All tagged expat life

Finding Fairyland on the Absinthe Trail

Absinthe comes from the French region of Switzerland, in an area called Val-de-Travers, in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. It was produced here from the 18th century until 1910, when it was vilified, banned and bootlegged for nearly a century. Absinthe was re-legalized in Switzerland in 2005, and has slowly been making it’s revival. Today, around twenty microdistilleries produce absinthe throughout Val-de-Travers, and export many different types of the spirit all over Europe. 

Things to Remember When You Move Abroad


Moving to a new country is equally thrilling and terrifying. It’s an opportunity to call another country home, learn a new language, and foster your own independence. It also means you’ll be far away from friends and family, will be surrounded by a completely unfamiliar culture, and will need to build a whole new community from scratch. It’s exhilarating and exhausting and frustrating and adventurous and lonely and heart-burstingly full all at the same time. 

Swiss Hiking 101

Raunaq and I have been living in Zurich for over a year. Given that we hike a fair bit (in Switzerland and elsewhere), I thought to put together a “Swiss Hiking 101” guide for anyone interested in exploring this lovely country on foot. Generally, we hike moderately challenging to challenging trails, but if you are not an avid hiker, don’t despair. Every single mountain included in my hiking lists have trails for all abilities and interests, and no matter what you chose, it’s absolutely worth trying at least one hike while in Switzerland. It’s really a hiking paradise.

Say What?! 8 Unexpected Aspects of Swiss Life

As we are approaching our one-year anniversary in July (“expatversary,” if you will), I started thinking about all of the things that really surprised me when we first moved to Switzerland. It’s actually a bit funny writing these out now, because as we have adapted to the Swiss lifestyle, we’ve simply gotten used to most of these things as a way of life. I’ve written about my unexpected favorites, things Switzerland does well, and things they could work on, so this list is a new mix of all three. Some affect my daily life, some don’t, some things I love and some still leave me a bit bewildered, but they all contradicted a previously held notion in some way.

How to Say Hello in Swiss German

I’m at the point. THE point. If you’ve learned a foreign language, you know this point. The point when you can understand much more than you have the ability to speak. Even if I don’t recognize every word of German that is spoken, I can generally understand the comprehensive meaning of what was said. However, when I’m left to my own devices to reproduce the words, I’m at a loss. Ugh. Welcome to phase two.

The Surprising World of Swiss Apartment Life

Apartment living can sometimes be more than just a place to lay your head and store your things: it can be an adventure in of itself. I have such fond memories of every place I’ve lived, and in some ways, each one has become a framework of that specific stage of my life. That apartment, this neighborhood, that landlord, this roommate. Each apartment comes with it’s own quicks, intricacies, and sometimes, a mirror to reflect the culture of the city itself. Swiss apartments, in this way, are no different.

5 Things Switzerland Can Learn from the World

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know by now that I love living in Zurich. But not everything is perfect. I wrote last week about the five things the world can learn from Switzerland. So now, here are five things I think Switzerland can learn from the world. The Yin and Yang, all of which contribute to the uniqueness of Swiss life.

5 Things the World Can Learn from Switzerland

A bit unexpectedly, I’ve fallen in love with the Swiss way of life. I say unexpectedly because while I knew there would be things I would enjoy (mountains and cheese and chocolate), I didn’t know much else about Swiss lifestyle or culture. The Swiss do plenty of things well, but in the past 8 months, I’ve noticed five things they do exceptionally well.

The Lake of Many Colors

Summer afternoons, it seems the shades of blue are undecided, too lovely for nature to choose just one. The sky and the sun compromise, picking a new blue each day: turquoise, robin’s egg, canary, the deepest of navy, the lightest of aquamarine, sometimes a solid hue, mostly blended, always radiant. It shimmers and it beckons. Coyly, almost suggestively.