Five months in

Processed with VSCO with k3 presetIt doesn’t feel like it’s been 5 months, but as I’m typing this, I’m on my way to Milano, the train is rolling south through Switzerland, there are Alps outside my window, and there is no denying it – it’s warm, it’s late May, and I’ve added another month to my experience in der Schweiz.  Continue reading

Spring in Zürich part II

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I purposely added two types of photos to this post: bright and sunny snapshots of an afternoon in wisteria-covered Belvoirpark, and moody green on gray pictures of rainy streets in Kreis 3. It’s a contrast that wasn’t there when I wrote my previous post, but now a month and a half later, I think it’s time to give a proper spring update.

If someone asks me, “So how is spring in Zürich?” I will now refer them to this side by side comparison of March and April 😀 Continue reading

Chasing the sun in Lugano

Processed with VSCO with k3 presetWho knew that just two hours by train from Zürich there is a little slice of southern paradise? Think palm trees, green hills, bright flowers, pink houses, lots of boats, narrow cobblestone streets and warm sunshine even when the rest of Switzerland is still doing the gray spring thing.

We took the early morning train from Zürich, and I perched myself comfortably next to the window for the first big rail adventure. The scenic route begins as the train goes along Lake Zug and Lake Lucerne and snowcapped peaks start to feel closer and closer. I named this blog post “Chasing the sun” because that’s literally what we were doing – Zürich was rainy and cold on that day and for about an hour so was the scenery traveling south. Continue reading

Four months in

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It’s end of April on the calendar, which means that really warm days are coming soon (though you wouldn’t be able to tell by today’s gray and rainy situation) and it also means that I am now over 120 days into this expat ride. In the beginning, I clung to staying only in Zürich because I wanted to develop a routine and a comfort zone, and I was learning so much on a daily basis that it already felt like I was on an adventure. But this past month, it was finally time explore more of the country.

On Easter weekend it felt as if all the locals abandoned the city, and instead, I was bumping into tourists slowly walking around with maps and phones in their hands. We decided to do it half-half. We spent a day also being tourists (that’s when these pictures were taken) and then, spontaneously decided to do it like the locals and chase the sun in the south of the country, in Lugano. I think most of you followed my excitement at being on a Swiss train journey for the first time, famous Gotthard tunnel and all, and of course I will write about Lugano because it deserves a blog post of its own, but what I do want to say here is how much more I learned about Zürich by being away from it.  Continue reading

Integration course with Stadt Zürich

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If you follow me on Instagram, you have, no doubt, heard plenty about the Integration Course and its highlights – the inside info on how to properly greet others on the street! The visual calendar of local holidays! The detailed explanation of Swiss politics followed by a visit to a live session at Zürich city hall! The coconut culture model! The lessons on Swiss geography and history! And I am only halfway through the program 😉

The course is organized by Stadt Zürich (as part of their amazing integration program) and covers the A to Z of starting your life in Switzerland. It’s packed with useful information, it’s fun, and it gives you the feeling of slowly becoming a local. I still can’t believe that it exists, I’ve never done anything like this in my previous expat experience, so if you are new to Zürich, I highly recommend you take advantage of this local gem. Without going into too much detail, here’s what you need to know about the course and how you can register.  Continue reading

Spring in Zürich

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If you ask me, spring came early to Zürich. As soon as March arrived, so did the sun and the 15-degree weather. Patio tables and people came out of hiding, and you didn’t have to search hard to find a well-dressed old gentleman sipping an espresso over a newspaper at an outdoor cafe table. I kept waiting for it to get cold again, but it never did. Yesterday in the city I already saw women in dresses and men without their suit jackets.

I am just not spoiled like this. Continue reading