Yesterday I celebrated 20 years in Switzerland!
It almost seems impossible that I can possibly have been here so long. I came here in 1991 with my Swiss fiancé (who I married a few years later). We had met while working as accountants for KPMG in San Francisco and at the end of our contracts decided to return to where he had grown up. Most of my adult life has been spent here and now when I go back to England where I started out, it seems different. It isn’t the county I grew up in anymore. Switzerland has become my home: a place I know and understand, a place full of good friends (both Swiss and foreign) and fun things to do. I think I’ve been enormousely lucky to have ended up here. And yes, I do often ask myself how a girl from a one-parent family in inner city Newcastle ended up here! Life really throws the unexpected at you sometimes!
In the last twenty years I guess I’ve done a lot:
- Got married
- Become a Swiss national
- Bought and renovated a house
- Raised three children – or at least I’m on the way…
- Become fluent in two new languages
- Made a radical career change
- Started my own small business
- Created a garden
- Returned to competitive sport and run further than I ever had before
- Started a playgroup and a PTA
- Been church warden, church treasurer, church flower fairy and done a zillion other jobs in my Church
- Perfected my skiing technique
- Broken bones, had cancer surgery, almost bled to death….and survived!
- Integrated into a different society
- Buried a lot of family members
- Turned down lots of chances to live in London or New York
- Been happy
In many ways an ordinary life – just in a location that I hadn’t contemplated. I really can’t imagine living anywhere else. This is my home now and I guess I’m a stayer. So the adventure carries on! I’m so lucky to have landed somewhere I love.