Our time is running short. There are lots of lists on the blog lately, but I thought I’d sum up our list on what we’ll miss and what we are excited to come home to. If you are friends & family, it goes without saying….we can’t wait to see you and on the flipside to new Geneva friends, we’ll miss you. So, here is the rundown of all the other things:
Why we will miss Geneva / Europe:
Respect for environment – Sure I may complain about the time it takes to recycle here, but these guys sure do have their stuff together when it comes to less waste. And I challenge you to count the amount of to-go cups, bottles, you see walking around Geneva. You may get to ten in one day of counting. People don’t take the lazy way out as much as we do in the US.
In the end, I got used to separating 8 different types of recyclables and taking them to different places each week
Food supply – It’s nice not to question if your food is good for you or not. I’m not talking about BigMacs here either. In the USA, you always have to question what drugs your meat has been given and whether your apple has been hyped up with steroids. In Europe, these horrific practices are illegal. We’ll be buying organic when we return. Our bodies have never felt better during our time in Geneva.
The Plainpalais farmer’s market
Pace – We have a really nice balance here. Stores are closed after 7pm and on Sundays so that employees can spend time with their families. Vacation time is revered & respected in Europe. In the USA, people (including yours truly) tend to wear stress like a badge of honor. I’ve heard it called “the rush to the grave”. We will miss the slower pace here.
Public transport – It’s awesome not to get road rage from a car. Not having driven the entire 1.5 years we lived in Europe, it is actually a refreshing change. Also, it’s nice not to figure out who is driving when we go out for dinner or drinks….the bus is our automatic designated driver.
Hermes tram, I’m gonna miss you!
Squares/plazas – There is not much better in Europe that hanging out in a square / plaza, piazza, place or platz. We love doing this when traveling. We’ll miss having many options just walking distance from our flat.
Place du Molard, one of our favorites
Fashion – This was Gabe’s. He enjoys the variety and trendiness. This is actually not on my list….see point #4 below.
The man scarf with a tee shirt is popular here.
Multiculturalism – We are constantly surrounded by different cultures and traditions. It is very eye-opening to have exposure to friends and co-workers from all over the world, who open our minds to new views. We have learned a lot from them.
Easy International Travel – What do you mean we can’t jet off to Italy for the night? This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest things we miss. We loved the accessibility to new and different places in Europe.
Being uncomfortable daily – There is a quote from one of my favorite brands, Lululemon, that says “do something everyday that scares you”. Living in Europe as a foreigner has given us plenty of opportunities for this saying. Every day, we have our challenges. And, I think it is good for us. It has given us a real sense of adaptability and also humility.
Geneva can be a little cold & lonely. But that can be good.
Why we are excited to come home:
Customer service – We have been stripped of any expectation of customer service during our time in Europe. Forget a waiter checking on you or actually having a issue resolved. In Switzerland, the store owner is always right and you should feel indebted to him for being allowed to even enter their establishment.
Speed/efficiency – Being a person who loves things done fast, I had to give up on any shred of this in Switzerland. Hello, bureaucracy. Can’t wait to go back to the States where speed is a virtue.
Being able to read things – I look forward to understand packaging and all signs. Okay, maybe not political signs but all the other ones.
Hopefully I won’t buy the wrong ingredients anymore!
Not walking all our groceries home – as charming as walking everywhere is, hauling all your goods on your back is not so charming. More like sweat and tear inducing. I will vow to take my bike to the farmers market, bakery and occasionally the Harris Teeter, but will be happy never to have to carry all our groceries up “devil hill” anymore.
Won’t miss you, grocery cart thing
Gym clothes are okay – As someone who has gotten worse looks that the average Geneva homeless person, I can’t wait to get back to a country where it isn’t a crime to grocery shop in your lululemon. Seriously, people. How do you wear your stilettos on cobblestones anyhow?
Grilling – oh how we have missed the deliciousness of grilled meat. the fun of a backyard BBQ. Corn on the cob. Baked beans. Steaks that actually taste good. Mmmmmm.
No more fake grill
Laundry horror stories – Having a load of laundry take less than an hour……heaven.
Won’t miss the 5 hour load, or having restricted hours!
Closet space – in Charlotte, my closet was actually the previous owners’ nursery. Moving into a closet that was smaller than any broom closet I’ve ever seen, my clothing will be very happy to spread out. Even sharing with my hubby still gives both of us each 6x the room we have in Switzerland.
Lack of cobblestones – Sure cobblestones add charm and character. But living with them and walking on them in day-to-day living can grow old. I’m excited for some flat pavement.
Control over our own thermostat. Living in a flat, we are at the mercy of when the regie thinks it is appropriate to turn on the heat in the winter. Also, as much as we got accustomed to living without air conditioning, it can be hard to sleep in 95 degree heat sans A/C. We’ll use our heat and A/C more sparingly now but will be awesome to have control again.
I was always one cold ducky