The energy of the Alps is most palpable in the morning, when the everything is quiet. Dawn creeps over the mountain ridges and crowns them with a band of sunlight. There is no stop-and-go traffic, no car horns, no crowded public transport, no need to be anywhere else.
Instead, birds chirp in the trees behind your house and somewhere a church bell rings. The smell of forest and cut grass wafts in through the window. In the mountains you wake up knowing that the day is full of opportunities like these, to pause, breathe in the fresh air, and take time for yourself. It is this mindfulness that makes more and more young people to skip stressful city life and settle down in the Austrian Alps.
So what exactly is this alpine sense of life? Is it an attitude, a lifestyle, a sense of belonging? The young people who choose to spend their lives in the mountains agree that it is a little of everything. Some particularly value the sense of community a village has to offer. Some love that, at the end of a day’s work, they can cycle home across fields rather than through rush hour traffic. Some revel in the might of the mountains, the pure, clear air, and the silence of the forest. Some simply want their weekend getaway in nature to last forever. All of them want to breathe freely and find peace. They want to be themselves
“Like a fish in water” is how Guido Unterwurzacher feels in the mountains. No wonder, since he grew up at the foot of the craggy Wilder Kaiser range.Read more
Anna Pirtscher, a forest manager, has lived in the town of Altaussee in Styria’s lake region for two years. She loves that in the Alps you have “the woods at your doorstep and the mountains in your backyard”Read more
Does quitting your job as an engineer to run a mountain hut sound crazy? That’s exactly what Patrick Endl did when he moved from the city to the Krippenstein mountain. Along with his wife Mikela, he is fulfilling his dream of living up on an alpine meadow by running the Gjaid Alm lodge.Read more
Anne-Sophie Unger has made it her career to capture the world and its beauty. The freelance photographer lives at the foot of the Patscherkofel mountain outside Innsbruck, where she can combine her day-job with her hobbies.Read more