Heading home

One thing that makes travel abroad tricky is having young kids.  And, after fulfilling our dream of spending some decent time in Switzerland, we have decided to return back to NZ.  The problem is, we don’t want to!  But we are – for many reasons (mostly for the kids – schooling, family, church, language etc).  Everything in Switzerland is perfect and great.  We absolutely love it here.  Funny actually, cos I am Swiss and Daniel is not and I was worried that he would get home sick and struggle with the language.  But he is the one even more keen than me to stay longer.

The plan is that I will return home end of March with the boys and Daniel will finish work and sort out the remaining paperwork(!) and head home a month later, just before our one-year return plane tickets expire.  I kind of wish we weren’t bound by these tickets, then we would stay for another summer.  Ah well.  This is life and I am getting very excited now to see all our friends and family again…  Even if it means sitting through another winter (a wet and windy one instead of a dry, snowy one).  There is nothing a mid-winter escape to Rarotonga or Fiji can’t cure though!

The past couple of weeks have been crazy, getting the house sorted, sending a number of registered mail letters informing Spielgruppe, health insurance, cablecom etc. of our leaving.  And then getting sick has made it the most stressful time.  I think Switzerland has been the most relaxing time of my life… until now.

Daniel and I have been doing a lot of reflecting and trying to decide what things we want to bring back, things we want to do differently in NZ, what is really important in life, other goals and dreams we want to fulfill.

Here are just a few things we have learnt – not all are life changing but are important to us nonetheless!:

  • Our need for family, church, God is as great here as anywhere.  Without the wonderful Vineyard Aarau, making friends would have been tricky.  And spending time with the boys has been so good for me as a mother – not working or too busy for once!
  • There is more to hot drinks than black tea or coffee.  There are a million herbal tea varieties (and it is ok for guys to drink them and not risk losing their manliness).  Gluhwein, Apfel punsch are easy to make at home and so tasty!
  • If you eat less at dinner time, somehow you feel better and don’t put on weight – even if you do have to eat 12 kilos of chocolate to keep up with the rest of the Swiss.  And, it is ok to be vegetarian, even for guys!  (there seems to be a theme here…)  Eat out more at good restaurants (no, that does not include McDonalds, Wendy, Burger King, KFC…)
  • Drive less, bike & walk more.  This will be tricky in the land of the sucky public transport and dangerous drivers though.  We do have our heart set on getting a 1950/1960 VW beetle though, so a little bit of driving is definitely on the cards.
  • Speaking of cards – play more games, board games (have you heard of the game ‘DOG’ – it rocks!).  Is it just me or do the Swiss spend less time in front of TV’s and computer games?
  • Plan better – the Swiss are great at being organised.  I haven’t met a Swiss without a weekly planner…
  • Decorate our home more with candles and seasonal stuff – all the beautiful easter decorations out at the moment blow me away.  So pretty and tasteful.  I love how the Swiss are so house proud.

Things that we will really miss:

  • Earning good money – yip that has to be top of the list.  Swiss employers really look after their guys, in every way (well, Daniel definitely has had a perfectly wonderful employer).  And income tax is low.
  • Trains – I don’t know how to tell the boys that Auckland has one train line and no fast trains.
  • The friends and relatives.  It has been so good to meet new and old friends and get to know the grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins.
  • The weather – the hot dry summers and cold snowy winters.

No doubt we will be back – one day.

2 Responses to “Heading home”

  1. 1 Susan May

    Thanks for the update! I have been checking in with your email this past year – I was once in New Zealand when I was 17 for about 3 weeks (with my parents) and it was a trip of a lifetime. Also, my home church in the U.S. is a Vineyard Fellowship. Here in Switzerland, my key to finding my niche has been thru my weekly Bible Study in Adliswil. I’m sad for you to have to leave all that is wonderful about Switzerland, but excited for what is ahead. God bless you and your family, and thanks for blogging.

  2. 2 Jessica

    Wow. I am so bummed that I will not be sharing your Swiss adventures anymore, but I am really keen to hear about your return to NZ. Have a great trip back and thanks for all the exciting Swiss reads!

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