A Worrying Future

“So when did you get here?” “How long have you been in Switzerland?” “How long is your posting/contract?” “Are you staying?” From any social gathering, we all know these questions far too well. As a necessity, we also have the answers down to a fine art, unless good quantities of booze have been consumed or…

Do You Celebrate Becoming an Expat?

This coming April, we will celebrate the sixth anniversary of having come to Switzerland. Six. Whole. Years! How on earth did that come to pass? What strange winds blew us over sea and land to the mountains? What a bizarre twist of fate that was! Arrival in your strange, new land is the most obvious…

The Forever Future of the Summer!

  (click on the image to print it as a coloring page) Isn’t it curious how there are certain times of year that are designated as periods of enjoyment? We pile all our expectations into the basket of “summer,” “Easter,” and “Christmas” holiday seasons and declare that these are the times when we will enjoy…

Leading a Merry Dance: an Expats’ Guide to Christmas

There are many shoulds that are wrapped around the Christmas holidays like glitzy, cheap wrapping paper. Most of us have grown up with these cultural expectations for what the Christmas holidays “should” consist of, and we struggle to put together the magical ingredients for the “perfect” Christmas holidays. Each family and each culture has its…

The Challenge of Being an Expat

Isn’t it interesting what we consider to be a challenge, especially as inhabitants of a strange land? My first challenge upon moving here was to work out how to buy fruit and how to get said fruit to the checkout without being scowled at by the checkout lady and the entire queue (yes, I had…