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The Best of Both Worlds
(originally published in the August 2009 issue of Expat In Switzerland)

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At one time I would have described a visit to my family in the UK as “going home”; such visits then metamorphosed into “a trip to the UK” over the years. This year I found myself thinking of our visit to the UK as our “holiday in England” and our return to Switzerland as “coming home”.

How lovely to have reached the point where I obviously feel so at home here! In the early days coming back to my life in Switzerland (as much as I loved it) after a trip to the UK used to leave me feeling rather like I was doing the splits for a few weeks, whereas now it is a pleasure to go on holiday, visit family and friends, enjoy all the familiarity of my origins as well as those quintessentially summer experiences in England. Coming back to swimming in the lake and the breathtaking mountain scenery in Switzerland this year felt like an extension of that holiday – the best of both worlds – a holiday in two places, both of which feel like home in one way or another!

This led me to wonder how it feels for those expats who are perhaps here on a contractual basis i.e. for a said, limited period of time – will that feeling of “home” ever be possible for them here in Switzerland? I have come to the conclusion that yes, it is the experiences one makes within a community that makes us feel at home (or not).

Hopefully many of you will have had a great “trip home” or a “holiday with family and friends” this summer but I also hope that you have been happy to come back afterwards to this beautiful country and all the great experiences it has to offer. If however you are struggling with that “doing the splits” feeling upon your return perhaps you need to find ways to integrate more into whichever community you are residing in – be it predominantly the expat community, the full-on Swiss way of life, or a mixture of both.

One way of capturing your life here and sharing it with your loved ones “back home” is through a family photo shoot – capturing given moments in your family‘s life and turning them into beautiful, contemporary, ready to hang stories - a priceless gift to share with the folks back “home”.

They say home is where the heart is – true, but we sometimes need to put our heart into making where we live our home…

Linda Atschreiter

Linda is a regular contributor to the ExpatInCH.com newsletter and runs the Foto eMotion photographic studio in Zug. See www.foto-emotion.ch for more information.

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