

We did minimal planning prior to hopping on a plane to Iceland. From time to time we’d talk about sitting down to plan. Every once in a while I’d scroll through a list of “5 must visit” or “8 best” list looking at photos + cocking an eyebrow at the Icelandic words. About a month before we showed up at the airport we decided we at least needed to find a place to sleep. A few Google searches + a colorful pros/cons list later we had our camper van booked. We also made reservations at a hotel in Reykjavik for our final nights in Iceland.

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Iceland; One Stop at a Time

08 May 17
Heidi Kumm
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4 comments

I spent a week in Iceland this spring, almost on accident. When I was searching for flights to Switzerland last fall I realized it was cheaper to fly through Iceland on Iceland Air than directly to mainland Europe. The airline’s website didn’t have to do much prompting to get me to book a “stayover” for the full 7 days. Once my flight was booked I spent a few months talking Robb into coming along to explore the island. Eventually, he gave in.

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When Being Alone Gets Lonely

05 Oct 16
Heidi Kumm
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16 comments
feeling-lonely

whenbeing-alonegets-lonely

Maybe it’s just me and the network for nomadic friends I have acquired over the years but my social media platforms seems to be full of articles about “being alone isn’t lonely” or “being alone makes me feel powerful” + other stories about how being alone isn’t a bad thing. All of those things are true.

However, sometimes being alone really does get lonely.

It’s true + it’s okay. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a real life thing. More importantly, it’s not something that just those of us literally on our own feel. Even people in long-term relationships, living with family + surrounded by a strong community feel lonely. Rather than try to deny or hide that let’s admit it, embrace it + let ourselves grow from it.

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The Mountain Loop Highway

20 Jul 16
Heidi Kumm
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one comments

I’m back in the van! After two weeks of hot showers, a full kitchen + easy access internet I have returned to my nomadic life in the TETON Sports #yourlead van. And…I was really excited to get back into the van. I was ready to move again. The van must have felt the urge to tone down my giddiness because it has been throwing things at me since the moment I pointed it east for the second leg of my trip.

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The Explosive Pacific Northwest

15 Jul 16
Heidi Kumm
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2 comments

Did you know the pacific northwest is full of volcanoes + craters, courtesy of a very explosive history with Mother Nature? Yea, it is. I mean, I survived high school, I do have some smarts so I am aware of the fact there is a lot of tectonic activity on the west coast. I just had no idea how much volcanic activity there was over here + how much it affected the landscape. Here, let me show you…

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