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Old 22.05.2019, 16:38
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To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

Hi all.

Love reading the posts on here so thought I’d post a question in the hope of some constructive / objective perspective and thoughts.

I’ve lived in Zurich previously and left about 10 years ago. While I loved living there and really made the most of my time I did find life quite different to my native London, many strict rules and often quite cold culturally so did decide to leave. There are however many positives and a plethora of things I miss about CH.

What the last 10 years in London has given me time to do is reflect on my life in ZH and how (shockingly sad) life and attitudes in the UK have taken a turn for the worse. Having recently gone through a nasty divorce my mind now turns to what to do with my life as I now have a new chapter to start and coincidentally was contacted a week ago about an interesting role back in one of the banks in ZH.

I guess my question is, does anyone have experience to share of living multiple times in Switzerland? If not, I’d appreciate some advice. I know people change as they go through life, I know I certainly have, and the thought of just walking my beautiful dog in the mountains most weekends, swimming in alpine lakes and keeping things simple yet personally fulfilled is a real draw to make the move back…

… or am I mad, once done don’t try and relive / repeat the past, should I look for a new adventure to base this new chapter one.


Best.
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Old 22.05.2019, 16:53
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

My reflection on Switzerland is that things change very slowly here, unlike in many other parts of the world (like London) where the pace of change is overwhelming and constant. I say that because the Switzerland you remember is likely the Switzerland you will return to, with its good points and its bad points.


As someone recently divorced, one thing to consider is the social network that you have in Switzerland. The Swiss are generally slow to warm up to newcomers, so if you don't already have a network here, you may find yourself lonely.
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Old 22.05.2019, 16:59
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

Thanks for the feedback, agree the paces can be quite different so something to consider. Guess I'm thinking I've changed a bit (chilled out) and the things that annoyed me may do so less now ;-)

I am very lucky to have a really good social circle still living in ZH, I know they'd be pleased to see me back.
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Old 22.05.2019, 19:38
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

Stay in London.
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Old 22.05.2019, 21:32
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

That was a thoughtful introduction. I wonder if it might be useful for you to give some more thought to aspects of Swiss culture that disturbed you when you were here previously. For example, you describe the Swiss as cold but while they tend to be reserved I think that many people, including myself, generally experience them as warm and friendly. Is it possible that it was more the people you worked with in the banking sector? So if you are again surrounded by these folks every day would you feel alienated and frustrated? Or maybe your focus is somewhere else now?
Did you learn a little of the local lingo last time you were here? I think that helps a lot to make you feel more connected.
Good luck with your dilemma.
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Old 22.05.2019, 23:32
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

My partner lived in Zurich for 2yrs in his mid 40s and always wanted to return. After 4 and a half years in the UK, we moved back. He's very happy to be here again and has no regrets about leaving the UK. His life here isn't that same as it was before, but after almost 4yrs, when the sun's out he still feels like he's on holiday when he's coming home from work.

As for me, my only experience of Switzerland was a cold night on 1 Jan 2012 when we had an overnight stopover. The first time I saw the place in daylight was when we moved here. Whilst I feel the way of life would have been stifling for me in my 20s and early 30s, it 'makes sense' to me now. It's logical.

Please read some of the threads about importing your dog and the laws around keeping a dog in Switzerland.
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Old 23.05.2019, 00:11
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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Hi all.

What the last 10 years in London has given me time to do is reflect on my life in ZH and how (shockingly sad) life and attitudes in the UK have taken a turn for the worse.
Hi Rockyscud,

good luck with your decision. I am curious - what has gone downhill in the UK exactly?
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Old 23.05.2019, 00:17
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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… or am I mad, once done don’t try and relive / repeat the past,
This jumped out at me.

Trying to relive/repeat the past - indeed that way lies madness. Or at least disappointment. Been there, done that, fell into the Slough of Despond and skedaddled out (again) when I found myself on the brink of gouging my eyes out with a spoon.

Time marches ever on, the place(s) you have mentally frozen in time included. It's called the Repat Blues. You've changed, they've changed. The past is, and should remain, the past.

However...

That doesn't mean you shouldn't move to Switzerland. If you hear the siren call of the alphorns, no reason not to heed them.

Just approach this move as a whole new experience. Do something totally different from your last round. Look forward to Switzerland as you find it today, don't dwell on the Switzerland of your memories. Start afresh.



Good luck with your next chapter, wherever that may be.
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Old 23.05.2019, 05:56
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

Sounds like you've already made the move, in your mind.

Come for a long weekend 1st, go for a hike, swim and party a bit. Now is a good time, the weather is lovely finally.

I have been in a situation like you, but between continents. London is so close, you might not even get home-sick.

If I can give a post divorce advice, changing scenery is advisable. I would not idolize CH, but changing jobs/culture/social scene sounds good for you.
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Old 23.05.2019, 08:33
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

living multiple times in Switzerland

I can't remember any past life in Zürich
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Old 23.05.2019, 12:10
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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when the sun's out he still feels like he's on holiday when he's coming home from work.
That one thing I do remember. Whilst my previous employment was good, ticked a few career boxes the feeling on being on vacation during the down time was amazing.
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Old 23.05.2019, 12:13
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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Sounds like you've already made the move, in your mind.

Come for a long weekend 1st, go for a hike, swim and party a bit. Now is a good time, the weather is lovely finally.

I have been in a situation like you, but between continents. London is so close, you might not even get home-sick.

If I can give a post divorce advice, changing scenery is advisable. I would not idolize CH, but changing jobs/culture/social scene sounds good for you.
Good advice, I definitely think a weekend visit is on the cards. Not too worried about missing London, as you say its not far.

Re the change of scene post divorce. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, definitely feel like I need to shake things up and get my mojo back.
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Old 23.05.2019, 12:13
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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Stay in London.
To the point, I like your style! Care to share why?
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Old 23.05.2019, 12:17
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts, it is greatly appreciated. Interestingly my boss (working at a UK / Asia bank in the Wharf) asked if I'd like to go to Hong Kong for a stint yesterday. While that does sound amazing, my Boxer dog would not be so agreeable - he's asked me to give it some thought so I will over the weekend.

What it has done though (along with your comments) is make me think even more seriously about doing the Swiss thing again. The positives far out weigh the negatives and I love to travel Europe. The boy (boxer) would also love that

Someone mentioned check threads on bringing the dog, I have done so thanks and while there are a few hoops its easily doable.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 23.05.2019, 12:19
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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Good advice, I definitely think a weekend visit is on the cards. Not too worried about missing London, as you say its not far.

Re the change of scene post divorce. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, definitely feel like I need to shake things up and get my mojo back.
Careful! Pace yourself.

Every change is a good change, tbh. Changing the environment probably makes it more obvious.

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Old 23.05.2019, 12:29
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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Interestingly my boss (working at a UK / Asia bank in the Wharf) asked if I'd like to go to Hong Kong for a stint yesterday. While that does sound amazing, my Boxer dog would not be so agreeable - he's asked me to give it some thought so I will over the weekend.
While my experience is far out of date (I lived in HK in the 90s), I can honestly say having toted mutts around the world and back, my dogs' best ever quality of life was living in Hong Kong.

(And those who know me know I am all about canine QoL.)

We lived on Lantau Island, had a house and garden the likes of which I could never dream of having in Switzerland, wonderful hikes, sailing with the mutts - and my dogs had the freedom to be dogs. Glory days.

But as to my previous post - the past is the past. I don't know what HK (or then lovely Lantau) is like now.

Sure, there is lots to consider in bringing a dog to HK, current legalities critically important - but don't necessarily dismiss it out of hand.


Again, good luck.
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Old 23.05.2019, 17:08
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

Your age, nationality (are you English or European), and whether or not you speak any German would play a big factor in my opinion. Also, I'm assuming you don't have any kids to worry about post divorce? I was just having a lovely lunch on the lake front at Bellevue with a colleague and, on a nice sunny day, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. But, we both work in banking/asset management and it seems that everyone here is under pressure with constant rounds of cost cutting and endless restructurings. I know it's the same in London but I always felt like I could easily find another job there whereas here I think it would take me close to a year or more to find something suitable. I would be reluctant to join one of the big 2 banks here in the current cost cutting climate.
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Old 23.05.2019, 18:44
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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Your age, nationality (are you English or European), and whether or not you speak any German would play a big factor in my opinion. Also, I'm assuming you don't have any kids to worry about post divorce? I was just having a lovely lunch on the lake front at Bellevue with a colleague and, on a nice sunny day, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. But, we both work in banking/asset management and it seems that everyone here is under pressure with constant rounds of cost cutting and endless restructurings. I know it's the same in London but I always felt like I could easily find another job there whereas here I think it would take me close to a year or more to find something suitable. I would be reluctant to join one of the big 2 banks here in the current cost cutting climate.
Thanks Brian - interesting perspective. I'm 48 years young ;-) no kids and a Brit, no German (although that never held me back previously so not concerned about that now really).
As a fellow banking type I see your concerns over stability and you do raise a good point. Something I need to be mindful of. I have spoken to a few recruiters and they say the market has picked up and is definitely better than last year.
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Old 23.05.2019, 18:55
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

There is no such thing as a nasty divorce.
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Old 23.05.2019, 18:57
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Re: To Switzerland again or not - that is the question!

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There is no such thing as a nasty divorce.
lol - really?
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