That equals 4 years and 3 days if you are trying to calculate. 1464 days ago I said good-bye to the US of A and I have loved every minute of it! Europe is not perfect, neither is the US (not by a long shot) but I have found a way of living here in Switzerland that I didn't know existed. Not driving a car everyday, going to the grocery store more often to fill the very small refrigerator that forces me to waste less, having accessible nature (trails etc.) so close! Sure, all these things you could find in the US but here it’s more the rule than the exception. These little day to day things add up over time to have a profound impact on the way I live my life. Not every American is built to or would desire to live the European lifestyle but it definitely works for me.
Last time I was in the US for 2 weeks I had to drive every day. I love driving but I felt so isolated in the car, alone. In Switzerland, I take the train, bus and tram everyday, constantly surrounded by other people. I see the same people everyday, I never talk to them but we all have the same routine. Sitting in the same train car, sometimes seeing them again on the return ride home in the evening, or in the grocery store. It’s somehow comforting, not creepy. Even though I’m not directly interacting with my co-commuters there is a silent companionship.
I am often asked by both Europeans and Americans if I will ever move back to the US, the short answer is “I don’t know”. Did I imagine even 4 and half years ago I would be living in Switzerland? No. I have no idea what the future holds except that I will brave it with my husband and best friend (whom I met in Switzerland :) We have discussed the option to someday move to the US, but more in the time period of retirement. We are both too used to our 5 weeks of vacation a year!
I’m happy, I’m lucky, I’m fortunate.
A look back on what I was writing about 4 years ago
I have been talking to everyone about how expensive it is to live here in Switzerland. I found out the other day that a roll of ten small (like bathroom waste basket small) is $23.
Before you jump to the same conclusion I did, wait to hear this rational. They want to encourage people to recycle! I don't believe we pay for trash pick up, rather it's paid by the bags you use. Plus recycling is free as well (at least not directly out of pocket).
I wonder how thy would play out in the US. Would people waste less and think more about what they are throwing away??