When you severely dislike living abroad..(6 Posts)
So, where shall I start. Last July we moved from London to a tiny town in Switzerland because of DH's work and I have not been happy a moment since we have arrived here. DH is Swiss so it is not the first time we have been to Switzerland but I have experienced (or still experiencing) a major culture shock. I have paid so many bills for healthcare, tax, dentist, shopping etc etc, that when I all count it up I can buy a nice and decent car from that back in the UK. I would love to enjoy every day as it comes as the nature where we live is stunning and to be really honest I know that we have a good life here, healthcare is much better (even though you pay a fortune) air is better etc etc but I do miss London so much with its diversity, outgoing culture, friendliness of strangers in the street (not everywhere obviously) the nice variety of fresh foods that you can get in the supermarkets, the fact that you jump into the tube and this brings you everywhere. It also doesn't help that our flat in Switzerland is smaller than in London, so I feel even more locked in. I do speak German and attend bi-weekly playgroups but the people here seem so much more to themselves and not open at all!!
Who else has experienced something like this and did you then eventually like it and accepted the situation or did you decide to move back because it was better for all the family?
Solutions and experience stories more than welcome
Honestly, and I know from experience this is hard, but you need to stop focusing on what you don't like. Adding up the bills for example. It doesn't matter what it would pay for in London, you're not there, it DOES matter if the bills you're paying eat your income where you are, but it if they don't, stop stressing.
Try and focus on the good. For example the nature. Also, the medical, it's better. Excellent news. Bills, might be paying more but earning more?
Buy a bicycle and ride around? Or a moped or some such thing?
As for the people seeming much more "to themselves and not open at all" do you think maybe you're projecting how you feel?
It will get better. The more settled you feel the more open people will see you. The more settled the happier. Give it time.
Could you move to a bigger town or city with more expats?
Do you intend to live there long term and raise your dc as Swiss or do you see yourself as a expat ? It is a very hard culture to integrate into and the Swiss are quite reticent. Your dh is fine because he goes out to work and naturally meets and socialises whereas you have to go and find opportunities. It might be worth hooking up with an expat/bilingual group in the nearest city to visit a couple of times a month which would get you out of the insular small town environment. Do UK family and friends come over , might be nice to plan ahead a little . But 6 months is a relatively short while to expect to feel settled so try not to demand so much of yourself just yet.
Thanks for your honest views on this!I guess I have underestimated it quite a bit huh! Well with regards to the openness, I could be a bit more open, of course, but every time I try and start a conversation it seems that the other party doesn't want to elaborate into a subject, for example the 1st BD party of DD. I have been looking into buying a bike, as this would give me some more freedom. DD is now 1 so we can also buy one of those seats which fit on the back of the bike. We had the plan to stay long term and let DD go to school here etc but at the moment I am not sure what the future holds for us
Can you maybe move to ZÃ¼rich or Bern? Or use the excellent public transport to travel around from your small city? We moved from the UK to Switzerland shortly before our baby arrived because of health care / accessible public transport / nature and while I fully agree with you that London is the most amazing place on earth, our life has changed a lot since the baby arrived and it would be hard to make use of what London offers at the moment...
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