(Home)sick and Tired

Two weeks ago tomorrow, we set out on our journey to Switzerland.  This is the longest that any of us have ever been away from home; considering Andy spent a good portion of 2013 and literally half of 2014 outside of Peoria, that’s pretty impressive.

Andy’s adjusted pretty well to the time change, and G seems to have done so as well.  We’ve been trying to make sure that she goes to bed at a fairly regular time, which is helping her get up at regular times (for the most part) and I’ve been enforcing “nap” time in the afternoons.  If she doesn’t actually nap, she has to at least stay in bed and have quiet time for a while; this is good for her and for me, too.

I, on the other hand, can’t get to sleep at night and don’t feel at all rested when I wake up.  I spend the morning struggling to wake up and engage with G, but she’s still getting more screen time than she’s ever been allowed to have in her life.

Everything is weird here, and I’m having trouble figuring out what I want to accomplish.  I don’t feel like I matter.  The Swiss way of addressing Andy for everything certainly doesn’t help, but since I’m not working (yet?) I can’t really be too upset about that.  It’s been a lot of years since I’ve been unemployed, and that was only for a few weeks.

I just feel ennui, I guess.

There’s definitely sadness.  I miss everyone back home.  I miss our routine.  I miss Mexican food and products at the grocery store that I recognize and can read the labels.  There were things I expected (no peanut butter, no boxed mac & cheese), but then there are things that I didn’t expect.  Like… I can’t find any cheese at the grocery store that G and I will eat.  No cheddar, no mozzarella, nada.  I can’t even make homemade mac & cheese at this point because I don’t have access to the right ingredients.

I hear that the selection of brands is better in France and Germany, but I don’t feel up to that trek yet (even though it’s not all that much of a trek).

Everything is just new and difficult and I don’t yet really know where to begin.  We need to find an apartment, but there are so many listings to weed through.  How long of a commute do we want to have every day?  Do we want to live in the city and access to more stuff or do we want to live outside the city and have a bit more space?

How do you look for a job when you don’t speak any of the four official languages?  Andy’s so lucky that his job requires fluent English with nothing said about German, French, Italian, or Romansh.  I need to find something similar.

But then I worry about the cost of childcare.  And I’m already worrying about the cost of health insurance and a million other things.

I’m all tied in knots over here, basically.

So it’s been hard to get it up to write posts about what we’re doing in Basel because I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished very much so far and I pretty much feel like a giant downer.

Here’s hoping something turns around soon.

8 thoughts on “(Home)sick and Tired

  1. That’s so tough, Liz! Do you know if there any food delivery services in Switzerland?

    You’re doing really great, and pretty soon these challenging few weeks will just be a memory.

    • Yeah, this expat guide e-book I read talked about grocery delivery, but I haven’t looked further into it than that. It seems like a waste of money when I’m home all day and there are several grocery stores within walking distance.

      I know it WILL get better, but right now I just want it to be better now.

      Damn American impatience!

  2. It sounds really overwhelming! I’m keen on list making – on what needs to get done and if you can cross one thing off the list you can feel good about yourself then just focus on one thing everyday.

  3. You are experiencing classic culture shock. It really is a roller coaster ride when you move to a new place. Add to that the language barrier, then the ride is even more intense. Take it one day at a time and remember it will get better and that we are here for you. Always.

  4. You have innate value just for being you. Even if you do nothing, you Are worthy & enough & valuable.

    There’s a site that lists personal characteristics beneficial to move/study abroad:
    – tolerance of ambiguity
    -low goal task orientation
    -open mindedness
    -being non-judgmental
    -being communicative
    -curiosity
    -Flexibility
    -Self- reliant
    -Ability to fail

    You are amazing at all of these things… except for the last one. It’s okay to have moments, or hours, or days that suck. You can be both excited and irritated with the whole thing. I mean, there’s no right or wrong way to feel or to process this whole thing. It’s your journey. And I’m just glad to be along for the ride.

    Keep writing. This is like the video log from Avatar. I’m living this Solely vicariously from you.

    And once I figure out how much it costs, I’ll mail you some peanut butter & Mac n cheese.
    💝

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