Blog of the month - December 2009
My name is Amanda, but everyone in my family (except my husband) and many friends call me Mandy. I don't think I'll ever outgrow that nickname. I am from paradise, otherwise known as San Diego, California, U.S.A.
I am now living in eastern Switzerland and have lived here for a little over a year. How long my husband and I end up staying here is up in the air - I guess the economy will dictate.
Before getting married, I had spent almost half a year living in Italy: first as a study abroad student in Florence and later as a nanny in the Lake Garda region. I have traveled with friends and family to Israel, Brazil, Spain, France, Greece, Germany, and Austria.
Because of our desire to travel and see more of the world, my husband and I decided to take the plunge and try living abroad. I am here because of him, though. That is, he's the one with the engineering degree and got the job offer in Liechtenstein. Since we can't live in that principality, his company gave us the choice to reside in nearby Austria or Switzerland. Cheese and chocolate called us to settle in Switzerland.
Living in Switzerland has been one of the most peaceful experiences of my life, and not just because it claims to be a neutral country. Our life (besides the hassle of visas and other bureaucracy) is quite simple. Sundays are truly days of rest. We go for walks and bike rides in the countryside and through the Alps. This country is incredibly picturesque and clean.
We haven't experienced too much culture shock here as there are (in my opinion) only minor things we have had to get accustomed to, such as building noise ordinances, laundry room regulations, and recycling procedures.
I rather enjoy trying new foods and replacing my old refrigerator "staples" with Swiss products, so the only thing I miss from home is the community of friends and family I had in San Diego who know me inside and out.
When I started my blog, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I originally wanted a simple outlet to share stories and photos about our life here with everyone back home. After a couple of months and a couple of posts, I started reading other expat blogs and got really inspired to start investing more time in my own. Now I write for two audiences: my family and fellow expats.
To my surprise, I have met several people through my blog - many of whom I have met in person. Some of them felt connected to me because we come from similar cultural backgrounds and they planned to move here and wanted some advice. Others I met through an expat blogger event I planned with a fellow blogger.
I registered with Expat Blog in early 2009 to find fellow expats in Switzerland and also to share my blog with a wider audience.
The best part about being a blogger and an expat is having the opportunity to record my experiences and memories in a way that will allow me to relive them in the future and never forget the wonderful time I had here. Plus, I love sharing our silly adventures and reading my readers' comments!
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