Living in Switzerland


I am delighted this week to be joined by a great Twitter friend and talented writer, Kristin Celms:


I am a U.S. expat currently living in Zug, Switzerland with my family. Zug is located in the middle of the German-speaking eastern section of Switzerland, though Swiss German is mainly a spoken language with many local dialects and is very different than German spoken in Germany (as we have learned the hard way!). We muddle through as best we can with a mixture of German and English.

The city of Zug dates from the late Middle Ages and, hence, still boasts a small old town,or “Altstadt,” which fronts a lovely lake with a small mountain rising behind.On a clear day, you can see the Alps across the lake toward the south, including the Mönch, Jungfrau, and Eiger. We can get close to these mountains in only ninety minutes, and one of our favorite places in the world, Wengen,is located at a train stop on the way up to the Jungfrau look-out.

Because Zug has grown as international companies have opened offices here, we live in alow-rise modern apartment building. Many people in Switzerland live in apartments rather than detached houses, though you still see the traditional wooden A-frame homes with lace curtains and window boxes as well.

Zug is in a great location for seeing the rest of Switzerland (and Europe), and we enjoy taking Swiss trains all around the country. Lucerne is just a twenty-minute ride away, with views of Mount Pilatus, where you can ride a cog wheel train or gondola to the top, enjoy amazing views, and even spend the night in a luxury hotel far above Lucerne. And Zürich, one of my all-time favorite cities, is twenty-five minutes in the opposite direction.

What I’ve enjoyed most about being in Switzerland, beyond the opportunity it has afforded us to travel all over Europe, is the extra time my family and I have spent together since we moved. There seem to be fewer outside distractions for us here as expats, so we hang out together more. And my writing habit has really solidified in the last three years; I’ve attended a writers’ conference in Geneva and a thought-provoking workshop through Faber & Faber in London while I’ve been living in Europe. A certain amount of isolation from outside stimuli can be a good thing!

Kristin Celms

Visit Kristin’s blog, ‘Kristin Celms – Words and Places’, to sample her wonderful writing and follow her on Twitter  @kristincelms .

17 thoughts on “Living in Switzerland

    • Hey Linda! Thanks for stopping by. Isn’t it lovely, and so beautifully put? Kristin is one talented and lucky lady. Looks like the perfect place for writerly inspiration:)

  1. Thanks to you, Linda, for commenting on my post. It has been a life-changing experience to live in another country for a few years and Switzerland is truly a beautiful place. And Jane, thank YOU for inviting me onto your blog – appreciate it so much!

  2. Thanks Kristin and Jane, what a lovely post. I haven’t spent any proper time in Switzerland since a childhood holiday even though my husband works for a Swiss company based in Basel and goes there frequently. In 2007 we drove through on the way to Italy and I vowed to do something about that, and now your post makes me feel the same way. I think you are giving your children something amazing exposing them to so many different cultural influences and I bet they thank you for it – in about 20 years, probably!

      • Thanks for your lovely comment, Isabel. While growing up I often dreamed about living in Europe, and now I’m able to do it with my husband and kids, which I think might make even better memories than doing something like this when I was just out of college. I think the best part of Switzerland is the natural beauty: if you come you must hike in some Alps!

  3. Hi Dee, and thanks so much for your comment. I’m really glad you liked the photos. The mountains are truly spectacular here – many people love to come in the winter for skiing but we had a gorgeous hike in July above Zermatt. There were wildflowers in at least eight colors! Hope you’ll be able to see it for yourself sometime. Kristin

  4. Love the promise of future travel to Switzerland and add it to my list of places I want to visit after reading your post. I know a handful of people who travel there regularly and one who lives in Zurich so I must try harder. Thank you.

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