Catching up with me

It’s been a while now since I blogged. No one to be blamed here, expect I, me and myself. But there have been reasons ranging from busy guest and holiday schedules, to cricked neck, pulled arm, nerve-wrecked leg and more.

However, since I’m back on track now – let me begin with where I left. No – not my book; for you have either read it, or read interviews that I have proudly and humbly included in my blog; or perhaps are not interested. Either way, I’m back in my element at what I love doing – writing. Simply writing: for my pleasure – and hopefully yours.

Living up to my challenge

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-14-09-53Let me start with my 10 days of silence in the attempt to find what lies beyond the realm of interaction, within and perhaps in another realm. 10 days of life as a ‘Grihastha Sanyasini’.

10 days of Vipassana. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could live in isolation – just with myself. I wanted to find out where the mind without any external stimulus would go. I wanted to see if I had the guts to simply be. I was curious.So, off I went…

Day one: anticipation of what lay ahead. I understood the rules: no reading, no writing, no eye contact, no talking, no gestures, no contact of any kind with anyone within or outside of the ‘ashram’ confines. And I’ve been a stickler for rules.

What worried me most – more than being non-interactive and communicative for 10 days was – the wake-up gong at 4am. Not an early bird and a deep sleeper, I was petrified should I miss something. After all, the goal was to gain from this lifestyle to the maximum.

So after my registration on arrival and a soup and bread dinner, I locked my belongings (mobile, notebook, papers and pens, money, train pass, jewellery including the wedding ring and ‘mangalsutra’) in the locker and gave the key to the organisers, who were instructed to not give the key back right till the end of the course and day of departure.

I asked the organiser if I could get a low-tone alarm clock. She refused. I asked if I could be woken up. She said I’d hear the gong. I said, “What if…” She said, “Don’t worry.” I asked if my roommates or the gong lady could please shake me awake. She said, “We can’t allow contact, physical or verbal”. I was desperate and asked if she could drop a glass of water on me every morning. She said, “You’ll wake up. Don’t worry. You have 5 minutes to meet your three roommates. You’re on bed number 24D with one cupboard for your clothes. The silence bell rings in 4 minutes and then you will reach the meditation hall for sitting order allocation.”

I ran to my room, which was on the second floor. A brief hello to everyone was followed with an exchange of names. A quick question from an older roommate: “Would it be okay to have the window open for airing in the early mornings?” (The temperature outside was minus 23). A democratic decision from all roommates: “Yes, but if someone is freezing, the person should walk up and close the window by herself.

Gong! And the ‘Silence’ had begun. The gong would be our instructor and friend for the next 10 days telling us to wake-up, proceed to the meditation hall, head for our meals, proceed for the multiple language pre-recorded sermons, and go to bed.

The only writing that would be visible would be the timetable for the day.

The only interaction: breathing.

The only time to talk (with the meditation in charge) – 5 minutes reserved for those who volunteered to sought advice or ask questions regarding technique.

The only time to walk: anytime other than the 14 hours of meditation each day and the 7 hours of rest phase at night.

The only time to eat: meal times, in the common dining area.

I was sure I’d lose weight – and I did! 3 kilos in 10 days (joy-oh-joy). What do you expect on a breakfast of hot chocolate or tea with fruit or a slice of whole meal bread with peanut butter? I started off with ‘dalia’ – but the gooey mass was too unappetising at 6am – two hours after the morning meditation session.

Lunch was served at 12. Delicious vegetarian food and salads. But with no exercise, you barely have an appetite. Plus you don’t want to stuff yourself and go for a prolonged noon snooze. After a light meal, I’d go out for a walk in a confined area and then snooze for 30 minutes before the next meditation session. After meditation, a dinner of fruits and tea was put out at 5 pm. I couldn’t go beyond a tea and ½ a banana and ½ an apple. Shortly after an hour-long dinner break, we would head into the next slot of meditation until 9; followed by an hour-long recorded sermon. Then it was time to clarify technique or get questions answered and lights off at 9:30pm.

Day two: I thought I’d die of boredom. I mean… how much of the same kind of focused breathing could you deal with? My head hurt. The newness had already ebbed. I wasn’t sure of the number of times I had brought my mind back from nothingness (read snoozing) to thoughts of my life at present and day dreams. I was breathing in a focused way but I had to get myself back every now and then. The headache was killing me already! Migraine. In my 5-minute talk, I asked for medication, only to be refused. This was perhaps a way of cleansing… I was told. A painful way, I thought. I was sick. No eye contact. No interaction. I was shrinking into myself. Into sadness. Into a cold emptiness that I didn’t like.

I had begun to reject the concept of birth and death, of detachment. I was a mother and a wife. I could not come to terms with believing that “nothing was mine. There was no ‘me’. And hence my kids and husband were not mine either… I wanted out!

I contemplated running away. But no – I wasn’t a quitter. I would not be able to face myself in the mirror, in the knowledge that I gave up! That I gave up something I wanted to experience so bad. (Later, I learned that 2 of the 13 women had left without a whisper and 3 had thought of running away.)

No… I told myself. I can’t quit. It was just a matter of a few more days. But how many? I had lost track of time. The days and nights, noon naps and nighttime sleep, breakfasts and dinners, meditative sessions and sermons – all merged into one ritual with no beginning and no end!

I kept sinking into hollowness. My thoughts were disturbing. I couldn’t control anything. The mind was like a monkey that grabbed on to one branch of thought without really leaving the other that seemed to be still  lurking in the head.

Thoughts sneaked in and out of the mind without any indication. It was like intruders trespassing your person!

Past, present, future, reality, dreams, fears, reality, imagination and the surreal – everything merged into one big chaos in my head. There was no focus. Meditation, sleep – it all one big state of stupor – a negative feeling of despair. There were no boundaries – and if there were, I never knew when and why I crossed from one into the other. At times unaware of the crossing over myself! I was tormented. My mind would explode, I thought.

My eyelids turned into a screen. I saw it all. Tom and Jerry cartoons from my childhood to Star-Trek. My grandparents and great grand mother talking to me on one side of the screen and my family coming over to pick me up on another part of the same screen. Yes, it was a very disturbing phase that seemed never-ending.

Finally, the breathing techniques had been developed further. While listening to the sermon, I realised it was day 4. What!

Just day 4. It had seemed like a lifetime! There seemed a little change in the routine. After a while (it may have been a day or, may be,  two) my ‘aha’ moment came along. I felt that my life was beautiful. Everything I questioned in my past unfolded. It seemed like I was living my life from my earliest memories of when I was barely two, to now. Things that I was not aware of, but had questioned came to light. I saw my life like an open book – and realised that every moment was meant to be the way it had been. For, there was no other way. It was destined by my ‘karmas’. I was at peace. No regrets. No questions. My inhibitions, my fears had fallen away or I had seen the reason as to why I had felt the way I did.

I smiled. I felt cheerful and lighter. After what seemed like days, I looked beyond my toes and noticed other life around me – some dragging there feet for they were perhaps fighting there own ghosts and challenges; others sprightly, for they had, perhaps, reached their ‘aha-moment’.

One thing was certain – these days of silence were impacting everyone in some way or the other. From being bored stiff, to combating sedentary stiffness and discomfort, to having a blast – there was a wave of experiences in all attendees.

I now had a spring in my step and looked forward to every next day – as it would be a day closer to getting home to my family. A day completed successfully at the ‘ashram’. I started to meditate better; wake up happier; enjoy my meal and savour the simple flavours; go for my walks, forgoing the 30-minute afternoon nap and sleep deeper.

Finally, it was time to go home.

Talking seemed an effort. Everyone sounded hoarse but eager to share their experiences. The barrier between men and women was removed. I had forgotten in these 10 days that another gender of the human species existed! We could open our lockers and call our loved ones.

Yes. I had successfully gone through 10 days of complete rejection of concepts to partial acceptance of some and complete acceptance of some others. 10 days of fighting off the monotonous depressive sermons, coming to terms with what seemed sensible but far-away concepts and realigning life and thoughts within were now behind me. 10 days of going crazy with my mind monkeying around and groping at memories, imagination, reality and the surreal were a story of the past. This was in February 2016.

My takeaway in one line: This too shall pass

My learning: Be aware and live in the moment to maximise on every experience in life

My perception of Vipassana: Like any other meditation or self-development exercise, this too has its ideology. I don’t think I can accept everything. But what I do choose to accept has certainly added a calmer dimension to my life.

Please feel free to add comments and remarks – but do remember – my views are mine – and in no way do I intend to hurt anyone’s sentiments.


Danke vielmals!

For featuring me on the front page – and inside!

Being a journalist provides ample excitement. True. But being on the other side of journalism… being covered ‘by’ the media instead of covering ‘for’ the media is a different ball game altogether. It gives you the thrill of accomplishment – however big or small. It leaves you with profound humbleness and gratitude. It gives you an understated gleam of confidence and pride. And it makes you want to scream out “thank you world” off rooftops!

Yes, Aradhna is on a high. Blessed. Humbled.

Have a look :


Read on!



Becoming Swiss: a fun ride!

Becoming Swiss – if your partner is a foreigner in the country, too – is far from child’s play. Other than the obvious prerequisites of having a clean criminal record, financially sound background with all dues and taxes paid, insurances in order, etc.; you need to be truly integrated – linguistically and socially. And you need to let that reflect in your behaviour in all ways as possible; be it by immaculately separating your garbage or wishing your neighbours ‘gruezi’, etc.

If you really want the Swiss passport with all your heart and for the right reasons, the journey gets easier as you automatically and seamlessly integrate and ingratiate yourself into your society.

But back to the basics first: If you’ve lived in Switzerland for a period of time (usually 12 years for non-EU and non-Americans, such as yours truly), you can visit your ‘gemeindehaus’ and express your desire to be Swiss. They will then enlist the documents you need to assimilate to begin the process.

Be ready to pay at every level for each document and the tests that follow.

Different cantons, different rules

There are other conditions. For one, each canton has a different set of rules. And within the canton, each ‘gemeinde’ has an additional set of independent criteria. So we were in for a rude shock when we were told to wait another 4 years since our particular ‘gemeinde’ needed us to have lived there not for 2, but for 6 years; irrespective whether or not we had fulfilled the country’s law of having been in Switzerland for 12 years already.

However, rules change within cantons. So within the next 2 years (instead of 4), we were called to apply for the citizenship.

The process described below is not a national standard. The tests are now in the process of being standardised though.

Study time

Weeks after collating and sending in your documents to the cantonal migration department, the ‘gemeinde’ will inform you whether the application and documents has met the prerequisites or if any other information needs to be supplied. Once the formality is complete and everything is in order according to the canton, the ‘gemeinde’ will inform you about the once a week, 6-week-long ‘Gesellschaft’ lessons that are held at the district headquarters. You can also get your dossier with all the information for self-study; but, in my view, the course makes it easier.

In addition to testing your knowledge on ‘Gesellschaft’ which is a crash course on themes including history, geography, democracy and federalism, rights and duties, social security and health issues, the work and education system as well as the local religions followed and holidays, you also have a separate test on language skills. So train well in advance!

The Exam

The ‘Gesellschaft’ examination that lasted an hour and 45 minutes with a 14 pages of multiple choice and other questions in clearly demarcated sections: Country, canton, gemeinde.

It wasn’t a cakewalk.

A week hence, I appeared for another long language exam followed by a 30-minute interview in German and Swiss German.

The politicians step in

If all goes well, and you pass all exams with a minimum of 50%, you and your partner will be invited by the ‘Gemeinderat’ for a personal interview; in a way to get to know why you want to be Swiss, how integrated you feel. Treat it like an emotional test where your motives, lifestyle, the ‘at-home-here’ feelings are rated.

The media steps in

Your intent to become Swiss and the recommendations of the eight municipal politicians are then published in the local newspaper, with the announcement that the residents of the areas are now welcome to vote for or against your citizenship at the next ‘Gemeindeversammlung’/village meeting.

The voting

On the day of the meeting, it’s best for you and your family to be visible and present for it is much appreciated by the residents to see you there in person as they raise their hands for or against you. You may be asked to step out of the meeting during the voting process in certain cases. There may be questions or discussions; but the sailing can be smooth.

And once all goes well, you are announced as a citizen of the village, canton and country. Congratulations are in order.

Now commences the payment of additional bills and the wait for your call to go in for your biometrics and finally the Swiss passport.

A seemingly long process, I believe it is a good one to ensure integration at the political, social and emotional levels. If you have your heart on the right side and want to make this country ‘home’ – however taxing the process may appear to be, you will feel secure and valued at the end of it.

(Original article – later published in Mothering Matters.)

Aradhna Sethi is the author of “The Entrepreneur’s Wife – A Survival Guide”.  Follow her on and on Twitter.


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Aradhna Sethi writes the survival guide for entrepreneur wives

Aradhna Sethi writes the survival guide for entrepreneur wives

A journalist, a copy-editor and the ex-Chief-Editor of Swiss News, Aradhna Sethi harboured a dream of writing a book at least once in her life. Well, she has made her dream a reality with The Entrepreneur’s Wife. The book is a combination of fiction and excerpts from her life as the wife of her entrepreneur husband, Anil Sethi. Anil as she says is the “sole and soul cause” of her debut book.

Aradhna Sethi

Aradhna was born in Chandigarh and lived in many metro cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai because of her father’s Indian Oil Corporation job, and so she grew up adapting to various cultures very smoothly.  Post a journalism course from XIC, came the most difficult aspect- getting a job in a publication she loved the most- Copy Editor at Femina. “I still remember standing at the TOI entrance, shivering in my shoes, wondering why this prestigious institution would hire a rookie like me! Pretty unsure of myself, I walked into Pradeep Guha’s office. The interview was great and at the end of it he said that I would be sent a work contract in a week. I stepped out in total disbelief. This was it! I was going to work at India’s top media headquarters at the time. And that was the start of my career with Femina, which was then led by Sathya Saran as Editor,” Aradhna recalls.

aradhna sethi , author
Her different roles in life inspired her to writing: Aradhna Sethi

I was a little taken aback when I realized that despite being a first world country, women still are paid a lower salary than their male counterparts for the same job

In less than five years though she found herself to be marrying her dream man, and moving to Europe. A short stint as financial journalist for a portal followed, and then came the job at one of the few English publications in Switzerland, the tabloid Swiss News.  “On reading Swiss News, I had felt the pulse of what was happening around me in the country I have made home for 9 months now. When I called them, the congratulatory message turned into an invitation for an interview for the job of co-editor. I joined Swiss News and was really happy at being back in my element of people and print,” she  added. She was promoted to the post of chief editor within a few months. This made her the first below-30 Asian woman to be the editor of Switzerland’s national tabloid in English. “I felt blessed and grateful.”

About writing her first book, she said that she always wanted to do it but somehow could not. “Through those years, my roles of being a wife, a mum, a breadwinner, a small-time entrepreneur, a supportive partner took precedence over all else. Today, I have no regrets because, finally, it was just all of those roles, the turmoil, the learning and more that made me step out of a job and make time to follow my dream.”

About The Entrepreneur’s Wife

I’d say that for Start-up spouses and those who want to go into the business of entrepreneurship – “The Entrepreneur’s Wife” proves to be a survival guide. For those who are already on the roller coaster – this book will make you connect to the unspoken world of entrepreneurship – what I call ‘Behind the Scenes’ of it all.

A writer or a journalist

A writer! Yes, and that too despite the uncertainty of being read, the fear of being negatively reviewed or criticised. I’m done with my journalism days. It was fun while it lasted. But it’s time to move on.

The Entrepreneur's wife

Life is all about change. So, when the going gets tough, you’ve got to be tough and get going

The Swiss Tales

I’ve always been very open to new experiences and adapt and adopt easily. I guess that comes from the ‘nomadic’ life I lead as a child in India. It was just a lot of learning at one shot! From being single to being married. Learning a new language. From having a buzzing lifestyle in Bombay to settling in a quiet village of 4,000 people. The peace and quiet was too much to handle at times. It was all so different.

As a woman, I was a little taken aback when I realized that despite being a first world country,women still are paid a lower salary than their male counterparts foe the same job. And foreign women are paid even lower. Then there is this distinct unspoken but strongly felt divide between working mothers and non-working mums. You’ll read all about it in my book.

What was conspicuous by way of its absence was eve-teasing. Safety and the level of human respect are so high here. The dignity given to one and all is exemplary. No letches. No one trying to grab you or make a pass at you. You could wear what you want and carry it off with dignity. It’s all so refreshing.

Another refreshing change was that whether it’s marriage or work, a woman is an equal partner here. So it’s perfectly normal for her husband to cook up a meal for the family if she’s out for a meeting. There are no tags or insulting insinuations attached to roles of being a housewife or a househusband. Everything is normal and need-based.

I just felt that the women I’ve met here are more open and expressive individuals; they make time for themselves– and they are accepted that way.

No failures just lessons

I have come to believe that there are no failures as long as you learn from your mistakes. There are no low moments once you learn to feel deeply and let go.

But yes, we’re all human and all of us go through our highs and lows – however balanced our approach to life is. So when I hit my lows and feel like all has failed, I take a moment to count my blessings.  I think my mother did a good job of instilling in me the fact that you’ve got to go on with no regrets as you can’t turn the clock back.

Life is all about change. So, when the going gets tough, you’ve got to be tough and get going. This is the only life you’ve got – and the one time that you have to live it up! So pop in a Swiss chocolate without the calorie guilt and get moving.

Favourite Genre in books

Depends on my mood and time available really… Romance to thrilling mysteries, classics to chik-lit. At the moment, I’m reading ‘Jane Eyre’ and Jonathan Livingston’s Seagull for the nth time. A few weeks ago it was ‘Lipstick Jungle’ and a PG Wodehouse. I also have started Jerry Pinto’s ‘Em and Hoom’ and Khushwant Singh.

What I do steer clear of is horror tales or anything that has a sad ending.  My current favourite – ‘The Entrepreneur’s Wife’

Through shades of the unknown…

Being an entrepreneur’s wife isn’t easy. I know there are many of you who’ve been there, done it, got the tag. But for me, my journey in Europe – in my home away from home – provided me with the impetus to finally sit down and pen my debut book. Alternatively, I might have just imploded without ever making my dream of being an author come true.

Everything – from my marital status, to my country and continent of residence, the languages spoken and not spoken; and even my job profile was new to me. Had I not seen the futility of some of my misdirected anger, my impatience and explosive nature, things might have turned rather unpleasant. Had I not adhered to my strong belief that change is the only constant; and seen humour in my situation, I might have lost my marbles – completely. Had I not written this book and turned author – I would have regretted losing the opportunity to make my dream come true.

 “The Entrepreneur’s wife – A Survival Guide” goes to prove that, if being an entrepreneur is difficult, being a start-up wife is a task not many can stick through – which is also perhaps why so many marriages fall apart or end up turning psychologists and marriage counsellors into multi-millionaires. Yes, at one point, I had very seriously thought of becoming a trained Life Coach, specialising in dealing with entrepreneurial families. I googled schools where such courses taught were of value and recognition within Europe. That done successfully, my idea was shot down only because it cost a heavy amount – the weight of which my purse strings would not have been able to tolerate at that point.

But back to the book. Why the tagline of “A Survival Guide”? Well, as I started to key in the chapters, I found myself forming little takeaways and comments. I italicised them for my own references and began following this pattern. Later through editing and re-reading stages, I decided to keep my own learning and call this novel a survival guide as that’s what it finally shaped into.

As you go through the pages, you will realise that this book will enable start-up couples to understand each other better. Of course, as you live together and go through situations, you lean along the way. But you learn in retrospect of it all – provided you make it together till the end. So this is an attempt to capture all the flavours of being an entrepreneur’s spouse and a small entrepreneur as well.

If you are a reader who is an entrepreneur or the spouse of one, all you need to remember through this journey is that nothing – nothing at all is run of the mill or ‘normal’ in the true sense of the word in a start-up family.

If you want to go into the business of entrepreneurship, here’s a word of advice. Read this ‘survival guide’. Read it over. Make an informed decision to stick with your chosen life of uncertainties tinged with significant downs before the ups.

And finally, if you’re already on the roller coaster – this book will make you connect to the unspoken world of entrepreneurship – what I call ‘Behind the Scenes’ of it all. You will connect, laugh, cry and laugh till you cry!

procelainSo take your time, check out the highs and lows of the start-up life, peppered with a touch of exaggeration and a dash of good humour. You will see it all: Despair. Guilt. Explosions. Roles within roles. The good times. Tests of patience and commitment. Peace. Practicality. And much more.

Enjoy the highs when they come in and roll with the blows.

Prepare yourself for the roller-coaster tale of love, life, and beyond.

Read “The Entrepreneur’s Wife – A Survival Guide”.

It’s been a while

And the reason for my long silence is 2-fold!

One is the fact that I went for a Vipassana course – hence the lingerings of “nobel silence”.A story that will be coming soon – and not on a serious note!

The second reason is the publishing of my book – my debut book!

I am on a merry-go-round of excitement, joy, bliss, nervous tension and so much more! I can’t believe my dream has actually and finally come true.

Available in E-book format, the hard copy of “The Entrepreneur’s Wife” will be released on Amazon end of May.

So, watch out! And please do get your e-copy and put in your much-valued star-ratings on


final changes
My debut book!

Flash back, flash forward -life!

Throw your mind back to those growing up years. Your first unaccompanied walk back home from the park; the first time you attended a birthday party without your parents; the first time you drove a bike and a car. Your first crush. Each step took you towards that much-coveted title of ‘adulthood’. That sense of independence was all simply so refreshing, so empowering, so liberating.

Flash forward to parenthood.

In all its phases!

There’s always some dilemma plaguing life! When you are tiny, you want to grow up. After all the growing up, you want to look younger – and you crave your childhood again. Then you turn into parents – and if you’re lucky – you grab that chance to live your second childhood through the eyes and experiences of and with your children. So parenting turns out to be a ton of fun (of course with oodles of responsibility – but we can leave that aside for now).

And what happens when your own kids follow in your footsteps – to be more ‘mum-like’ or ‘dad-like’ – take on responsibility – and get more independent?

At first, you cheer them on. You are happy. Thrilled to bits. And then, you pat yourself on the back for the good job done.

Last week, we returned from our ski vacation. My immediate concern was to unpack, set up home again, vacuum and – needless to say get back to cooking regular healthy meals. No – cooking is something I like. What I dislike is the chore of deciding what to cook. That close to kills me! So – when my kids decided they would cook dinner for a few days – I welcomed the idea.

I asked then how I could help with the cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing, preparing the meat or veggie. They –in their sweetest way- led me out of the kitchen and told me to “go and write” as they would ask me if they were unsure of something. With a promise from them to not burn or cut or hurt themselves and mess up the kitchen, I stepped out. In 10 minutes, I was called in to marinate the chicken. I was surprised that my 9 and 11 year old were planning a real chicken and veggies meal!

What came up in the next hour was a total joy. The two lead my husband and me into the dining area. The table was set with candles, neatly placed crockery and cutlery, paper napkins. Remarkably and artistically done. My daughter announced –“the starters” and dished out a mixed salad of chopped strawberries, apples and cheese cubes! Enough for all 4 of us. Next up was “the main course” as introduced by my son. He brought in Greek salad with well-cooked chicken – and everything that goes with it. Scrumptious! And then – it was “dessert time”. A plate of cookies was brought out with fresh coffee.

Impressed. Proud. Joyful. What a way to celebrate life!

I thought this was it! I was glad for the one-time relief from a “what should I cook decision”. But the feat was repeated the next day, too. This time with starters comprising a mix of fruits on a skewer stick and a main course of pan cooked sausages and steamed veggies. Again – the settings for a candlelit dinner had been created. Okaaaay… so another day without that irritating thought of thinking what to cook… Cool!

Day three, dinner consisted of the veggie and meat stuffed puff-pastry rolls baked to a delicious crisp, followed by a dessert of vanilla yogurt on a mix of berries! Oh. What fun!

Suddenly, coming face to face with certain surprises leave you with a terribly mixed emotion – one of awe, joy and immense pain. That’s what happened when kids took over a mum’s role.

I felt lost. Did they not need me any more? I was happy to see them have fun and be independent – but I felt short-changed in a way. This was all happening too soon! Was I this independent at 9 and 11? By no means! No – life back then was much slower. Different. But perhaps, when I at age 10, cooked my first omelette for my grandfather – for which I have a burn mark that I can still show – my mother might have felt the same way. Perhaps, I was in this rush to grow up. Perhaps, in ways more than one, my mother had gone through the same ycle of emotions….

Perhaps, it was time to slow down. Take stock. Take charge of the fact that life happens. And lucky are the few of us who can live in the moment, enjoy it, and release it with no regrets – knowing there’s no turning back…

Life is…


It’s Snow Time, Folks!

It’s Snow Time, Folks! Please check out Mothering Matters for the published online version of this article and more…

Crisp, clean, white and bright… with sunny blue skies and the freshness of nature – that’s what the Swiss winters are mostly about! There’s something magical in the air – a kind of happy and warm feeling that ensconces you. Add to this the wafting smell of apple cinnamon rings – and joy-oh-joy – the simple pleasures of life are enough to turn a cold winter into a beautiful feeling of happiness all around.

Being in Switzerland adds an outdoor charm – be it to a warm summer or a cold winter, to the freshness of Spring or the colors of Autumn. One of my family’s all-time favorite is Melchsee Frutt with its Blausee, which truly is blue, fantastic wanderwegs (walking paths) that run across the mountain range, traversing the four lakes at different levels.

This mountain resort village of Melchsee-Frutt, Kerns is situated in the Canton of Obwalden. The heart of the village is located at an elevation of 1,920 meters and the base station, Stöckalp, lies at 1,080 meters above sea level. The three peaks: Erzegg, Balmeregg and Bonistock reach the heights of 2,150, 2,255 and 2,160 meters, respectively. The winter spreads its sheet of white, turning it into a winter wonderland where the pristine slopes await skiers and frozen lakes serve as ice-rinks and sledding areas.

Alpine or cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, hiking, paragliding and fishing – you can do it all here. Equipped with chairlifts, T-bar lifts and gondola lifts, you can pick a destination of your choice cross the 32 acres of lift-accessible terrain.

A family holiday

A day trip or a weekend – Melchsee Frutt is sure to bring you fun and adventure. If you’re driving down (direction Luzern), please check the snow conditions. You can park your car for the day at Stöckalp and take the cable to the Sportbahnen Melchsee-Frutt or the chairlift Cheselen.

The ambience has an air of understated luxury and calmness. You can’t help but sing “The hills are alive…” The clatter of skis and the chatter of busy mums and dads and enthusiastic kids fills the area with a sense of completeness and completeness. You could simply go and just – BE.

The views are gorgeous, access is easy and the activities are plenty. So naturally, it’s a popular destination among the locals. Book your ‘ferienwohung’ or hotel room fairly in advance if you’re planning a weekend or a longer stay at Melchsee-Frutt. There are various offers available for group and individual bookings. Check out for more information.

If you’re a beginner or want to hone your winter sport talents, you could enroll yourself or the kids at the Swiss Ski and Snowboard School. The Sportbahnen is well connected to the different lifts that take you to the various ski slopes with different inclines. For the adventurous, a visit to the obstacle park – Fruttpark would be fun (though I haven’t been there yet! Perhaps, this winter!)

If you want to simply chill out and take it easy, snowshoe walking is a simple way to soak in the winter sun and amazing views. Walk across or skate across the frozen lakes here. A simple stroll will reveal the pristine beauty of this mountain range. Take along sleds for the kids, or hire them locally.

If you’re lucky and the weather is conducive, you might be able to register for ice fishing!

Don’t miss out on the typical Swiss fondues and Bratwurst available at the restaurants. And the hot fruit punches are a fantastic option for those who want to stay clear of alcohol-based beverages.

After a good day of skiing, walking, hiking or sledging, luxuriate at one of the many Spas at the hotels.


Enjoy each moment and click your happy memories in style!

Aradhna is the former chief editor of Swiss News and has been a consulting editor for other English language publications. An aspiring author, she blogs and writes while balancing the demands of growing kids and her entrepreneurial husband. Read her at: Follow her on Twitter: @AradhnaSethi.