So after spending so much of my life abroad, I have finally moved back to Switzerland a year ago. Living here with many of my foreign friends, I have notices all the strange things we do that are second nature to me. So here is a list of things that will surprise you about living in Switzerland.
Shops are closed on Sunday
All over Switzerland, all stores are closed on Sunday. This is not only limited to clothing or electronic stores but also grocers. You better have everything you need in the house for Sunday or it will require a long trip to find an open store. If you do need one, your best bet are ones by in the train station or along the highway. Trust me you get used to it and it makes Sundays were relaxing.
There are a LOT of rules
Living in Switzerland, you will learn that there is a rule for everything. And I mean EVERYTHING!!! Want to know what to do with your garbage? There is a rule for that. What to know where to park your car? There is a rule for that. Want to know when you can mow your lawn? There is a rule for that. While this may seem excessive to many of you, it makes living simple, because everything is regulated. There is a way things are done and if you do them that way, everything is good. Trust me you will get used to it very quickly.
Living in the outdoors
Switzerland is a very green country and has so much beautiful nature to explore. You will often see people go for hikes during the weekend or walks during the week. If someone asks you if you want to join, you should. The nature is worth exploring, but be prepared. You are most likely going on an actual hike, not a leisurely stroll. You should wear appropriate clothing and proper shoes. You will get the change so much more of this country, if you join in on this trend.
How easy finding drinkable water is
While I knew that Switzerland is special in this, I only realized how much once I went on a hike abroad. In Switzerland, any fountain has drinking water as long as it doesn't say otherwise. Literally anything you walk by. The public fountain, the fountain that looks like it is for animals, the small stream on your way up the hill. It is pretty fantastic once you get used to it. I promise you will love it once you embrace the outdoorsy nature of Switzerland.
The language thing is even more confusing than you think it is
How often do you meet someone from your own country abroad and cannot speak to them in your mother tounges? If you are from Switzerland, that happens pretty often. If you are moving here, you probably know of three of the four official languages of Switzerland. Most people in the country speak either German or French. Then there is a canton that speaks Italian, or a dialect thereof. Oh and then there is the fourth, Romansh. This language is spoken by less than 100'000 people in the canton of Grison. If you are lucky you will move into a part that just speaks one language, but if you move to Fribourg, you will constantly have to guess if people speak French or German. Also if you move to the German part you will still have your fight with the dialect of Swiss German. You will get the hang of it once you live here, but, for now, just accept that it is confusing.
Those are my five things about living in Switzerland that may surprise you. I hope you end up enjoying life in this beautiful country. Do you agree with my life? What surprised you when you moved here? I would love to hear about it in the comment below or on social media. If you need some more travel advice or city guides for Switzerland, you can find them here.