Personal: things I love about Switzerland (and a few that I still love about Belgium)

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5 things I love about Switzerland

1. The beauty of the environment. We live near the mountains and next to the water, so we have the best of both worlds. I love the Alps and Lake Geneva is really beautiful. This is what we see from our balcony. Talk about a view!

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2. The international atmosphere. A lot of people that live in Switzerland are foreigners and all our new friends come from literally all over the world. That diversity is really cool and it is just really fun to be amongst so many different kinds of people. You never run out of things to talk about, that’s for sure.

3. Being in this adventure with my boyfriend. Tom and I have been together for over ten years now and we always talked about moving abroad. No one ever seemed to take it all that seriously, but we always knew that we would eventually make it happen. Actually doing it now feels amazing. It’s just the two of us here and we have no one else to rely on. That creates a unique bond.

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4. A pretty random one, but one that I like nonetheless: water is included in the rent here. You pay a fixed amount of charges per month and it doesn’t matter if you use gallons of water or no water at all. In Belgium I paid attention to how much water we used and I always made sure that I didn’t shower for more than 10 minutes for example. But here I can take all the time I want for a steamy hot shower. And I don’t pay a cent extra for it. Gotta love that!

5. Everything is a discovery. From trying out new foods in the supermarket to exploring the city of Lausanne, everything is new and exciting. It kind of feels like being on holiday, but more adventurous. We are tourists in our own country, and it’s so much fun to discover all these new things and places.

5 things I love (and miss) about Belgium

1. My mom and dad. As cold as it may sound, I don’t really miss anything or anyone up to the point where it makes me feel really homesick. Except for my mom and dad. Those are the two people that I really miss a lot. I can’t wait until they come over for a visit! Love you mommy and daddy <3

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The best mom and dad in the world

2. Bread. I love eating bread, but the bread here is different than the bread in Belgium. The bakeries here are all very fancy and do all these kinds of specialized breads. But all I really want is the plain normal bread I used to have in Belgium. Go away already with your crazy hazelnut & raisin embedded farmer’s bread and just bake me some rye bread, dammit! ;-)

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At Pâtisserie Vincent in Lutry

3. How cheap everything is in Belgium. Seriously, I have really learned to appreciate the Belgian prices now that I live in Switzerland. The cost of living is enormous and everything is really expensive. To give you an idea: I used to pay 625 euros a month for my apartment in Belgium. Here, we pay three times that price. Another example: doing groceries is about 50% more expensive here. And my health insurance sets me back almost 280 CHF a month. Yes, per month! I think that living on a budget just doesn’t exist in Switzerland.

4. Belgian chocolate. Swiss chocolate is alright, but nothing compares to real Belgian chocolate. I really crave a box of Belgian chocolates sometimes. My all-time nomnomnom favorites: Guylian sea shell chocolates, Côte d’Or Oraia and Jacques dark chocolate bars. Hmm!

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5. The range and availability of cosmetics. Switzerland seems to lag behind a bit on the newest beauty hypes and I can’t find all of my favorite brands here. Also, cosmetics in Switzerland are (just like anything else here) very expensive. In Belgium most beauty and skin care products cost about 50% less and the range of brands and products is a lot bigger and more available, either in stores and online. I am definitely going to go on a crazy (beauty) shopping spree when I visit Belgium again!

So in short there are lots of things I love about Switzerland and I really like living here. Belgium is still my home country, though, and there are some things about it that I miss. But Tom and I both feel very at home here in Switzerland, and we don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon :-)

So tell me, would you like to move abroad? What are the things you really love about your country?

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97 thoughts on “Personal: things I love about Switzerland (and a few that I still love about Belgium)

  1. It looks utterly beautiful, but I’d get homesick pretty fast. Great you can share the experience with your boyfriend though.

  2. Zwitserland is erg duur, maar de inwoners verdienen toch ook veel meer? Ik heb er een goeie vriendin wonen, zij is Berliner, en woont nu al jaren in Zwitserland, ze werkt vier dagen per week en heeft een prachtig appartement en kan perfect alleen wonen en leven omdat ze een erg goed loon heeft. Voedingswaren zijn erg duur, dat zegt zij ook.

    • Klopt, je verdient hier inderdaad ook wel wat meer. Maar we zijn hier nog maar net dus we moeten ons budget nog een beetje ”opbouwen” zeg maar ;-) En zelfs met een hoger inkomen blijft het verkeerd aanvoelen om bijna vier euro voor een klein brood te betalen bij de bakker!

  3. Gee, things are really expensive over there! I’ve never really given much thought to the difference in expenses when moving abroad, but I sure will now. Me and my boyfriend would like to move abroad somewhere, someday, preferably to an English-speaking country (or some version of it), although he still has his mind set on Japan as well. Not gonna happen dear, sorry ;) you do live at a great location, though!

    • A friend of ours went to Japan for a few years and he loved it there. He even brought a Japanese girlfriend back to Belgium when he returned, hehe. I know he would love to go back, so apparently Japan isn’t that bad ;-)

      • I’m sure Japan is a lovely country, but I’m afraid we won’t be able to learn the language properly anymore and I’d hate to be ‘that foreigner with that poor accent’ >< didn't that pose a problem for your friend?

      • Well, our friend was 26 I think when he left and before he left he took a crash course in Japanese. So that must have helped some. But from what he told us, it sounds like actually being there is the best learning experience and being thrown into the culture and the language makes you pick up on it pretty fast. I should hear from him today, I will ask him about it :-)

  4. I’d love to move abroad too, is one of my dreams:) Both countries are great, never visited Belgium but I wish so much!:) Congrats, your parents look so nice and also you in the pic with your bf:) Kisses and happy Sunday! xo

  5. Super dat je ons wat leuke informatie geeft over zwitserland :D Ik had er geen idee van dat het daar zo duur was !
    Lijkt me wel super om te wonen hoor haha. Hoe zijn jullie op het idee gekomen om te verhuizen?

    Groetjes

    • We wilden sowieso altijd al naar het buitenland trekken, en toen Tom hier een werkaanbieding kreeg, hebben we geen seconde getwijfeld. Ik ben dol op de bergen en op skiën en Tom is gek op watersport en op het water, dus de keuze was snel gemaakt :-)

  6. Wel ,als je het mij vraagt??Ik zou het leven daar wel gewoon kunnen worden! Het is als een sprookje zo mooi en brood ,da rogge dat zal je vlug vergeten zijn!We zijn zo benieuwd hoe het daar gaat zijn op je nieuwe appartement???

  7. Those pictures of Belgium look so beautiful (but that bread one looked sooo yummy, haha). I think if I didn’t have to pay for water, I’d be in the shower every day until the hot water ran out! Both Belgium and Switzerland sound like amazing places to live – and it’s always a plus when you have someone to share the adventure with :)

  8. Meid wat woon jij prachtig zeg! Wauw, ik zou echt helemaal tot rust komen daar :). Wat ik echt zou missen? Hmm ik moet er diep over nadenken en denk toch echt mijn koffie, nergens smaakt deze zoals thuis.

  9. I’ve been to Switzerland (Geneva, Zurich, and Devos) and I really like it! It’s a bit like a fairy tale country if you know what I mean. Everything is so clean and new, and I LOVE how the water tastes there! I don’t know if I’ll ever want to move there (I’m good in Belgium for the moment!), but it’s not a bad country to live in! I really enjoyed reading about the boyfriend part. It’s so sweet! Totally understand about the missing mom and dad bit too :)

    • You have seen more of Switzerland than I have then, haha :-) I have seen a bit of Geneva so far, but I haven’t been to Zürich or Devos yet. We might go skiing next weekend, though, near Les 4 Vallées.

  10. Ne te réjouis pas trop vite pour la facture d’eau… Malheureusement on reçoit un décompte une fois par année et si les acomptes payés chaque mois n’étaient pas assez élevés, ben il faut payer la différence. Mais en général c’est assez bien calculé. :-)

    • Oh non, c’est vrai? Zut, haha :-) Je ne savais pas ça. En tout cas pour l’instant nous habitons dans un appartement de vacances temporaire, donc tout est inclus dans le loyer. Au cours de l’année plusieurs gens habitens dans l’appartement, parfois pour une semaine, parfois pour quelques mois comme nous, et je ne suppose pas qu’on va partager la différence (s’il y en a une) entre tous ces locataires temporairs Mais merci de me le dire, comme ça je sais pour quand on déménage en juillet! :-)

    • Oh yes, I agree! Back in Belgium I hated taking the train (or any public transportation for that matter) but here the railway system is awesome. So organized and smooth. Oh ,and clean, lol.

    • Mja, ondertussen heeft een Zwitserse lezeres me al verteld dat je blijkbaar een extra factuur krijgt als je meer verbruikt dan de vaste kosten dekken. Daar gaat mijn nummer 4 op de lijst dus, haha :-)

  11. Wat een prachtig uitzicht hebben jullie! Zwitserland lijkt mij geweldig om een keer te bezoeken! Jammer dat het zo ontzettend duur is! Ik kan mij voorstellen dat je ook dingen van België mist, raar dat ze alleen maar van die aparte broden hebben in Zwitserland. Geniet van je tijd daar! :)

  12. funny to read your blog. exactlly the things I would missing abroad you don’t like here. especially the bred and chocolate. ;-)
    yes Switzerland is a lot more expensive, but compared to the salary it’s even the same as the rest of europe.
    wish you all the here in Switzerland!

  13. Wat een enorme stap om naar een ander land te verhuizen. Mag ik vragen waarom Switzerland?
    Wij willen over een aantal jaren elders gaan wonen maar weten nog niet waar.

  14. This is a really lovel post!
    Well let’s see….the thing I like the most of my country is the weather, as we do not have really cold wineters…and then…what else? Oh yes, I love the food of my country =)
    Thanks for the comment!
    XOXO
    Ylenia

  15. Congratulations on your move – that view is incredible. I was in Switzerland briefly this past summer and it was very nice. I actually didn’t find a ton of diversity there, which is interesting, it seemed very “high end” everywhere, just very different than Washington DC where I’m from. I have lived abroad and would like to again very much – my goal is to live in South America again. However, right now I’m simply not anywhere near being in a position to do that, there’s quite a lot I need to sort out and achieve first, but one day, I will, for sure.

    • Mja, ondertussen heeft een Zwitserse lezeres me wel verteld dat ik toch een beetje moet opletten. Blijkbaar krijg je een extra factuur als je over het budget gaat dat door de vaste kosten gedekt wordt. Verdorie! :-)

  16. Wauw echt mooi! Ik kan wel begrijpen dat je je ouders en normaal brood mist. Had ik ook toen ik drie maanden in het buitenland woonde.

  17. Sweet post!!! My dream is to travel around Europe and the world hehe. Now Switzerland and Belgium are on my list and now I know a bit more about it to expect. I know how you feel about Mom and Dad. I do the same. Living abroad is a life-time experience that I completely embrace. There’re ups and downs along the way and there’re things you only find in your home country. But I love adventures, new things, challenges, meeting new friends and cultures.

  18. Heel lang geleden dat ik nog eens in Zwitserland was en toen was ik eigenlijk nog te jong om te beseffen dat het duurder leven was :) Maar het uitzicht is natuurlijk wel uniek en je zit in een pracht van een avontuur met je vriend!

  19. Oh I love Switzerland :-) it is so beautiful!

    I moved to Portugal last year and I really miss home.. here food is much more expensive and drugstore products! last time I was at home I went to the drugstore and spent a looooooot and then I sent a huge package to Portugal ;-) but yay for me – high end products are here cheaper:)

  20. I can really relate a lot with this post in many things. It is really nice that you sure this new “adventure” with your boyfriend, it is much more difficult to go through it alone. But still Switzerland is really beautiful to live in

  21. Wow, niet gedacht dat het zo duur was in Zwitserland. Ben er wel eens op skivakantie geweest en toen was alles ook ferm duur, maarja dat is zo in alle winteroorden hé. Ik zou dolgraag in Spanje (Barcelona) of Portugal (Lisboa) gaan wonen. Love the culture over there. Jammer genoeg zit het niet echt snor met hun economie…

    • Mja, het is echt wennen aan de prijzen hoor :-) Vorig weekend een dagje gaan skiën en dat heeft ons ongeveer 250 euro gekost.

      Ik ben nog nooit in Barcelona of Lissabon geweest, maar het lijkt me heel mooi daar!

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