AUTHORED by JAYA16
One of the most difficult changes in life is living in different countries, adapting to different cultures and moving away from the comfort zone of family and friends for extended periods. We recently moved to Geneva from the vibrant city of Singapore. There couldn’t have been more of a contrast between the two places. Singapore is extremely vibrant even at midnight. Geneva on the other hand is quiet, the city centre is small, shops close at 18:00 and the lifestyle is laid-back. This gave us an opportunity to slow down a bit, reconnect as a couple and enjoy the stunning beauty of nature around us.
Geneva has so much to offer- the lake, English Garden, Old Town with its quaint shops and the Jet d’eau are enough to keep admiring for hours. Watching glorious sunsets over the lake is priceless. The weekend markets at Carouge are so interesting with various stalls selling fruits, veggies, fresh flowers, trinkets and much more. The farmers’ market in Rive is a treasure trove for fresh veggies, fruits and cheese. I tried the epic cheese fondue for the first time. Geneva’s public transport is great so you don’t need to stress about getting from one place to another.
Driving around the country side and realizing how big Lake Geneva is was an eye opener and it was enough to keep us busy for many weekends. The rolling hills and wild flowers growing in multiple colors all around were a treat to tired eyes. Switzerland is a photographer’s delight, and of course the boating in summer and skiing in winter. Driving into France for some shopping, or trekking up Mount Saleve, so much can be done at the spur of the moment.
All said and done, life is not totally hunky dory. There are challenges in settling down. Not knowing French can be the biggest challenge, getting used to stocking up for the weekend as everything is closed on Sundays takes some getting used to. Finding a home that you like can be a daunting task. Services are extremely slow and you have to learn to accept that is how things work and get on with it. You tend to miss your dear friends terribly and have to start over with making new friends.
I found that the best way to settle in is to focus on the positives and wait for things to sort themselves out. Don’t let anything stop you from trying new things. The best thing that happened to me was to become a part of AIWC, it has opened up new doors for me to use my talents. At the same time, I am meeting like-minded people and making new friends. I am enjoying this golden opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Summer was glorious. Now looking forward to visiting the famous Christmas markets and enjoying the delicacies – eating lots of cheese and chocolates and burning off the calories sometime in the future I guess!!