Living in Basel

Returning home with a different focus
Saturday, December 19, 2015 to Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Introduction: everything's the same

After nearly half a year abroad, I returned back home. It felt fairly strange when I geared my car back to familiar roads. Time seemed to stand still and everything remained exactly the same. Switzerland is after all a fairly slowly changing country. But to my surprise, many things have already changed and people moved on. After the first shock of being back, I started to notice small changes everywhere. The most obvious were large construction sites for buildings and roads. They have even relocated a full street a few meters. So I started to look out for more details and subtle changes.

Tourist: rediscovering my own home

Before my sabbatical, I left Switzerland for every week of vacation and many weekends. For the first time in a decade, I was at home and without a job. First it was a strange feeling, as if something was wrong or missing. Nevertheless, I continued with my sabbatical lifestyle. Within the city I was walking a lot, observing the streets and people. I allowed myself to take much more time for every single activity. Consciously eating breakfast while looking out of the window. Paying much more attention to every detail, inside my own apartment as well as everywhere else. Actively recording every experience as if it was the first - or the last - time in my life. So I started to live even more aware in the present than before.

Holiday: Christmas and New Year

My return was deliberately planned for the Holiday season. For me, this is the best time of the year to meet all family and lots of close friends. Usually, people tend to be stressed - as it feels like a marathon of festivities with high expectations. For me it meant many happy reunions and exciting mutual updates. I carefully listened to all my friends and family to learn what had happened during my absence. At the same time, I started to tell my story and enthusiastically reported about Eastern Europe. In the end, I even held several presentations about my journey. Time passed by very quickly and suddenly all the holiday diner were over.

Clubbing: go out and dance wildly

As a big fan of electronic music, I like dancing at nightclubs. Even in Eastern Europe, I was regularly clubbing. I have been to roaring parties and met awesome people. But because of the constant travelling and all different locations, my desire has never been fully satisfied. Back in Switzerland, I quickly caught up and nursed my urge for music. And again, I continued with my travel tradition: covering a wide spectrum of places in a fairly short time. In roughly 2 weeks, I visited 8 different clubs. In relation to its size, Switzerland has a huge and vivid music scene. Basel and Zurich offer a diverse selection of high quality music clubs.

Administration: so much to do

Besides all these pleasantries, there was quite some necessary evil. By now it was clear that my travel will continue and will soon take me even further away. So I had to arrange quite some administrative stuff. Finally, I moved out of my apartment and partially dissolved my household. My objective was to get rid of as much possession as possible in order to travel more freely. For nostalgic and practical reasons, I only kept my car and some boxes. Then, I had to prepare myself for a longer absence and intercontinental travel. This meant a variety of actions concerning finance, health and communications. At last, I packed my bag with all belongings I need on another continent. And finally I was all set and ready to explore the world!

Summary: the same but different

Returning home after such a great journey was not easy at first. But soon I overcame the momentum and started to enjoy every moment. During my rather short stay in Basel, I have met countless family members and dear friends. My initial fear of boring familiarity quickly turned into new and exciting experiences. Even though the basic environment was still the same, all the contents were novel and unique. I felt happily at home and like a tourist at the same time.

Many thanks to all my dear friends for being so great!

My waypoints on this journey

Basel - where I was born and raised
where I was born and raised
HOME - enjoying the last month in my sweet home
enjoying the last month in my sweet home
Bunte Kuh & Wildfang - decent party in a small but lovely club
decent party in a small but lovely club
10 Jahre Zukunft mit Acid Pauli - decent party in Basels hipster club
decent party in Basels hipster club
Basler Münster - my cities landmark is kept in a very good shape
my cities landmark is kept in a very good shape
Christmas Shopping - celebrating the most commercialized holiday
celebrating the most commercialized holiday
Christmas Market - allegedly the biggest in Switzerland
allegedly the biggest in Switzerland
Christmas Diner - indulging in sweet and delicious christmas food
indulging in sweet and delicious christmas food
Binninger Schloss - haute cuisine in a historic castle
haute cuisine in a historic castle
Bruderholz - a city hill with view, banker, churches and a farm!
a city hill with view, banker, churches and a farm!
Instant Rave Wanderzirkus - best rave on Tuesday nights in Switzerland!
best rave on Tuesday nights in Switzerland!
New Years Brunch - inviting friends, eating croissants and talking about travels
inviting friends, eating croissants and talking about travels
New Years Eve - celebrating the progression of time with my family
celebrating the progression of time with my family
Tropical Institute - getting ready for extensive international travel
getting ready for extensive international travel
BeAxi e-assessment - BeAxi revolutionizes the way of how you do exams
BeAxi revolutionizes the way of how you do exams
Rhine Walk - enjoying a riverside walk - on a regular weekday
enjoying a riverside walk - on a regular weekday
Schallplatz - checking out Basels brand new techno club
checking out Basels brand new techno club
Markthalle - having a smelly lunch with two friends at a nearly hip place
having a smelly lunch with two friends at a nearly hip place
Internations Presentation - public presentation of my sabbatical journey
public presentation of my sabbatical journey
Zoo Basel - leisurely waddling through the zoo
leisurely waddling through the zoo
Lasertag Basel - visiting the best lasertag arena in Basel
visiting the best lasertag arena in Basel