Back in 2005, when Mr H asked me to marry him at the Paris Opéra, I was just a girl from Canada (Thunder Bay, to be exact) who felt dizzy with the lights and craziness of my new potential life. One that didn’t involve flying back and forth across the Atlantic to see the guy I was falling for anymore but rather, one that meant I was relocating here. Somewhere new, fresh and incredibly intimidating. It was French, it was Paris, it was all a lot to take in!! However, we married, I moved and life was pretty sweet. At the time, we were supposed to live here about 2 years. It’s 2015 and we are still here…until this coming summer.
It’s true, we are leaving Paris. We are leaving for a new life in the Lausanne-area of Switzerland and we couldn’t be happier!! Mr H has found and amazing job that he is very excited about and we all support his decision to relocate us for work. While leaving Paris will see many nights of tears and wine, I have no doubt we are making the right decision for our little family.
We have already told our families and some local friends we are leaving, but in doing so, I have come to realise a lot of folks are a bit in the dark about Switzerland. It kind of seems like the Canada of Europe – everyone has heard of it, everyone can name one or two things about it but after that, there is a lot of humming and hawing. Let me help:
1) Switzerland has 4 national languages (Italian, German, French, Romansh). We are moving to the French-speaking part which is excellent for my little bilingual family. I have been re-learning Italian since December and Mr H has been trying to switch his German to Swiss German. This isn’t necessary but we plan to travel around our new country and always find it useful to speak a local language as best we can.
2) Switzerland is a 6 hour drive from Paris. We will be back my beloved Parisian friends xo
3) Switzerland is not in the EU and we will now require visas to work there…Mr H gets one with his job and I have to sort that out for myself which might take time, hence the blog to keep me busy!
4) the junior Harts will attend French-speaking schools like they have in Paris
5) yes, I plan to ski a LOT with Heidi-style braids whilst wearing a Rolex and eating chocolate. Maybe I will yodel, too. Then eat fondue. OK these are stereotypes but I’m not kidding on the skiing part (or chocolate)!
There will be shocking changes as there are with any international move but we’ve got this. We have already dreamed up our own traditions being a ‘family constantly away from other family’ and I have no doubt that whatever bumps, shocks and ‘omg I didn’t know that!’ moments gets in our way, we will sort it out the way we always have: with laughter and lots of hugs. Maybe some chocolate, too.