Hello everyone!

I am usually not one for tags but as I’ve started discovering other people’s blogs in the last few weeks and have really been enjoying getting in touch with other bloggers (not only expat bloggers), I thought I might as well give it a go. I’ve thrown together a few questions inspired by an expat tag that I saw flying around and edited them to my liking.

I would LOVE if all of you would join me. Feel free to leave out questions you don’t feel like answering or tag other people to do it, so we can share experiences as expats. What do you think, shall we get started?

  1. Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?*

    I was born in Paris, grew up in Zurich and am now living in Boston.

  2. What made you leave your home country?

    Love made me do it!

  3. What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?

    I’ve only had nice reactions so far, nothing to complain about. Also, my fellow Swiss friend Roger Federer does a very good job at representing us abroad. I’ve written a blog post covering all the reactions I’ve experienced so far (you’ll find it here in case you’re curious).

  4. What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?

    As Philipp had come here a few months before me, he had already found an apartment (which was quite the adventure itself), set up things like internet, a bank account and had gotten to know the area a little. That made it quite easy for me to get settled in. The hardest part has been easing myself into a new daily routine as I am currently not working. A post on that will follow soon. Also, missing my friends and family was (is) hard. This means a lot of skype sessions. Look at them, aren’t they the BEST? Yes they are.

  5. Images, words or sounds that sum up your expat experience so far.

    A lot of the above because of the below:
    Our favorite Saturday morning routine, visiting the winter farmer’s market in Somerville.

    Those guys! How can something so small and grey be so freakin’ cute? And they’re EVERYWHERE.

    Lastly it has also been a lot of laptop time, writing up posts for the blog, learning Dutch and watching too much Netflix and YouTube, oops.

  6. What’s your favorite food or drink item in your new country?

    This should come as no surprise.

  7. What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?

    Doing volunteering was something I could definitely say “yes” to in my new home country. It was something that I never could do back home. Also, I’ve been saying “yes” more to working out more consistently (compared to NEVER, success!) and learning Dutch as a new language as well as refreshing my Italian.

  8. Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?

    That’s a difficult one. People use the word “like” soooo much. I don’t mean the use of like as a way to express something you like but rather the use of “like” in just any sentence, e.g. ‘I was…just like…thinking no way can this be true. And then I was like, I don’t believe it’. Get what I mean? It’s just a little detail still it is something I find a bit annoying.

  9. What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?

    Exploring a new life and having the privilege to shaping everyday like I want to. I am aware that the moment will come where I’ll have to work again (only if this work permit will ever be accepted in this lifetime of course) so I am making the most of my time. I also enjoy doing a lot of volunteering, getting to know new people and obviously indulging in a certain type of pastry (see question 6).

  10. Do you think you will ever move home for good?

    I do think that I will go back home to Switzerland eventually. Let’s see what life brings!

Have a great day, wherever you are in this world! 

If you feel like doing the tag, copy the questions and get started yourself! You’ll find them below:

  1. Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?
  2. What made you leave your home country?
  3. What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?
  4. What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?
  5. Images, words or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.
  6. Your favorite food or drink item in your new country?
  7. What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?
  8. Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?
  9. What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?
  10. Do you think you will ever move home for good?

 

* I know, I know. This is a three in one question. But, I feel like this should only be a quick one.

6 Comments

  1. Christine February 23, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Dear Sandra,

    Finally, I took some time to comment and I guess, to start the expat tag 🙂 … I love your blog!

    1 Where were you born, where did you grow up and where do you currently live?

    I was born in a small town close to Leipzig/Germany, grew up there until I was about 16 and then
    started moving cities and countries (3 countries, 5 cities within about 7 years)

    2 What made you leave your home country?

    Basically, the wanderlust … and the adventure of finding myself and a place to call „home“. I was
    always „on the run“ – and now Zurich, Switzerland is the place I have been staying the longest so
    far.

    3 What type of reactions do you get when you meet new people and tell them where you are from?

    Mixed reactions as I do not seem to be the typical „German“ according to my Swiss and expat
    friends.

    4 What was the easiest/hardest part in adjusting to your new country?

    The hardest part was to accept the fact that I do not need to identify myself with a certain
    nationality or explain where I come from, why I moved so much etc. In the end, „letting go“ this
    thought, it was the easiest way for me to be able to switch between cultures, ways of living,
    nationalities etc. … and just feeling comfortable where I am.

    5 Images, word or sounds that sum up the expat experience you’ve had so far.

    Cheese fondue (Love!), schmecken instead of riechen and the Swiss way of being modest.

    6 Your favorite food or drink item in your new country?

    I started to enjoy good home-made, local food .. as well as stinky cheese and full-fat milk. Probably
    also anage thing but since living here, I tend to look out for local, natural products with real taste. I
    love the way Swiss people enjoy good food and respect their environment (big plus!).

    7 What’s the one thing you said “yes” to in your new city that you wouldn’t say “yes” to, back home?
    Don’t know (yet!).

    8 Are there any cultural norms/phrases in your new country which you cannot stand?

    Gluschtig … I never understood why a pizza can be „gluschtig belegt“ … does not sound appealing,
    especially not for an ad! ☺

    9 What do you enjoy most doing in your new country?

    Summer evenings and BBQs at lake Zurich with friends and lovely neighbours …

    10 Do you think you will ever move home for good?

    No, I won’t return back home. It would not be the right place for me and my husband and/or our
    future family. But we enjoy visiting and of course, it will always be my “hometown glory”.

    Reply
    1. sandra.zottl - Site Author February 23, 2017 at 10:08 am

      LOVE IT! Thanks Christine for sharing!

      Reply
  2. margarita February 24, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Regardless of your nationality…home is where your heart is…where you long to be….

    Home is a smell, a color, a sound….Home is a feeling…

    It is very sad when people are forced to leave their home/country because of war or precarity but voluntary migration is definitely a personal enrichment. It is a privilege to get to know other cultures and learn foreign languages.

    Living abroad broadens your horizon , you become more empathetic and your recipe collection gets bigger and bigger!!!

    ” I am a citizen of the world, and my nationality is goodwill” ( Socrates)

    All the best to the Expats who are currently settling into a new country !!! …despite bureaucracy;)

    ciao
    margarita

    Reply
  3. The Frenchy Way February 25, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Bonjour Sandra !
    Super sympa ce tag de l’expat 🙂 et ton blog en général.
    Merci pour ce partage.
    A bientôt.

    Reply
    1. sandra.zottl - Site Author February 25, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Salut! Je suis très contente que le tag t’aie plu! Happy weekend!

      Reply
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