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Moving here was fun, hard, not cool, challenging, exhilarating, expensive, stressful and smart.


Our move started in July of 2022.


My wife was offered a role change that would land us inside Switzerland at the exact moment I was in the ER in Boston MA. Was I dealing with a life and death situation? My Italian -always worried about my safety- mother said yes, the ER doctor said no. I would live to fight another day and the bump on my leg, while infected, would not lead to my demise.


But, the order of events led to a very interesting afternoon that I won't soon forget. Even though the timing wasn't great, with the kids about to start school, we quickly decided this was an experience we couldn't pass up. Our kids were 11, 9 and 7 so we figured that even a few years later it would be very hard to pull them from their lives, and that even a little younger they might not remember much of it. So in the end the timing was actually perfect.


My wife moved swiftly with her company, EF Education, to go through the VISA process, find a house (fun! not!), set up our overseas financial life, find a school and of course methodically transition herself into her new job. She actually moved to Zurich in September., flying back and forth to Boston every other week. As she was tackling the Swiss side of the insanity, I was in charge back in the U.S., getting the house ready to rent, attempting to minimize our belongings that would make the trip and help prep the kids. We seriously entertained selling our home, but ultimately we wanted an easy way to come back should the transition not be successful.



It was a whirlwind few months for sure and it included a few trips out of state to see family and friends and a going away party we had no time for, but was, as it turned out, really fun and very important. We needed to say goodbye to a lot of people we love dearly and that was the best way.


Outside of completely blowing our self prescribed budget, and having to wait an extra 2 months for our belongings to arrive from the U.S., the entire process went pretty well outside of one single hiccup; UPS lost the cat passport! So, quick side story...



Hudson is the family cat and has been with us for almost 6 years. Hudson spends his nights with us and his days tormenting the bunnies and squirrels of Marblehead, MA year round. He is a good cat who hates the rain and cold but seems fine to be carried around by his tail or being stuffed into a dollhouse by the kids.


But when the cat passport officially wasn't going to make it into my hands on the Friday night we were flying, decisions had to be made. We knew we could get through Logan airport, but were unsure of what would happen in Zurich without proper documentation.


So, the kids and I followed my wife's advice (orders) and packed the cat into the carrier and headed to the airport. At Logan, I had to show some basic vaccination records but they didn't seem to care; we easily got on the plane and I placed him at my feet. I tried to feed him a sedative but of course Hudson was uninterested in eating or drinking. He largely did good for the 7 hour flight, but maybe every 45 minutes he reminded us that he was unhappy. Meow!


So we land. I have the 3 kids, the cat, all the luggage, and a decision to make. After we got the luggage, there were 2 lines. One you have something to declare -such as, maybe a cat- and another with nothing to declare and you have a small interview.


Going through the line to declare the cat without the cat passport seemed, well stupid. Right? Naturalich.


So, I put the cat carrier on top of my suitcase and told the kids to take off their coats. I loaded all their coats on top the cat carrier covering it completely.


We arrived at the checkpoint for our interview. I huddled the kids in close and gave them the rules.


Don't talk to the cat, he can't hear you. Don't bring up the cat to the lady in the glass booth. We know the cat is under the coats, don't reach under the coats to pet the cat. Don't meow, don't make any cat noises for 3 minutes and don't make any random animal noises. Don't talk about fur or paws, there is zero reason to talk about any animals. The lady in the booth is going to ask you some questions, answer those questions directly but there is no need to bring up the cat we are hiding under the coats.


Well we made it and so our Swiss adventure began...









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1 Comment


saraydarian
Mar 12, 2023

And a fabulous adventure it is….looking forward to more.

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