‘My Story’ shares the experiences of an Indian living in Switzerland
“Yes, be open to change – embrace it rather than resist it. Make an effort to integrate with the locals along with your own community.” says Pragati Siddhanti
Q. Tell us about yourself
A. Hey Guys! My name is Pragati Siddhanti and I moved to Switzerland nine months ago from India with my workaholic husband and six year old daughter. I was born and brought up in New Delhi after which I moved to Bangalore, where I worked as an IT Manager with Unilever. I am the co founder and partner at Be For Beauty which is a lifestyle blog and a content management firm. I am also pursuing my Masters at FHNW, Switzerland in business and Information systems.
Q. What do you do?
A. To simply put this, I write, I travel and I work really hard. When we moved to Switzerland, I gave up a hard core corporate career and decided it was time to take a leap of faith and do things that I really wanted to do. Spending time with my daughter, writing and going back to school have been the most rewarding, exciting and challenging experiences of my life.
Q. Do you like it here, what do you love and what would you change?
A. In parts, at times I like it and at times am absolutely exhausted. I love living in a clean and a beautiful country, but I miss the warmth that the people back home exude. I love how structured life is over here, but at times I get tired of the monotony. I love that there are 4 seasons, but I miss the sun. Oh so dearly! I love how moving can change your perspective, but then I miss family and friends. So all in all, it’s a mixed bag.
Q. What would I change?
A. I wish I could change the mindset and preconceived notions of the locals here.
Q. How do you cope with Swiss life?
A. I did a whole series called, my brand new swiss life on the blog sometime last year when we moved which gathered quite a bit of popularity.
I think life here being extremely different, difficult or easy are always personal experiences. My mantra is to always plan ahead of time, be it motherhood, blogging, house management or school assignments. I rely a lot on planners, to-do lists and calendars.
Another thing that I did was to surround myself (right from the moment I got here) with tons of things to do, so I never really had lonely moments. Even when I was just about building a social life, I was almost always super busy.
Q. Do you have any words of wisdom to help fellow expats integrate?
A. Yes, be open to change – embrace it rather than resisting it. Make an effort to integrate with the locals along with your own community.
Learn the language (it helps) and travel (as travel changes the mindset)