New horizons?! >>> Summer break

Dearest reader,

It’s been exactly 3 years since I embarked on my viafranziska-journey! Amazing!

First and foremost, thanks so much for being part of it – it touches me to see that people from all over the world come across my blog and appreciate pictures and texts and accompany me in that way on my life’s journey.

I will now take a summer break before I start into a new phase – with my life and blog alike.

But not without a grateful review of enormously enriching experiences and encounters with people all over the world – family, friends, colleagues, strangers and new friends. It’s kind of overwhelming, overwhelmingly beautiful, beauty I’ve found all along the way. Here’s my little mindmap with key milestones and insights:

Mindmap - 3 years experience

And since it all started in Zurich three years back and today I stand here again in Zurich just before I take a summer break (and packing my bags again) – it seems like a circle is complete. Enjoy today’s summer impressions over the roofs of Zurich.

My first 21-day journaling challenge journey

Today is the last day of a 21-day-diary-challenge. It happened by chance – or however you wanna call it – I can’t even remember how I found the website but I definitely remember that it just felt like the right thing to click and subscribe and give it a go to unlock some hidden creative potential – who knows?!

Every morning I received an inspirational task – choosing a beautiful diary and pen, writing with my favourite song, creating a collage and use is as a base for writing, bringing a fantasy journey to paper, using the idea of changing the role to look at a personal challenge, writing in my favourite cafĂ©, new ways for writing inspiration (nature, wisdom, random opening of a book etc.), freewriting, 3-morning-pages and writing how I did or could creatively manage an unexpected situation in everyday life.

All those little tasks brought lightness into the days. Some challenges that were present in my mind (due to my current situation – exams ahead, searching for a new home and a new job and new love – basically a very soon-to-begin new phase in life) turned into opportunities or simply disappeard through the writing process. What a valuable experience! I learned some new techniques and got some new ideas and I hope you enjoyed the first of a series of “A story of change”.

A big THANK YOU to the challenger, Anne-Kerstin Busch, and the participants!





A story of change: The shoe saleswoman.

It is Monday, one day before my first formal job interview after a long time. I am in Zurich and go to that particular shoe shop called “Peter & Vreni“. I’ve known it since my past years in the city and somehow always liked it. I am confident that I will find the right shoes for that important moment tomorrow. I stroll the shelves, grab a few pair of shoes, sit down on a beautiful bench and try on the first ones. I walk a few steps to pose in front of the mirror and while I head back to the bench, a saleswoman comes my way. While I sit down again to try on the next pair, we get into a conversation about…feet. After I briefly mention that my choice of shoes should be in line with my slight halux, I must have hit the point – she gets into “her” field of expertise and experience and tells me her story of change: She used to have so-called hammer toes. It was in her 50s when she realised that she wanted to be a healthy person even at a higher age. Taking care of her hammer toes seemed natural to her and a challenge she was willing to take on at that moment in time. She tried out different things but what most helped her were the five fingers (aka barefoot shoes) and exercises for an upright posture. She shows me her exercise – she does it with such an elegance that I can recognise a content smile shining on her face. I continue to observe her. She has beautifully arranged and carefully chosen her clothes, her haircut, the make-up and shoes that perfectly fit her dressing. She continues to sparkle and ends with the conclusion, that she is and feels much more healthy now in her 60s than back in her 50s and her hammer toes are on the best way to become normal toes.

In the meantime, I have also tried on the five fingers and am convinced of the benefits but somehow they don’t fit my imagination of a proper shoe for my job interview 😉  Still, I find the comfy and elegant shoe I was looking for and the confirmation, for my own efforts and tender-loving-care for my feet (daily massage, toe exercises and walk a lot barefoot).

What made her change happen and how/what did she do:

  • A conscious decision to take care of herself
  • A vision of her health in future
  • Action: Trying out different tools, working with her body and mind
  • Observing results and celebrating success
  • Sharing her experience



A few days in paradise – Gantrisch

After a few weeks in the city, the countryside was calling me. Gantrisch, a beautiful region near Berne was on my to-discover-list. I book a studio in an old farmer’s house, buy a train ticket and off I go. It is kind of a connected yet at the same time remote area. That’s what I realise once I got to the wrong “Allmid” in Hinterfultigen instead of Helgisried-Rohrbach and when I loose the last public transport around 6pm. But it could have been worth – weather and the area is simply beautiful for an evening walk, never mind. After a while I also reach mobile connection again and I can talk to my host. A very friendly lady, comes to catch me half way down – lovely. She takes me further over hills with stunning views to the alps into a little paradise. My studio is in a beautifully renovated farm surrounded by a pond, a herb garden and trees, meadows and forests. I hear birds singing, otherwise, it is totally silent. Wow, how relaxing. For four days these peaceful moments are granted to me and I literally soak them up. I observe birds, woodpeckers, insects, cats, deers and salamanders. I hike through forests and over hills where cows, horses, sheeps and dogs greet me in their very own way. I study and translate with a view into the green in the rhythm of birds’ songs. What a pleasure – what a paradise!

What is your story?

This week’s course inspired me to think about intercultural encounters. Something that luckily happens very regularly in my life and makes it so rich. Meeting human beings with a different cultural background always triggers this curiosity in me. It allows me to wonder, about myself, about the others, about the mind and perceptions, about the world. It allows me to question my own culture, find differences and things in common and to look at things from a another viewpoint. Have you ever wondered about your own culture and others’ cultural background?

The first stories that are still very vivid are The story of the frog , the 10-day-experience with the nomad family in Mongolia – Zwischenstopp bei einer Nomadenfamilie (attached text in German only for the moment) and the Sea men’s life.

What is your story? What beautiful, inspiring, astonishing or refreshing and changemaking intercultural encounters bring a smile back onto your face?

ETH Zurich – University architecture

Most of my time in Zurich is dedicated to the last semester of the studies in Development and International Cooperation. While our program mainly takes place in a separate building, I every now and then venture into the main building of ETH where I can find some quiet study spaces and at the same time gain some architectural inspiration. It’s an interesting place to stroll around and discover, and, to my surprise, there is also a good presence of women 🙂 The university exists since 1855 and several people have over the years gained international attention which nowadays makes it kind of fun having a coffee in the Einstein cafeteria. Enjoy some of the building’s impressions.



Easter road trip in bella Italia

I hop on the train and off we go. Destination Modena, Italy. I am visiting a friend for Easter. We both like travelling, spontaneaously, intuitively. And so are our days. As I arrive, we start with a wonderful late dinner with some of her friends in a traditional restaurant in the hills. Great service. You can literally feel the love for Italian food that owners and guests share. Next day, after breakfast we decide – mountains or the sea? Sea. Sun. Sand. A proper “caffe” espresso, some gasoline and here we go. With a little sense of freedom.

We stop at a beautiful piadina bar in the middle of the salt works before we go for a sunset visit. As it is not really the salt producing season, we particularly enjoy the sunset atmosphere and observe the elegant flamingos and other birds. After a lovely dinner in Cesenatico, we walk along the beach and enjoy the moment of a moon reflecting in the sea.

The next day we explore the small port and the picturesque historical centre of the town with its channels. The sun is shining, it is a lovely day to stroll the little streets and discover a spot’s enchantment. A homemade “gelato” crowns my day. The afternoon brings us to the next destination – Ravenna – where cultural, historical and religious aspects stand in our focus. The town has many old churches with unique mosaics, it all goes very well hand in hand to remind the Easter days. We return to Modena where we started our little journey with some beautiful impressions, wonderful shared moments and well nourished by fantastic food.

Thanks, dear Cate! Hasta la proxima!

Four seasons: Spring feelings in Zurich

Everything is waking up. Nature. People. Children. Ideas.

More light, more energy. It is a special time of the year. Grey and brownish tones of the landscape change for shiny green and colorful garden and meadows. People add to their dark shaded winter dress a few more color splashes. A rather grey Zurich becomes colorful. People smile, walk, talk, kiss and some sail on the lake.

Birds sing, children play. Families make the first outdoor barbeque. Garden beds and terraces are being prepared. The bench gets the sunset spot. It is an awakening atmosphere. Contagious.

What’s the beginning of spring brining to you? Are there suddenly new ideas or projects, new perspectives? Long-cherished dreams coming to the surface? Follow the thread, it can bring new opportunities.

I wish you inspiring and blooming spring days!