Michela: Geneva Family Diaries
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Geneva, etc.?
Originally from Italy, I moved to London after graduating from University. Whilst living in the UK I worked in Publishing and TV Distribution at the BBC for many years before moving to Geneva in 2008.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I launched my blog Geneva Family Diaries in May 2012 because I wanted to blog about the coolest (and often hidden away) spots of the city. I have 3 children under the age of 8, so I also wanted to share my tips on the best kid-friendly places in and around Geneva.
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?
There’s a different pace of life in Geneva, which makes it possible to enjoy a good balance between work and family. My biggest shock was realizing how difficult French grammar can be, I definitely underestimated that!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Geneva? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
If I could turn back time, I would personally research all the different schools and childcare options. It took us 4 years to find the perfect solution for our family: sometimes a “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t actually suit all expats.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
When we first arrived we were so excited about being able to buy fresh produce and meat directly from the farms, but my husband realized he took it a step too far when the butcher’s took out his chainsaw to chop up the full carcass he had hanging in the shop.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Geneva?
- Do not rely exclusively on e-mails.
- Learn French.
How is the expat community in Geneva? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
The expat community in Geneva is quite varied and you will find many like-minded people if you focus on your personal interests, join a club or a gym you enjoy. If you have children, try to take part in some of the fab free activities in town, you’ll learn so much more about Geneva if you make friends with the locals.
How would you summarize your expat life in Geneva in a single, catchy sentence?
As the title of my blog says: l’âme cool de Genève, en famille.