May 26, 2014

on sunny days

( Lake Zürich )

On our walk back from the park late Saturday afternoon Zach asked me what, if anything, I had underestimated about life in Switzerland before we moved here. There are so many things you think about and imagine before you move somewhere, and most of them don't have any concrete answers. It's easy to imagine the rhythms of life somewhere else, but it's impossible to actually know what your life will be like. I can easily imagine a life in Rome eating pizza and sketching at the Pantheon, but I can't conjure up the in between moments, the quiet moments, or even the social moments with friends (or will we even have friends).

Anyway, it was an interesting question, and there are surely a lot of answers, but the one thing that came to me first, as we walked home with the sun on our back, was the weather. I swear I've found paradise when the sun is out. The city opens up to you in so many ways when it's sunny and warm; there's the lake, the parks, the playgrounds, and walking trails in the nearby woods, and did I mention the lake? In the summer especially nice weather makes Zürich feel like a beach community. We live three blocks from the lake and a ten minute walk from the nearest lakeside swimming spot complete with a high dive and baby pool. From there, with my toes in the lake, it feels like I can reach out and touch the Alps. Days like that I dig in, and exist happily here in our home away from home. The sunny days lifestyle is so good that I can imagine myself here for a long time, long enough for Alice to grow up and consider Zürich her home. 

( at the park near our apartment )

( Alice and Zach in Zug, Switzerland )

On not so sunny days you'll find me stirring and wondering how on earth we are going to get rid of the gigantic wardrobe in our bedroom - that we lovingly refer to as "the monster"- because we most certainly aren't bringing it back to the States. The thrifted midcentury furniture will come with us, because those are the items that will make anywhere we are feel like home. After I've revised my "take" and "leave" list I sit and think about how I call two places home and how it might be nice to call one place home and so I go online real estate hunting.

( Alice at the "Badi"- in the baby pool and on the beach )

In my mind I know I need to be present and content where I am, but the mind is a funny thing, always sending us into the future before we've spent long enough in the now. I think if it was sunny everyday I'd spend less time agonizing over our limbo-land status because I'd be too busy watching Alice in her pink polka dot bikini playing in the sand (that belly!!). 

I'm curious, do you feel firmly rooted where you are? Can you imagine yourself living in your current spot forever, or are you constantly thinking of what is next? I guess I'm just interested to know if the "what is next" is only an expat-ism or if everyone feels it. I think the difference for us might be that we feel it most of the time; we will eventually move back to the States, this isn't a forever home. But maybe you feel the same way.

9 comments:

  1. Oh my what gorgeous photographs! Glad I found your blog.

    I am a perpetual "what is next" person and I'm trying to tame that side or at least find some balance. I think it's important to find appreciation and comfort in where you are at the moment (which you're doing!) but also to allow yourself to entertain your dreams and all the possibilities out there!

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    1. Lisa - thanks for your thoughts. I agree, it's nice to be able to dream about what's next. A friend reminded me that we are experiencing life as it's meant to be experienced as we try new things and meet new people.

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  2. I am also a what is next person. Since college, my job has kept me moving around quite a bit. I lived in 4 different states in two years. Now I've been in the same city for 2 years and I'm itching for change. I recently got married and now I enjoy sitting with my husband and imaging the next place we could live. If only it could come about quicker!

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    1. oh my goodness, 4 states in 2 years, that's a lot. I do think newness becomes a bit addicting, mostly in a good way. It's great to try new things while you're still up for it and before you know where your forever spot is. I need to remind myself that we don't know where we want to end up, so why not explore until we do.

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  3. I am the same, and also think that it might be the expat life! I love my life here in Zurich but i often think about what is next. I have to agree with you that when its sunny in Zurich its like a different world. Just because i think about moving and where to it doesn't mean i don't enjoy the moment i do...but i can't help wonder when i'll move back to Australia .-)

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    1. Nadine - glad to hear that you feel the same. I do think it's inevitable to wonder when you'll end up back home, and where you might life when you do get back, and what your life might be like. I just need to work on being more present on those rainy grey days. Or at least find some good indoor play areas where i can have a coffee and Alice can play ;)

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  4. Liebe Talley auch ich versuche gluecklich u.d zufrieden mit dem Jetzt zu sein, aber besonders an so 24 Stunden Regen Tagen wie gestern sindmeine Traeume fuer ein anderes Leben an einem anderen Ort sehr aktiv in meinem Kopf ♥

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  5. I'm an Indian in Baden, Switzerland, and there's always this nagging feeling of "what next?" that comes up every now and then. We have moved 7 houses in 4 years of marriage, and lived in 4 cities across 3 countries. We love it here for now, but I long for a place where I can obsess over choosing wall colors, and where I can DIY my son's bedroom till kingdom come.. sigh

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  6. Glad I came across your blog. We are expats living in Wettingen, Baden and our baby is turning 1 end of the month... your story is very easy to relate to and the blog is a wonderful read!

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