Where is the best place to spend the lockdown? That is the question. For me the city was a ‘no’ - I needed a place at which the lockdown was indeed a lockdown, but didn’t feel like one.
Indeed I found a spot, or rather a gem. A small town named Bivio with 209 inhabitants (now 211) right next to St. Moritz of the Engadin, one of the most famous places of Switzerland, but nothing like St. Moritz. Quite the opposite actually, Bivio has ‘old charm’, welcoming authenticity and personality. It reminds me of visiting my grandparents, I felt transported to another time. A time that passes a little slower, a time that lets you be in control of what you do and when you do it. I don’t know about you, but my grandmother Lili used to let me get away with ANYTHING! :D
What amazes me the most, is this new-found perception of time, being fully productive, stress-free with plenty of time to spare for recreation.
This is not a holiday, so I am working from home daily, as you do, from Monday to Sunday, because work is fun. The stress of the city hustle is gone from the moment you step foot in Bivio. There are no distractions in home quarantine, this allows me to focus and I really love that! What used to be a coffee break ‘at the water cooler’ is now a quick ski run in the local resort or a ski tour on one of the surrounding peaks of the Alps.
Where does all this time come from you may ask? The answer is easy, there is no commuting in quarantine life, in Bivio you can reach everything on foot and nothing is more than five minutes away. Picking your clothes is a lot faster too, it is winter now so I pick the warmest item in my closet every time I go out. No one cares if you look stylish or not, here we practice social distancing so no one gets too close either ;)
So what do I do with all this extra time apart from working? Well that depends on the mood. Bivio might be small, but it has a lot to offer. I like to relax in the pool or sauna that comes with the apartment, or with more energy, a few rounds on the ice-skating rink or a short sleigh ride on the Swiss mountain trails are always fun. Others also take advantage of the cross-country skiing facilities, a short walk, long hike or even jump into the ice-cold glacier water of the river Julia, but that is not really my thing. After one or two hours of outdoor activities, I hit the laptop with my energy fully recharged and my stress levels back to zero. I feel fully productive, ready to deal with my challenges and I still have time to spare for cooking a nice meal.
Yesterday my girlfriend and I went to a show by Damien Hirst in St. Moritz. Whaaaaat? An art event during lockdown? A Damien Hirst exhibition right next to a town of 200 people? We were just as surprised as you are - but where there is a will, there is a way - all corona-complaint of course, most of the pieces were displayed outside and it was a bit of a treasure hunt to find them as they were on display throughout Engadin Valley.
Bivio is not the place for large social gatherings, most of the activities offered here are outdoor sports, so we mostly don’t even notice that we are actually in a lockdown. It is just a different way of life and I love it!
The best part about this place is that you do not really need to be rich in order to profit from what it offers. The village is quite affordable and many of the activities are even free. The price tags on food in the local market will probably shock you (unless you’re vegan) but that’s just Switzerland.
The apartment we stayed in, Bivio 41 is up for grabs on Airbnb, if you are interested, the link is here.
The Corona lockdown and working from home come with unique moments for everyone. We would be thrilled if you would share one of your favourite teleworking moments.