According to Google Maps, a drive from London to Switzerland takes about 10 hours. Well, after 10 hours of driving we were nowhere near arriving. With every kilometer closer, my anticipation grew. I wanted to see our new home! I wanted to live in Switzerland.
We drove all night long and I hoped that by morning we will be at least close by. But unfortunately, our driver decided to take the route that didn’t include any toll roads. Can’t blame him though, French highways are quite expensive. Around 6 am I was getting frustrated, though that could just have been the lack of sleep. After all, we spent the night in a seat that didn’t recline one bit. And to be honest I don’t really feel safe sleeping when somebody else is driving, so I was constantly waking up and nodding off.
But after some freshly baked French croissants, I felt a bit better. Also – we were getting closer. I couldn’t wait to see how this new life will plan out. Then finally around 11 am, we reached Swiss border. As you know, Switzerland is not part of EU, and you cannot just move there with all your stuff. To cross the border with your belongings you must have the following – employment contract, rental agreement and a list of EVERY item you are importing in the country.
Few kilometers before the border crossing I started to get jittery, what if they don’t allow us through? What if they check all our boxes one by one and tick off all things that we have on our list of items?…That would take for hours!
When crossing final meters from France into Switzerland I really hoped that border control won’t stop us. But of course, they did. The good news was they didn’t check all our stuff. But they did, however, go through all our documents. And apparently, they wanted some more…but after a few minutes of waiting they let us through.
FINALLY, WE WERE IN SWITZERLAND – our new home!
While driving through small villages I observed as much as I could. And I certainly liked what I saw – cute houses, clean streets, little children that walk home from school on their own (without government scolding parents).
Though, while getting closer I also started to feel more anxious – Does the flat we are now going to even exist? How are we going to register our arrival if we don’t speak any French? How are going to do anything without knowing any French?
For a few minutes, I pestered my fiancé to call up our new landlord just to make sure she exists. My heartbeat went through the roof after 2 phone calls that went unanswered. What are we going to do if the flat in Switzerland is not real? We have no place to go. Then finally on the third (or maybe forth) call the landlord picked up the phone. Phew, she did answer, so there must be a flat! I was more at ease now and could continue enjoying the views.
Next up we drove along Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). I had seen it 5 months ago in August, but this time it was completely different since from now on I will be living 40 minute-drive away from this beauty. Last time I was here I felt bittersweet, as it was only a holiday and not my every day. It’s only been 5 months and now it will be my every day! I tried hard not to smile like a lunatic.
Only 20…10…5 kilometers away from our new home. And finally, after 18 hours of driving we were here. I’m not gonna lie, once we arrived in this small village I got scared. I knew from Google Maps that it was tiny, but once here everything felt real. There was no reason to pinch myself- this was happening.
After few minutes of looking, we found our new flat. There was no scam! In fact, people who are renting this place are lovely. The apartment itself is nice too – a decent size 2 bedroom flat with sunlight and views on mountains from every window. Not to mention – floor heating! Heating in the UK is a big problem. Most houses are old, so not once during our 7 years living in London did we have a house that was warm throughout the building.
But then reality started sinking in – I was actually working on the day we moved. And I had a few things that I needed to do. Last time I was in Switzerland EU plugs worked fine in Swiss sockets, but it turns out the fat ones don’t. And I didn’t have the right transformer to plug my laptop in. Anxiety crept on me – we had no food; the flat was a mess with our boxes and bags scattered around and I couldn’t do my job! Exhaustion had broken me.
Though my fiancé came to the rescue. He went to the only shop in the village and brought back some beers and cookies. And, surprise – they even had a plug transformer.
I must say that on this first evening I felt lost and slightly sad. No matter how nice this new flat was, I didn’t feel like home. I suppose we have a long road ahead of us and this is where it all starts…