National Day, and a coda

Yesterday, August 1, was National Day in Switzerland – the Swiss Independence Day. It celebrates the Federal Charter of 1291, a document that bound together the first cantons of Schwyz, Uri and Unterwalden as an alliance.

Last year, I spent the Swiss National Day like a good Swiss: on the shores of Lac Léman, watching fireworks being shot off over the water (and sometimes over my shoulder – explosives regulations seem to be pretty lax here). It was really lovely and even though I am not a big fan of loud sounds and crowds, I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie, the festive atmosphere and a warm summer night filled with carnival food and music.

This year was somewhat different…it was a rainy and chilly evening, and I was too tired to go out anyway. Fortunately, I found “Raiders of the Lost Ark” on TV in English! Not only did we only recently get a TV, but American movies are usually dubbed over in French or German, so that was a rare moment of complete cerebral disengagement. Not that I don’t enjoy French dubbing on occasion…it is excellent practice for me, and it can turn even the most dramatic and tragic of movies into a comedy!

Anyway. It seemed like a good time to reflect on my blog and the purpose it has served for almost two years now. Part of the reason I have not posted for so long is because I think I just don’t think of the things that happen to me – good or bad – from an expat perspective quite as much as I used to. Of course, I know I will never really lose that “stranger in a strange land” feeling… there will always be part of me that is attuned to the fact that I am not in the same place where I was born and raised. Some days I dearly miss US culture, food, language, commerce, cityscapes and landscapes…and every single day I miss my family and friends who still live there. I never want those feelings to fade, but I am grateful that I have been able to grow enough to feel comfortable somewhere else (‘comfortable’ being a relative term…I am still scared to talk to people I don’t know, I take my GPS everywhere, and I access Google translate on my phone at least 27 times a day).

But all that aside, the major reason I haven’t written for so long is because I have started a new job! I know it sounds crazy, especially since I was not at the other one for very long, and since this new one is in the capital of Bern and involves quite a long commute. Without going into much detail, though, I can say that it is a writing job…something I have desired my whole life. I am still pinching myself to make sure it is real! At any rate, it has taken a lot of time and energy to get up to speed on a whole new skill set (not to mention significantly buckling down on my French studies, as the job requires it). But mainly, I have been spending the majority of each day writing non-stop, which, while very fulfilling for me, kind of takes the itch out of my fingers when I get home to my own laptop!

In light of these two observations, I think the time has come to close this blog. Perhaps I will start another someday on another aspect of Swiss life, but I don’t feel like I need to document all my daily mishaps, missteps, discoveries and adventures anymore, as they are no longer Swiss experiences…they are just life experiences! I hope other scrappy travellers can derive some counsel – or at least some commiseration – from the few posts I have managed to put up in the last months.

Thank you for reading, one and all. And happy travels!

2 comments

  1. Pairodox Farm

    I have enjoyed your stories and laughed at each one in its turn and I will miss seeing your name in my WordPress reader. I too am experiencing something of a lull in my ability to concentrate on the blog. Life happens and we all move on to other things. Please focus the resulting excess of creative energy on your sketch pad – I will anticipate the results. D

  2. scrappytraveler

    Whoever said anything about excess energy? Haha but thank you, that means a lot. I am sure the photography will start up again naturally once the old oscillator swings back🙂

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