“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson
To say that I’ve been on the move as of late is a severe understatement.
Since I left my office job in downtown Orlando one year ago, I have spent over fifteen weeks abroad – thanks to a variety of unique opportunities. Before I took that step of faith away from my cubicle, I had no idea how much traveling overseas I was going to do in the year ahead:
that I would make my way through Bavaria and Berlin,
across southern France and the Andorran mountains,
down the streets of Brussels and Ghent,
over the coral sands of Grand Bahama Island,
to many dining tables in central Taiwan,
all across Thailand’s largest island of Phuket,
around ruined temples in Cambodia,
and through the southern regions of my beloved Spain.
With the same bewilderment over my list of international travels, I have repeatedly said to friends at home, “I know… my life is not normal.”
Which – in all honesty – is just fine with me.
This year has been a whirlwind of unexpected travels that have taken me far from my homeland, and yet, the story of my atypical American life is far from over.
Even though my life’s journey is wrapped up in his, I haven’t shared much about my husband on Global Heartbeat – a small attempt at privacy. Now, I’m deciding to throw privacy out the proverbial window in order to share more of our story.
One of the many reasons I love Justin is that he has a spirit of adventure and exploration. We fell in love while studying abroad in Chile, where the magic of travel captured our hearts and entwined them together forever. Between walking across the graduation stage and walking down the aisle, each of us moved to other countries: Justin went to Turkey and I relocated to Spain. Eventually, we came back to the U.S., got married, and made Orlando, Florida our home. We have loved living in Orlando these past five years (Seriously, Orlando is really cool!), but we have continued dreaming of and pursuing opportunities to live abroad again.
Before I go any further down the Travel Dreams Trail, let me be clear: Justin and I love The United States of America, and we are so grateful to be Americans. We are celebrating the Red, White, and Blue this week with our family, friends, and fellow countrymen, and we recognize that American citizens are privileged to call this country home.
Perhaps what makes us different than many Americans is that we have this strange calling to travel that goes beyond vacationing or a form of entertainment. As the English author Geoff Dyer puts it, we have this unusual desire “to feel at home anywhere,” to forge a life and create community in different settings around the globe. We are attracted to cultures different than our own, fascinated by foreign customs and practices, languages and lifestyles. We are curious to know and experience people of all places, spaces, and time, and we are willing to throw ourselves in completely.
I’m so excited to share that the time has come for us to realize our dream of moving abroad. In just a few days, we will board a plane bound for Europe…
because we are moving to Switzerland!
Justin has accepted a special job offer within his company that is taking us to Zürich, our new home for the next two or three years. On this side of the Atlantic Ocean, we don’t know how things will play out in this new season of our lives. But we’re not afraid. After all, the move to Switzerland is just the next chapter in our life story, This Atypical American Life.
Hallo friends and family, readers and fans! Do you think we’re crazy for wanting to “feel at home anywhere” in the world? What do you think about this move from America to Switzerland? Do you have any tips on living in Zurich (i.e. recommended neighborhoods, must see experiences, good eats, learning Swiss German, etc.)? What locations in Switzerland should we check out first?