To write this post I´ve been inspired by the article by Claire O’Dea: “A guide to the six phases of the immigrant experience“. And also the fact that very often I hear: “Well, you have a great life there in Switzerland, you still set out on the trips, you have no worries …”. In today’s post, you can read that life abroad is not a bed of roses as it seems from afar …
1. The system
At this point, it´s my husband who deserves a huge thanks and admiration, because it was he who prior to our arrival and the first months here learned everything necessary – from how the real estate market works, how to pay health and other insurance, how to register a car, how to get internet and cable TV, how rubbish collection works …In your home country when you need help with something, you simply ask friends or call the helpline, which will advise you in your language. But do all this with another system in another country, in another language, it is quite challenging. With each new official envelope, with each account, a letter that you have to translate, you say: “Does it never end?” And related to this is the next point:
2. The language
3. The community
4. The family and friends back home
It is also quite mentally challenging when you see pictures of family celebrations you have missed or hear about parties held by your friends where you haven´t been to.
You also know that family and friends have worries they have to fight and you can´t help them from a distance though you badly wanted. You feel you´ve let them down by not being there in times of trouble. And it bothers you, you feel sadness and regret that you cannot be with them.
You are trying to be in touch with all your friends at home, but you are sorry that some of them are slowly forgetting you.
Finally, I want to say that I certainly had no intention of causing any negative feelings, but show the reality of life abroad the way it seems to us. But it’s our life, a path we have chosen and after we go.