A very smart girl joined the Ex-pats in Zurich Yahoo Group BEFORE moving over here -what a brilliant concept! I wish I would have had the forethought to do that! I love my yahoo groups -(here's a shout out to Chix in Buisness:))! What a great way to ask your network questions, find out about local goings on, etc. I found out about the group on the plane ride over by the Amerian woman sitting next to me (thank you to whoever you are!). So I would definitely suggest if you move anywhere overseas you try to find out if they have something like this! It has been very helpful with normal everyday stuff AND we went hiking with a group we met through there last Sunday and had a wonderful time (I'll post pics soon I promise!). It was very cool to find out eveyone's "story" - why they were here, how long, their experiences so far! I've even joined a Supper Club!:)
ANYWAY, so someone wrote a post on the yahoo group yesterday that said - "I'm moving to Zurich from the States in 2 weeks - is there anything you wish you would have brought with you?" I posted my response below so if anyone ever asks me again I will remember. It is so fresh on my mind now since we just moved - I don't know if I would remember in a year!:) So here it is - oh yeah - and remember I only had 45 days to plan -so some of these things should have been a no brainer but I had A LOT ON MY MIND! :)
love ya, mandy
Email I sent:
Hi Sarah – where are you from? I just moved from the U.S. 3 weeks ago to Zurich and have a list of some things I wish I would have brought with me. I hope this helps!:
1. Travel books – go ahead and buy them – they are CRAZY expensive here in English
2. German Language/Translation books – I even had Rosetta Stone shipped after I moved – it has been very helpful (of course if you already speak German you are good to go!)
3. Ice cube trays!!!!
4. Bath Mats – this sounds strange but they are very expensive here - maybe 3 times as much as the US.
5. No one uses the dryer over here. I was told on my first day not to put my clothes in there. So everything is hung up to dry – I wish I would have brought a small drying rack as I live in a 650 sq. ft apartment and can’t find a small one over here - just large ones that I wouldn't be able to store.
6. Tupperware – they have it over here - it's just very expensive.
7. Depending on weight – I would say to bring toiletries – soap (I bought 2 bars of soap for $3 yesterday), feminine products, razors(!) they are very expensive, shampoo & conditioner), and any hair product you like! Also, over the counter medicine like cough drops and such - you have to go to a doctor over here to get them!
8. Other books to read – however someone did just tell me about a 2nd hand book store so that will help!
9. Backpack (trust me you will want it!) I never thought I was a backpack person but we ended up buying one the first weekend we were here b/c I couldn't take my purse anymore!
10. Good Hiking/walking shoes – very expensive over here
11. They also don't have a lot of choices in the way of salad dressing or marinades, so if you can buy the dry packets in a flavor you like I would suggest it.
12. Do you watch TV? If so I might suggest a slingbox and hook it up to someone in the US before you go. I thought I would just be able to watch the shows I missed online, but they block all non U.S. ip addresses so no luck with that!
13. Do you have Skype or a magicjack? I have a magicjack phone number and talk to my friends and family everyday in the US and it is just a local US number! Very awesome!
Stuff I'm glad I brought (I thought this might be helpful):
1. I do not have a car and use public transportation so I love love love my ipod!
2. Refillable Water Bottles - best thing I brought with me!
3. Recycled bags for grocery shopping. It's green AND they charge per bag you use at the grocery store over here.
4. Small blanket that folds up easily to take to the park, beach, etc - we have used it every weekend in Zurichhorn Park.
Finally, I would suggest buying most of your electronics over here – converters are like $40 each so it really wasn’t worth bringing stuff over. And I blew up a few things:)
I hope this helps!! Safe Travels!