My family and I are back "home", in the lovely countryside of the Upper Austrian Mühlviertel. The kids enjoy being outside all day, in the middle of vast meadows, forests and fields, surrounding the farm I once grew up as well.
I enjoy being back as well. It is nice to catch up with family and friends, to watch how my kids bond with their relatives, make new friends and discover what it is like to be "Austrian".
It took me quite a while to arrive. Well, I guess I haven't arrived yet. We are in a interim situation at this stage. My husband working and residing in Vienna from Monday to Friday, the girls and I living with my mum and my brother and his family on the farm I grew up. I am very grateful for the opportunity to slowly come back to our home country. In a way it is quite relaxing and comforting being surrounded by the people you love, the countryside you know and the tradition you are part of. But it is also a bit of a shock to the system. Suddenly so many opinions to listen to, considerations to take care of ... I guess you can't have the big advantages without a few challenges. But it is supposed to be an interim solution - as we are due to move to Vienna in early 2014 - once we had our very last "Christmas in Australia" farewell trip, and once we have found a nice place to live in Vienna.
You can imagine that there was not much time for my walkability project in the past few weeks - to many things going on with the move, settling in, introducing the kids to the Austrian Kindergarten and starting to work for my brother. But there is one thing that surprised me - or better - I didn't think of it before. The whole "Walkability - Topic" really seems to be more of an urban phenomena. Of course, as in cities you are more able to do your errands walking - or to generally "get somewhere" walking. Here in the country, you mostly "go for a walk" for the simple pleasure of walking, as other wise the day would not have enough hours to accomplish things that need to be done.
Having said that - it is either me being older and seeing things differently now, or even here in the country the "trend" to walk has increased. Very often I would see all sorts of people walk even during the day, Monday to Friday. It seems to become quite a socially accepted activity - and not a passe time for lack of anything better to do. :-)