Country love instead of urban jungle

For the sake of his children, Andreas Franze moved with bag and baggage from Berlin to St. Johann in Tirol, his former home, because growing up here is different from growing up in the big city. It’s a life where freedom counts and nature is completely sufficient as a playground.

© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

Andreas Franze would probably describe his childhood as normal and unexciting. "I was born in St. Johann in Tirol, completed a regular school education and then decided to move to Innsbruck to study." A study year abroad - in the USA - brought the decisive turn in his life. "It was there that I met my current wife, a native of the big city of Berlin." The decision was quickly made to say goodbye to country life and to greet the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany with a hearty "Servus". The question of starting their own family was short-lived, and they were both lucky enough to become parents. With the children, another question suddenly came to light, sowing the first doubts about our choice for our family’s home. "I don't want to say that Berlin is not worth living in, but the feeling of freedom was missing and with it a certain amount of open space. In Berlin, I can't send my children to play outside the front door without a care in the world. The offers that are there all take place within a pedagogical framework with absolutely necessary rules, but the possibility of going into the forest alone to build a tree house for hours on end was not possible for our children there."

© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

The call of home

A decision had to be made, considerations for a new place to live followed, including "test living" in other cities. Finally, they went to Tyrol during the Summer and one day it just clicked: "This is it. This is where we want to see our children grow up." A decision that no one has regretted to this day, not even for a minute. "Life is much less complicated. In the city there is always a certain stress and noise level, in the country a short shopping trip or a short walk is much more relaxed." Andreas has never been back to Berlin since the move: "That's probably also a sign that we made the right decision." For him, the return feels right.

© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie
© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

The pace of life in childhood

Today, Alois’ children often play all day on the banks of the river Ache in St. Johann. There is no time pressure, they just go with the flow of nature and the seasons. "The freedom to be outside in the fresh air, without anything having to function according to certain rules, this is what we have provided for our children. Now they can just enjoy growing up, carefree and at their own pace."

In Winter, skiing, cross-country skiing and tobogganing beckon, while in Summer it's hikes, bike tours or carefree hours in the water that the family enjoys. It often doesn't take much to make children happy. A few branches and stones are often enough to stimulate creativity and build a dam from the materials available in nature. "Children are also allowed to fail sometimes. Nature is very forgiving and the best teacher for this. You just begin a second attempt. Gathering such experiences is part of development." Thanks to nature, sensory perception is sharpened: "Be it only the smell of an Alpine meadow in Summer or the light breeze of a refreshing Autumn wind, the feeling for your own environment is playfully integrated into everyday life in the countryside."

Let go, feel the freedom

kitzbueheler-alpen-lebenswege-familie-franze-c-kitzbueheler-alpen-daniel-gollner-100© Daniel Gollner Fotografie

According to Andreas, it is these feelings of longing that draw many holidaymakers back to Tyrol again and again. "Of course, we market this romantic comfort and security to a certain extent. When a loving couple, on an advertising poster, looks longingly into the distance at the sun setting over the mountains, a conscious contrast to everyday life is created. The feeling promises deceleration and it is allowed to do so, because that is exactly what our guests find with us, because it is real and not contrived, because no one here fulfils clichés just because that's how they are described in the brochure. The authenticity that distinguishes us is what the guest ultimately feels."

Kitzbüheler Alpen - Lebenswege | Familie Franze aus der Region St. Johann in Tirol

Sabine Ertl

Sabine Ertl

...nurture body and soul. Born 1986 in Carinthia, studied media and communication sciences in Klagenfurt. As a freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger she likes to travel a lot. Mountain freak, horse freak, neo-cellist and gourmet. More details: www.gedankenschmiede.at more details

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