Remember that time I went to Switzerland? Not as casually as I just now made it out to be, but earlier this year I went to Switzerland for 2 weeks with my partner and his family; his mum and dad, and his younger brother. So I’ve never really gone out of the country with anyone other than my brother and a friend (which turned out badly, no friendship there anymore!).
I was nervous about that for sure, I’ve heard the horror stories others have told about their travels with the ‘inlaws’, and I’m pretty grateful nothing like that actually happened to myself!
At this point, Yannik and I hadn’t even been dating for a year, and also I had kind of just lost my job (the store closed), and so I was pretty excited about the opportunity. Switzerland was my first time to Europe, and my first time skiing! As an introverted person, I do need to recharge by myself, and being on a mountain in a small cabin for 2 weeks, it didn’t sound like I was going to be able to have a chance to relax on my own or have some quiet time.
But, here I am, nearly 5 months later, Yannik and I are still pretty happy dating each other, his family doesn’t hate me (that I know of!), we didn’t strangle each other during the trip, and we’re always talking/planning more trips together in the future.
Here’s a little guide on how to ‘survive’:
Yannik and I somewhat pride ourselves on being very open to each other in our relationship. If someone’s having a hard time with something, we talk it over. Feeling uncomfortable? We tell the other about it. I knew before the trip that I was feeling a little worried about it – my last experience of going overseas with someone I wasn’t related to ended really badly, the last time her and I talked was saying ‘see ya’ at the Brisbane Airport after we landed.
I was able to discuss with Yannik that I was a little anxious about the trip, and that because I knew we would be on a ski mountain for 10 days of the trip, I would sometimes just need a day to rest from skiing and to personally recharge from socialisation – that’s just how I am with social pressure sometimes, and I had no idea what it was going to be like as a whole, I was very anxious.
Discover Where You Can Escape To
When we got to Bettmeralp, we went for a walk through the little ski town, where I discovered there were a few cafes and shops, plus there was a loop I could walk around to have a look at the place. I knew that I would have to very quickly learn how to ask for certain things in German (not Swiss-German, that’s even harder!), but once I was able to ask for a coffee by myself, I felt more confident when I needed to have a rest day. Einen Kaffee, bitte!
I found that on my days that I didn’t ski, I’d enjoy walking through the little township and even sometimes got a coffee and tea with Yannik’s dad. I was pretty grateful to have someone with me most of the time, because I felt so awkward with knowing minimal German, even though I’m pretty sure by the end of the trip, they started to recognise me as the little Aussie girl who was there with the German family 😂
Take a Break
A few days into learning how to ski, I think I must’ve gotten really frustrated with how slow my progress was, which anyone would if they see little 5 years olds literally slinging themselves down a red slope at 100km per hour!
Yannik and I decided to take the gondola down to Brig for the day, there were markets on, the little town was GORGEOUS and I was able to escape a little further! This little town was so cute, full of old buildings, and we were able to take so many photos of the place. We even got to experience the Swiss traditional fondue in this little pub, and boy did I have the biggest food baby for quite a few days after.
Bring a Really Good Book
Remember that TV show ‘Under the Dome’ that was cancelled on channel 9? I recently binged the hell out of that show, and was very disappointed by how it ended on such a cliff hanger, and so I bought the book! This book is bloody huge, over 1,000 pages, it’s amazing, and because I didn’t want to bring a small book and then finish it in one day, I brought the book with me.
Just being able to sit down and read in a room full of people brought me a little bit of relaxation, and came in great use because the TV was in German, so I had no idea what on earth they were talking about. Want to see something weird? Watch the Simpsons in German. That’ll weird you out a little.
Into Photography? Bring Your Camera
Other than the photos I took whilst in Brig, I used one morning by myself to go for a walk and take some photos of the snow. Everyone else in the family had already seen snow many times before, but it was still a very new experience for me. I went for a walk, had my earphones in, was able to see the Matterhorn (commonly known as the mountain on Toblerone packaging).
Definitely helped me to explore a little, and made for some good shots to show my parents! I think they were a little sick of me sending videos to them of me stacking it whilst skiing.
Go For a Walk
I have no idea what it is, but the air in Switzerland is SO GOOD. We did a lot of walking over the trip, in the snow, in Zurich, in Brig, in Bern, and it just felt so good to get out and about. Because we were on the mountain for quite a majority of the trip, walking around the towns at any stage was a must for me, and I definitely need to go back one day and explore further.
Plan a Date Day
Our little date day was Brig, eating a lot of food, having a few glasses of wine (wein is cheap over there!) and all the lattes you could ever need (however, Australian coffee lovers will be a tad disappointed in the quality).
A majority of the time, the reason you’ve been invited to a trip with the inlaws is because they’re the ones who invited you. Remember that, because helping them out on the trip and remembering to do a few things with them will help along the way.
My best ‘inlaw’ moment? – On the first day of skiing, Yannik’s mum took me between her legs to help me ski because I literally could not stop falling over HAHAHA I looked like the biggest idiot, but I probably would’ve really struggled to learn how to ski without it.
Has anyone ever travelled with their ‘inlaws’?