The Val-de-Travers region lies in the canton of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. There’s a small village bearing the same name in the Jura mountains. Forests bordered by mighty mountains surround this village. These mountains are where Patrick grew up.
In the 1980s, following the quartz crisis, he and his parents had to leave Val-de-Travers. They moved to the canton of Vaud, located between Lausanne and Geneva. After finishing his secondary education in Lausanne, he left to work in Geneva.
“You’ll make a better living in finance than in carpentry,” his father told him. For thirty years, he immersed himself in the world of finance, far from the peaceful world of the countryside.
15 years were spent in currency and precious metals trading and the following years in corporate risk management. He explored many countries and discovered many new cultures during business trips, which helped him enrich his mind and his knowledge. However, a love of the countryside remained deep in his heart.
“I stayed in the world of finance for convenience and not because I was enjoying it.” It was during these years that he met his wife. He became a father to two girls and they moved to Collonges-sous-Salève in France.
He explored Le Salève and, as a keen sportsman, he was able to enjoy some of his favourite sports, including cycling. We’re mentioning this because it’s significant!
It was on the way back from a bike ride (as well as following a series of coincidences) that the Cabanes du Salève entered Patrick’s life. On his way home alone from his ride (which happened very rarely), he passed a sign with a telephone number. He took a picture of it and went home, which was just 10 minutes away. He wasn’t sure at first, but eventually he phoned the number and it’s this call which started his new venture – the Cabanes du Salève!