Upon reaching the summit I looked out at the earth’s natural wonders in every direction. I couldn’t help but be inspired by the incredible landscape. The great mountain ranges of the planet serve to remind us of our place in it, how small we are in the grand scheme of things. But also about how much we can achieve when we really try, that given the desire and determination our potential is limitless.
Since moving to Switzerland I’ve fostered a growing love for the Alps. Looking out over the vast landscapes created by colliding continents, it’s impossible not to feel touched by the staggering beauty of our planet. But getting out and exploring the world around me is not something that’s always been second nature. Truth be told before we moved to Geneva I may have been considered a bit of a hermit at times. We worked in London for just over a year and rarely got out to experience the city, something we’re looking to rectify whenever we make it back to England’s great capital. I much preferred to stay in, watch TV and play video games.
In the year before the move our travel schedule consisted of a single weekend break to Berlin. In fact we felt so disillusioned that the minor inconvenience of a credit card payment failure put us off booking a week in the Sardinian sun. I was apathetic toward travel. For shame! Moving to a new country has given me a completely different perspective, opening my eyes to passions I never knew I had.
Slowly but surely I have become more and more enticed by what the world has to offer, eager to explore anywhere and everywhere. My experiences living in a new country have brought travel right to the forefront of my life. I’m always looking forward to the next weekend break, extended vacation or opportunity to get out and explore the local area. I’ve discovered that with enough curiosity and determination, even the streets outside your own front door can feel exotic.
I remember at the time moving to Switzerland felt like a huge decision, but in the end we fell into it more than anything. In many ways it was the best option for us. My partner’s company were jumping ship to Geneva, she was enjoying her job and things were not great for me. Struggling to find work in the first few months, I often wondered how long we would stay.
Nearly three years later I can say that the reward has been more than worth effort. Given the chance to move somewhere new again, I would grab onto it with both hands. It has been an invaluable, irreplaceable experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. In fact I find it difficult to imagine myself living in England for the rest of my life once our time in Geneva comes to an end.
So take out a map of the world and have a look. Where do you want to live? Chances are there is an opportunity out there for you. Whether it’s a secondment, a sabbatical, a promotion or even a career break. The option to do something different is always there. If you really want it you can make it happen. And if it’s just not the right time, take the chance to get out and explore your local area. You might be surprised what you can find just outside your front door.
About the author: Flights booked. Camera packed. Satisfaction guaranteed. Ben is a British expat currently living in Geneva, Switzerland. He works full time as a software developer, but his full time passion is exploring our incredible planet and inspiring others to do the same through his photography. To find out more visit Flights. Camera. Satisfaction.