When I think about it – I now live in Switzerland! – I still can’t quite believe it. If anything, this can definitely be called a dream come true for me. But how did I end up in my dream country? What did it take to make it happen?
Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to live in the Alps, even if only for a month or a winter season. This came about from the many trips I and my family took to the mountains once every year. The mountains, the scenery, the weather and the chance to just be outdoors – I felt so drawn to it. But how do I make it happen?
What does it take?
To move to another country on your own, in most cases, you would need to either speak the language at a working proficiency and a bit of money saved up or have a job arranged beforehand. When I moved to the UK more than two years ago, I could only go for the first scenario. After putting so much effort into research and job search, I landed an amazing position in my professional area.
Austria and Germany have always been at the top of my mind as desirable countries to live in, but I didn’t have the guts to pursue the dream, mostly, because of my language skills. I had learned German at school for several years and took language courses while at university, but not using the language daily prevented me from reaching and maintaining a confident level.
The dream of Switzerland came to me only after my boyfriend settled here and I had a real-life example that you can actually make it here. Previously I had thought that this country is just too expensive to live in and way out of my league. Little did I know! Don’t get me wrong though! It’s not cheap to live in Switzerland, and sometimes you need a bit of luck and frugality to get by easily.
Preparing for the change
I have worked in marketing since I left the university, and I love it. My career path has taken me to places I’ve never thought of, introduced me to people and experiences I have learned so much from. It has also allowed me to, more or less, live the life I want to – being able to travel and support my hobbies.
The problem with me is though, I’ve given my all to my career a few too many times. And it has left me burnt out on several occasions. Picking up the pieces and recovery gets harder with every time. Yes, I know – I am fully or at least partially to blame for this vicious circle. And I know I should change things, I should take it easier, have more fun with it and not forget myself in the process.
But then I ask myself – can I be any different? Can I not devote my all to the work I’m doing?
There is this thought coming to me again and again. What if I just need to do something else with my life? What if I do something more meaningful? What if I can do work that helps people, inspires them and improves their lives? Whatever it would be, I knew I can’t hesitate and wait any longer. I had to make the change, yet another step into the unknown.
Making the big decision
All this thinking drove me to a decision – I need to leave my office job, I need to leave Manchester, and I need to try and find another career path for me. For others it might look like this decision came to me easily, but trust me – it took me days and weeks of mental storms before I finally knew it was the right thing to do to keep myself sane.
While I was having these internal dilemmas, I was in a long-distance relationship. Most people who have experienced one themselves will know that they can’t last too long without a plan, the next step. Eventually, one will need to make the move to be with the other or the flame will die out. For us, it was the former.
Therefore it made sense for the next step to be moving to Switzerland. This thought both excited and scared me, but I was confident and willing to work for it. And worked I did… It took me months to save up enough so I could get by at least a few months before I find another job. I also wanted this financial freedom to enjoy a break before I jump into new challenges.
So I’m moving again…
I remember how moving to Manchester on my own and settling in gave me a big confidence – it felt like I could do anything if I set my mind to it! It definitely helped me to prepare myself – both mentally and practically – for the move to Switzerland.
Also, given that I had made the decision way ahead of the events, I had a lot of time to plan it all out to the tiniest detail. Knowing what formalities I need to take care of and how to easily move my belongings back home made the process very smooth. I think I can call myself a pro now!
The hardest thing though was quitting my job. I was so nervous about handing in my notice, that I ended up doing it a couple of days earlier than originally planned. I just could not bear the sleepless nights and nerve-wracking feeling I had when at the office. When it was finally done, a ton of weight lifted off my shoulders.
It was bittersweet… I was happy that I had the guts to follow my dreams and was looking forward to my freedom and living in the most amazing country in the world with the most amazing person. But on the other hand, a little piece of my heart was left in Manchester. I will miss the city and I will miss my work and workmates.
I do have a plan, I always have! I have now had five months off work and just enjoying life, but I’m ready to get back in the game. A few weeks from now, I will embark on an adventure of a lifetime in the hopes of finding my next career path doing something that excites me and has been a passion of mine.
It might work, but I also might end up hating it… And who knows, maybe even end up back in marketing. Ideally, I could merge the two together and make magic!
For the foreseeable, I will be living in Switzerland. The winter will soon start and I will finally have the chance to do a full season of snowboarding. I also have a season job arranged here in the mountains.
Exciting times and the journey ahead! And I really want to share it with you and, hopefully, inspire you to go out and chase your own dreams.