I have accomplished a miracle. In my first month in Switzerland, I have only consumed caffeine on four occasions. Please hold your applause.
There are many reasons why my blood caffeine levels have reached negligible levels. The first being I don’t want to pay for coffee. In my budgeting for the semester, I have committed myself to spending an average of less than $10 a day on food. This leave very little room for eating out (which is ridiculously expensive here) or expensive cafe coffees. One cup of coffee is at least $3, which is hard to justify for a typical day here given my budget.
So why don’t I get my coffee fix for cheaper by brewing it myself? My floor doesn’t have any sort of coffee machine, so that’s that.
The most important reason, though, is that I am trying to seriously change my lifestyle. One of the benefits to moving to a new place is that you get to reinvent yourself and try living a new way. I find having no prior memories or attitudes associated with a new place eliminates most of my inner temptations and habits. Drinking caffeine at MIT was a bit of a survival habit, and even in my light weeks, I typically didn’t consume less caffeine because it was fairly ingrained in my routine.
Things have been much easier here so far in terms of my schedule. Having only one class with required homework means that I have much less stress and pressure weighing me down for the bulk of the semester. I now feel like I can afford an hour or two at the gym or to go to bed at a reasonable time every night. As a result, most days I am pretty well rested, go about my day at a leisurely pace, and don’t feel an overpowering need for coffee. How refreshing after 4 years at MIT.
Wish me luck to keep up with my new low caffeine lifestyle!