On a lark, as a young couple back in 2010, we moved to Switzerland. Hence the name, Swiss Lark. At the time, we figured we would stay a few years, get that whole living abroad thing out of our systems and then return to life as we knew it. This is us at the Zurich airport the morning of our arrival. We had nine pieces of luggage total.

This was our going away party in Zurich, June 2014. Over the course of four years, we started our family and had a second baby on the way. We lived in the most perfect apartment of all time and made wonderful friends. But for some reason, we always felt that it had to be temporary. When what seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity popped up, we made a crazy leap of faith and moved to Minnesota summer 2014.

Sometimes crazy leaps of faith turn out, and other times, they don't. Minnesota definitely did not turn out for us, but in the end, I'm glad we took the risk. We learned and grew and it pushed us to really confront ourselves and our goals and our priorities in life. We are better for it.

This little dumpling of joy is the best thing to ever come out of Duluth, Minnesota. Theo was born just shy of six weeks after we arrived there. Our shipment from Zurich hadn't arrived and so began the most chaotic and, quite frankly, miserable time of our lives. I thank my lucky stars that I had this beautiful, strong, inspiring boy to keep me in the moment and focused on what really matters throughout that nightmare.

We will always miss Lake Zurich, our beloved Seefeld neighborhood and the amazing friends we made there. Or, we might go back! It's hard to accept that no matter where we are, we'll always be missing someone or somewhere. That is how living abroad ruins you forever.

In 2015, we moved to Spokane, Washington in order to be surrounded by family and to figure out what we really wanted. Did we want to go back to Zurich? Did we want to settle down and buy a house in Spokane? What kind of life did we want for these two darling kiddos of ours? Big questions. 

In 2017, we nearly moved back to Switzerland with our then 2- and 5-year-olds. But it all fell through at the very last minute and our lives were thrown into chaos yet again! Honestly, it was a nightmare. Without anywhere to live, we had to move out of our house and put everything into storage and stay with family and housesit. J was going on interviews every single day and it felt like nothing was within my control. At that point I basically went numb. If you have lived abroad and moved back home again, then you understand how it erases your identity and sense of self and leaves you feeling completely unmoored and adrift. Miraculously, everything fell into place. J got a fantastic job, we got the most adorable little brick house in the perfect neighborhood, Theo started Montessori, and against all the odds, Coco got a space in the local school a few blocks away that is always full to capacity the moment kindergarten registration opens in March and we moved into the neighborhood at the end of August! It essentially a little private school we don't have to pay for and she is so happy and thriving and excelling academically and running cross country and has the sweetest group of friends. We were immensely grateful. 

And yet, that wanderlust didn't go away.

It wasn't until a full year later, in 2018, when we had offers on the table again - this time in Berlin and Zurich - that we decided it was finally time to get real with ourselves about why we had left Switzerland, why we were still applying to jobs, and where we wanted to find ourselves in five years, ten years, twenty-five years. After  a lot of soul searching and being really honest with myself, I decided to go back to school and make a career change. So here we are in Spokane, feeling very settled as I complete a part-time Masters program with a graduation date of May 2021. 

The plan is still to go abroad again, most definitely, but being in school is grounding me in a way that I really needed. I have felt so much pressure, and in turn, put so much pressure on myself to find my sense of forever here, and to want to buy a house, and do the whole American Dream thing in Spokane. It should work! All the pieces are present: beautiful, affordable, four perfect seasons, convenient, family nearby, and on and on. But somehow, despite all the pieces being here, they just don't click into place. 

So I'm not forcing it! I'm updating this about section, which has been the exact same up until the photo of Theo pushing Coco in the pushcart since summer of 2015! It's been such a tumultuous journey from summer 2015 until now, Tuesday July 9th, 2019, that it seems comical to sum it all up in a few paragraphs. But there it is. When I graduate, we'll go abroad again, most likely on a two year contract. We would love to go back to Zurich or another part of Switzerland, but we are also open to some other locales around the globe. If, at the end of those two years, we are ready to come back to Spokane and buy a house, we will. And if we're ready to stay where we are then, we will. And if we're ready to go on to the next adventure, we will. Time shall tell. But for now, I'm in love with my garden and our neighborhood; it's such a good feeling to pull onto our street at the end of the day and feel at home; I'm just enjoying where I am now.

If you would like to know more about us and our time in Zurich, as well as our move back home, here are a few posts to get you started:

Our Timeline
I also write about Design, Beauty and Montessori, so be sure to explore the Categories in the drop down menu above. I would love it if you would subscribe to my podcast, The Expat Repat Podcast, on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts! And of course, follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can email me if you have any questions or just want to say hi! on lindsey (at) swisslark (dot) com xo

Join the conversation!

  1. Hi Lindsey,
    I'm happy I stumbled across your blog this morning. I'm a fellow Duck and writer, and live north of Zurich (going on 22 years now). Are you familiar with Zurich Writers Workshop? Would you be interested in connecting with local English-speaking writers, or me personally? If so, let me know, and I'll e-mail you my personal details. Or, you can find me on FB. Meredith Suter-Wadley.

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  2. I'm from Seattle and we are thinking of moving to Zurich. I'm so glad I found your blog. We are currently living with our two little girls in London but have always wanted to live in Zurich.

  3. Hi! I was wondering if someone would be able to help me out?

    I am a medical student in New York. I'm planning on moving to Zurich for 1 year in August with my wife, and we are currently looking for apartments. We're having some trouble because we are on a budget and need a furnished apartment. Does anyone have any ideas of how we could find something? I have been going through postings in homegate, but it is a little overwhelming, and they also don't have an option for searching only furnished apartments. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  4. I love your comment: "It's hard to accept that no matter where we are, we'll always be missing someone or somewhere. That is how living abroad ruins you forever"....
    it's so true. I'm a Brit, lived 5 years in Switzerland and have now been in San Francisco for 10 years. Part of me wishes I had never left the U.K and wouldn't feel so unsettled now....having lived in 3 amazing places is an incredible blessing but also a curse. There's a lot to be said for staying put!


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