"I live in Geneva, Switzerland, where I work in digital marketing — I knit a lot, too! I moved here from London; prior to that I was in New Zealand, where I went at the age of three and lived until my late 20s. I'm originaly from Australia, a country that I left when I was very young. I left the country where I was born because I was young enough to go where my mother went. New Zealand was my home for a long time, but leaving it felt like the right thing to do. There were more economic opportunities elsewhere, plus the move was a chance to travel and get to know another branch of my family.
Finding work in Geneva and trying to learn the language were two of the biggest challenges to overcome. I was reluctant to move to Switzerland, although it has grown on me. Visiting Geneva's Old Town and walking along the lakeside as a tourist convinced me I could make a home here. My impressions of the country have become more nuanced, as I spend more time living here, and less time 'just visiting.' I miss of the people of New Zealand, its food, and my life near the sea. But leaving presented opportunities I never would have had at home. As far as that idea of 'home' — it's about people. In that sense, it's something you can carry with you, and build in a new place."
This story is brought to you in partnership with The Refugee Cultural Festival, 2017 edition. The festival was launched to encourage small, local actions to embrace diversity and support those forced to leave their homes due to war, famine and climate change. Learn more about the festival and donate by clicking here.