The Best Way To See Europe

Britain is a very important part of the EU. Yet, with our own currency and the fact that we are totally cut off from all the other countries in our continent, it can sometimes feel like we are in our own little bubble and completely disconnected from the rest of Europe.

We are also quite far away from many parts of Europe which can make trying to see the whole continent a very costly and time-consuming operation, and yet we have one of the most culturally rich continents on the earth and it is extremely edifying and rewarding for us to experience all of those cultures as best we can.

For those who want to see as much of Europe as possible, then relocating and moving to Switzerland or moving to France will put you in a much better position to fully immerse yourself in our continent’s culture. Moving to Switzerland for instance will put you almost perfectly in the middle of Europe and mean that most countries are quickly and easily accessible by car or train.

Moving to France can offer very similar benefits, depending on which part of the vast country you move to and you can very easily find yourself experiencing and learning so much more about the world around us than you are ever able to with the UK as your base.

For those who love to travel and love to experience the cultures of our continental brethren, a move to Europe will offer you so much more potential to see and experience much more of what the world has to offer.

Moving to Europe

They say that the world is your oyster. However, it can sometimes be easy to forget that when you live on an island such as we do in Britain. Travelling places out of our own country involves a full scale mission, be that flying or sailing and it is easy for us to forget that the world is actually surprisingly small.

One of the benefits of heading abroad and moving to France or even moving to Germany is that suddenly the world opens up to you once more, and you realise that travelling or even moving to another country suddenly becomes as easy as hopping in your car and just heading off.

If you are moving to France from Britain, there is a lot of groundwork you need to do and a lot of motions that you need to go through, just the kind of thing that European Removal Experts specialises in. However, you don’t have to decide for sure that moving to Germany, for instance, is the very best idea for you, as once you are over there, moving around suddenly becomes a very simple task.

Having a base in a country on the continent gives you a great way to travel around and see as much of Europe as you can, and if you feel there is a better country out there than the one you have chosen, moving on will not only be easy, but also exciting.

So when you have made up your mind that you want to head overseas, make sure you put thought into the decision, but just remember that it will be extremely easy to move on should you find you wish to.

Relocating Abroad?

When you plan to move, it is always wise to make sure you have a checklist of things that need to be done. However, when moving abroad it is even more vital as there are a number of extra things to consider that you may never have had to think about when moving previously. Whether you are moving to France or the furthest point of Europe, the process will be very similar, although it is worth reading up on any specifics for the country you are moving to a long time in advance as moving to France may have slightly subtle differences involved compared to moving to Germany or Spain.

The trick is to start planning as early as possible as certain things may need to be put in place much earlier than they would for a move in the same country. For instance, you need to start deciding certain things many weeks before such as whether or not you will be keeping your car or buying a new one abroad. Also, make sure you get rid of the belonging you no longer want a long time before you even start packing.

The main differences in moving to Germany or the rest of Europe will come in form of documentation. You will need to work out what you are doing with your bank account and money, ensure you have all your passports present and correct and find out whether you need translations of items such as birth certificates.

You will also need to inform a much wider array of people that you are going abroad, so do your home work, and the rest of the process should be very straight forward.

Why Move to Switzerland?

Just liking Swiss chocolate probably isn’t quite enough reason to pack up your belongings and move there. However, there are many good reasons one might find for moving to Switzerland, and some may be quite surprising.

Whilst the clean air, low crime rates and beautiful scenery are well-known, there are many other great benefits of moving to Switzerland that are not as publicised. There are very low levels of tax in the country, and whilst you may have heard it has a high-cost of living, the low taxes balance this out. With five countries surrounding it you are also not stuck for other places to go and buy your goods.

The rich wealth of surrounding countries also means that it is the perfect place to enjoy experiencing numerous cultures. Moving to France might offer you similar opportunities, but still not as many as Switzerland. Moving to France also won’t offer you quite the same levels of health-care or potential for luxury living that Switzerland can offer.

Many Swiss people speak English too, meaning the transition of moving there should be an easy one, whilst the people are very much similar in nature to oursleves. For musicians, there are even more benefits. Not only are the stunning vistas likely to be a huge form of inspiration, but there are also often numerous grants and funds available to help those who are serious about their career.

So a move to Switzerland can offer something for everyone. And with great transport systems, you can find yourself in the best spot to experience not only the whole country but also a lot more of Europe.

Shopper’s Solace: The Most Stylish Cities in Europe

Moving to Europe – for some of us at least – HAS to mean… shopping!

Paris, France
Moving to France? Head for Paris – You know you want to! As the home of Haute Couture, Paris is one of the most chic cities in Europe. Renowned stores along the Rue du Fauborg and Champs Elysees attract label-seekers like moths to a flame! But it’s not all couture, flea markets and vintage fairs are the soul of Paris. When relocating to France who knows what you’ll find – vintage Chanel, classic Halston or an antique Chesterfield that’s fits perfectly into your new French living space!

Barcelona, Spain

Of course Milan is a style capital, but if its art and beatnik chic you seek, a trip to Barcelona should be on the cards! The designer names are all there, nestled sweetly amongst the jostling array of markets and bargain vintage stalls!

Zurich, Switzerland
An unexpected gem, Zurich’s central square plays host to some lavish brands! The elegant Bahnhofstrasse is certainly one of the most stylish and gracefully designed shopping streets in Europe. And don’t forget a little bad-weather indulgence in the sumptuous and labyrinthine ShopVille underground shopping centre.

Amsterdam, Holland
A city of quirky uniqueness and shopping curiosities! Moving to Holland? Make Amsterdam one of your first excursions. The Dutch love to mix and match their markets, meaning you’re likely to find a bit of everything!

Ok, so shopping trips aren’t for everyone. But for those amongst us who love nothing more than a day whiled away window shopping, Europe is more than satisfactory!

Top Pick: Flower Festivals of Europe

Moving to mainland Europe could afford you the fantastic ability to mix easily with the diverse and thrilling cultures of our sister nations. For the green-fingered amongst you, here’s our top pick of European flower festivals and shows on the schedule for 2011:

1.    International Violet Meeting (Toulouse)
Moving to France? During February Toulouse plays host to visitors from around the globe, mutually intent on celebrating the cute violet flower! This free festival resides at the Place du Capitole, and includes a nail-biting violet contest, exhibitions, lectures, food markets and – of course – plant stalls!

2.    Holland Flowers Festival (Zwaagdjik-Oost)
From 23rd-27th February, The Greenery venue is decked out with Holland’s premier flower festival! And it’s not all tulips, shows include daffodils, narcissi, hyacinths, crocuses and irises – to name but a few. Moving to Holland in February? Make the festival your first big cultural event! The companion lifestyle fair is almost as popular at the festival itself (another reason for moving to Holland in February!)

3.    Past and Present Vegetables (Saint-Jean de Beauregard, France)
Who says flowers should get all the attention? Relocating to France with a little organic veggie cultivation in mind? September sees the arrival of this quaint show, set in the stunning grounds of the chateau Domaine de Saint-Jean de Beauregard. Although the chateau hosts various festivals throughout the year, this one achieves notoriety amongst amateurs and professionals alike (we suspect it to be something to do with the superb lunches and afternoon teas on offer!)

Europe – The World’s Finest Cuisine

Of course great food is perhaps not the most pertinent factor for anyone considering moving to France or moving to Sweden; however, there is something comforting in knowing that your new home knows good food! Luckily, pretty much every European nation is well versed in the art of cuisine, with even notoriously non-gastro nations serving up world beating food nowadays.

Belgian Bites

Belgium is an incredibly culturally diverse place, with the capital Brussels being officially trilingual, this is well reflected in its cuisines and not only does Belgium offer over 800 kinds of beer, as well as delicious chocolate, but it also offers a unique haute cuisine, influenced by its French neighbours. This means that anyone moving to Belgium will discover not only an intriguing European culture but also world class food.

German Dining

Just like England, Germany has had to work hard to shake off its stereotype as one of the less gastronomical nations in Europe, and these days it is known for its truly cosmopolitan restaurant culture. Of course it still retains its unique food heritage, and some of the finest food you’ll find in Germany is based on traditional German dishes, such as Goulasch or roast wild boar.

French Finesse

Of course, if you do follow your stomach as much as your heart, then you may find it hard to resist relocating to France, and not only is it England’s neighbour, but it is also known as the gastronomical capital of the world, and is packed full of world beating restaurants such as Le Chateaubriand; and whether you’re moving to France for the cuisine or not, there is something comforting in knowing that your homeland knows how to cook and boy does France know how to cook!

Going Continental

There is a tendency in the UK to forget that we are a part of Europe, and whilst we like to celebrate our differences, there is a lot that binds us to the continent, whether its similar levels of development or more or less similar cultures. This makes moving to the continent especially rewarding, as whilst there are cultural differences that will make the move exciting, there is also plenty that we have in common that should make it that little bit easier.

If you are moving to France, for example, you’ll not only discover that Britain and France share very similar cultural interests, but that we also share some pretty impressive transport links, and whilst once we could quite rightly call ourselves an ‘island’ and Europe a ‘continent’ with the Eurotunnel we are definitely both physical and ideologically part of Europe.

Of course whilst we might quite like to lump all the nations on the continent together, there is a great diversity of cultures and languages etc on the continent. And there is, of course, a great difference in moving to France as there is in moving to Germany; for example, not only is the language markedly different, but so is the culture, landscape etc.

So, why move to the continent? Well its impossible to say, as the continent is like a world in itself and promises to offer a wealth of new experiences, new culture and happy memories, and whether your moving to France or moving to Germany it’s bound to be one of the most exciting decisions you ever make!

Crossing the Channel

It was once the case that where the English channel is now,  Britain and France where actually connected by a landmass; therefore we were once essentially one nation. This makes the decision to emigrate to France seem especially sensible, and it is still the case that we and the French share a lot in common, which should make moving to France not too daunting!

Anyone moving to France will immediately realise that whilst there are some obvious cultural differences, there is enough in common between France and England that moving shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. For example, you’ll find all of the high street stores, pretty much all of the food you know and love from England.

The proximity of France also means that if you ever do grow to miss the little idiosyncrasies of Grand Bretagne, you’re never a couple of hours away by Eurostar. This means that it is both practically and financially viable to have the odd weekend visiting your homeland – it’s just like the two nations are linked again!

Of course the beauty of moving to a different nation is that as well as the comforting similarities with your homeland, there is also a wealth of new culture and new experiences on offer. Anyone relocating to France in particular will be greeted by lots of wonderful cultural traits, such as world class art galleries and of course the food!

Aaaargh! Culture Shock!

Culture shock is a bit like regular shock – sometimes you can’t identify it once you’re suffering from it, which makes it very hard to cope with.

Writing “symptoms” felt a little contrived, as culture shock isn’t really a disease or mental illness, more just a feeling of being lost, out of your depth (remember trying to put your foot down in a swimming pool and having that moment of utter panic as you gurgled and spluttered under the surface?), isolated or simply unable to grasp onto any little culture-related life-raft like familiar road signs or Marks and Spencers. Don’t’ panic though; culture shock is only temporary, so moving to France, moving to Switzerland, moving anywhere can become home with a little patience.

Culture shock is very much fear-based – the shock of the new and unfamiliar. Upon relocation (moving to France, Germany etc.) people tend to split into two groups – those who embrace the new culture over their own, and those who reject it and try to keep their own country alive. Neither of these is the right or wrong choice. Allowing you and your family to each develop your own tactic for dealing with a great move is crucial.

Of course the best way to cope is to be prepared. For example, when moving to Switzerland, have everyone take an interest in the new culture –the food, the hobbies, what the schools tend to look like, what are the common modes of transport, how do you swear in Swiss-German?

The important thing is to be patient, brave and regain control.