Expat girl

Today I’m joining Laura, from Happy Homemaker UK, in her Expat Linky Party.

For the people who don’t know me yet,
You can read more here and here, just to give you an idea who’s blog you’re reading right now.
Although I have to say, what you read is what you get with me…
So, as an expatriate girl, {that is the long version for expat, someone who lives in another country for a certain amount of time, mostly it’s work related to go to the host country}, I’m living here now for 3,5 years with my sweetheart, our two girls and our dog.
And with here I mean Switzerland.
The land of Swiss Cheese, The Red Cross Organisation, Mountains, Rules, Swiss Delicious Chocolates, Fresh Air, Beautiful Lakes, Very Good Transportation System, Very Good Healthcare System, Cows, Expensive Houses, Swiss Clocks, Clean streets, Swiss Preciseness, Churches,
Less Wind, Expensive Everything, Sheep, Ski weekends, Hiking, Snow, More Sun
then I was used to…
I can go on and on about the land of Helvetia, a.k.a. Switzerland.
But to me Switzerland will always be the land where my second baby was born.
Coming from a country so different than Switzerland, The Netherlands, or more precise, Amsterdam,
it has been a rollercoaster of emotions and adjustments.
But that’s what it’s like to be an expat girl. 
Starting a new life in another, different, country.

Life is a rollercoaster.
This is true for everyone.

Only for someone who moves to other countries the rollercoaster just makes more loops.
You’ve got to hold on tight, sit back and, eventually, you will start to enjoy it.
The first months are mostly the hardest.
You don’t know anyone, you have to unpack a gazillion boxes,
you don’t know your way around, you have a to-do list that is never ending, or you don’t speak the language.
But mostly between 6 months to a year the adjustment kicks in.
And the good things of your host country are more visible.
Before you know it the ride can be over and it’s either going back to your home country or
 prepare yourself for another loop in, again, another country.
It’s an adventure, which is not for the faint hearted.
I probably was a gypsy girl in another life,
because I like moving to different countries.
It’s a life changing experience.

So for me, living here has taught me that it doesn’t matter where I am.
As long as I have my two girls and my sweetheart, that’s where I can live,
that’s where my heart is, that is Home.

And for now, home is here in mountain country, Switzerland.

22 thoughts on “Expat girl

  1. Miranda

    Thanks for the comment, Maureen! She’s a pretty fun dog, if I do say so myself. :) And thanks for sharing your heart about being an expat! I enjoyed reading your story, and I’m loving your blog!

  2. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal

    Thanks Maureen for filling me on on being an expat! It must be very exciting going to different countries. We lived Germany many years ago when my hubby was in the Air Force. So I guess in a way I was one and didn’t know it! It was a huge adjustment and just when I got used to living there and really enjoying myself it was time to leave. My oldest was born over there so it is special to me. Would love to go back for a visit.

  3. Blondie's Journal

    My best to you…from someone born in Chicago, who has never left…I somewhat envy you! But we are friends and I love that. Have a great weekend, Maureen!


  4. T's Daily Treasures

    Hey Maureen! I gotta say, I would take Switzerland over Kuwait any day! I’ve been here 16 years now and although I will never like Kuwait and the mindset of the people, I’ve gotten used to being here and it does afford the opportunity to travel that I never would have been able to do otherwise. My friends and my hobbies help to keep me going. And the fact that we can get the hell out of dodge sometimes. :) Our Middle School Principal is in Switzerland right now … we actually have friends who live there and have talked about visiting, but just haven’t made it there yet. The lakes, fresh air and clean streets are things we don’t have here. Littering is a way of life in this country and one of my biggest pet peeves. Have a bright and beautiful day. Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

  5. Maaike

    Hey Maureen, wat een leuk verhaal over Zwitserland! En over jouw ervaringen met expat-zijn. Ik ben benieuwd wat je volgende thuis gaat zijn….!
    Fijne zondag, ik hoop net zo zonnig als in Amsterdam,
    liefs van Maaike

  6. Jill

    Hi Maureen
    I think you are right it does take a while to adjust but as long as you have your family then you can cope with anything, and I am sure Switzerland is a wonderful place to live. Oh and the magazine you saw on my blog is called Coast it is a sister magazine to Country Living but instead of country houses it has lovely homes by the sea. I think i still have your address so I will put a copy in the post for you.
    have a lovely Sunday

  7. Life in the Country Lane

    Moving anywhere comes with its difficulties, but I can only imagine the move to another country. I envy you, but know that it would have its ups and downs. I imagine the language for me would be the hardest. Nice to hear you are at the point of adjustment and enjoying the scenery and all your new home for now, and all it has to offer. Thank you for your lovely comments and for hanging in there for me – and your entry – good luck.
    Rebecca x

  8. Happy Homemaker UK

    Roller coaster ride – absolutely! I love how you captured the universal truth about being an expat. And yes, home is where your family is :)

    I didn’t know you were from Amsterdam – you traded one lovely place for another – lucky you:)

    Thank you for joining my Linky Party – it wouldn’t be the same without you! XOL

  9. TexaGermaNadian

    Beautiful Maureen! I am just a hop, skip and a jump away from you down here in Southern Germany. I love Switzerland. Somehow everything is just so much more neater and beautiful-er (ok, not a word, lol) there. Thanks for sharing your story there!
    Stopped over from Around the World in a Day hop and really glad I did. Have a great Sunday!

  10. Redlilocks {Swoon Worthy}

    Thanks for visiting my blog and your lovely comment. You’ve said a few things here that I loved: firstly, about life being a rollercoaster for everyone but living as an expat just has more loops (love it); secondly, about being a bit of a gypsy girl (me too, moved 15 times in as many years and have lived all over the US and quite a number of places in the UK); and thirdly about home being where your family is (so totally agree).

    Looking forward to reading more :) x

  11. Chuzai Living

    Hi! Hello from Jakarta. You lived in the States, too? Where about? I have lived in LA, Texas, and Metropolitan DC area, precisely, Arlington, Virginia. I know what you mean about roller coaster of emotions. I also feel that I must have been a gipsy in another life. You have two girls. We have some things in common! :)

  12. Beth

    Yoy speak words from the heart Maureen, so very true about the loops on the rollercoaster and about home being with yiur family – lovely post.

  13. flowers on my table

    I really enjoyed this post Maureen, to learn a little more about you and about living in a different country. I am sure it is hard at times and you just want to go back to what is familiar, but I think the more you experience different cultures the more understanding and compassionate you are. Thanks for the comments, I may consider an etsy shop at some time but for now I like to make things for friends and family. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, love Linda x.

  14. LindyLouMac in Italy

    Thanks for letting me know about this Ex-Pat Linky Party, it has been fun hopping round the world. Although of course I now have even more blogs I want to keep up with :)
    You are right it is an adventure being an ex- pat but then I believe life should be an adventure and as you have already said ‘ Home is where the heart is’

  15. Robynne's Nest

    Hi Maureen, thanks for visiting my blog via the ‘party’…wasn’t it fun! Your photos are terrific and you’re very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. And although I’m quite homesick at times, I agree that we have to enjoy it whilst we are here as we could be moved away (or back home) in the blink of an eye! Robx

  16. Munir

    Yes you are absolutely right about our home being where our family is. When I left India in Dec of 1974, I was afraid of living in New York. Now this is my home. My husband, my daughter and me have a small place but this is my home, my world.

  17. Jane

    Oh, Maureen, I adored this post. My, you have been through such a lot of adaptation and change. I love your sentiments. J x

  18. Katherina

    How great is it to meet two other swiss expats with one blog hop?? How exciting! Im living in Lausanne though… But oh well, its still the mountain country :)

  19. Teacup Moments

    oh, this post resonates so much with me! i totally agree that 6 mos-a year is when adjustment kicks in. i was just thinking about that and how i think we’re actually growing roots here now after 10 months. in fact, i just wrote a post talking about the great things i’ve come to love about our host city! p.s. I also join the link parties Laura of Happy Homemaker hosts. :)


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