Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Geneva, etc.
My name is Diana; I was born and raised in Mexico. I moved to Switzerland in 2009 for my studies in Hospitality. After graduation I decided to stay in Geneva and find a job here to be close to my boyfriend back then (and now husband!).
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started blogging around June 2014 for Spotted by Locals to share the places I go and my favorite restaurants and such. However I wanted to expand a little bit more my articles and talk about weekend getaways, vacations, recipes and all the fun and exiting things that can be done in Geneva. So I started my own blog, LivinGeneva, in September 2014.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Tell us about the ways your new life in Geneva differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I think that Geneva and Mexico City are complete opposites; everything differs from one another! I never use the car, I can walk almost everywhere, it is small, not polluted and the airport is 20min away from my house! However what I miss most from Mexico is that people are more spontaneous, welcoming and warm hearted. In Geneva it takes a little bit more time to make close friends, but once you make them they are for life.
I did not have real trouble getting used to things nor had a culture shock, but I guess it is because I speak French. People like to speak their language and I guess you get more integrated if you speak a little bit of French.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Geneva? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I guess I was prepared; I used to go a lot before moving there so I knew what I was expecting. However I never thought it was that hard to find an apartment! I recommend for future expats in Geneva to start looking before or get an agency to find you an apartment.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
When you are in Geneva you make friends from so many nationalities, I made a lot of girl friends in my first job and we organized an evening were a Turkish girl would do our eyebrows (I know girl stuff). The not so funny thing is that I did not really explain myself on HOW I wanted them; I thought that it would be like back home. The thing is that I ended up with almost NO Eyebrows and I usually have super thick eyebrows. I cried the first night and did not want to go to work the next day, however now I laugh about it, they grown out since!
TIP: Do not do your eyebrows in a foreign country J
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Geneva?
- Learn French
- Everything is closed on Sundays so do not forget that!
- Enjoy the nature around you as much as possible, do not lose time looking for the craziest party around. You can travel the weekend for that!
How is the expat community in Geneva? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I believe that people are very friendly in the expat community. Of course people often look for people that speak the same language, or come from the same country. However if you arrive in an International Company people are often nice and organize group things and drinks, sport getaways and even dinner parties.
How would you summarize your expat life in Geneva in a single, catchy sentence?
Geneva is the small big city in the heart of Europe with a town like feeling. Nature, travel and cheese eating are part of your daily life!