My Expat Story: Clarisse Lehmann

Here at Global Living we want to connect with our readers — know what you’re all about, what you love, where you’ve been and where you’re going. The best way to do this? Hear it straight from YOU!

Clarisse Lehmann

We received an email from expat Clarisse Lehmann, who told us about her expat and travel experiences. Clarisse is the founder of Ramblingmuse.com, a website featuring travel stores, recipes, food reviews, snarky charts as well as videos all centered around the bon vivant lifestyle. She grew up in Switzerland and New York City and has lived in Tokyo and London.

What’s your favorite part of expatriate life?

My favorite part of expatriate life is just having my assumptions about life, habits and traditions being turned on their heads. Whether it’s finding out that in Japan raw horse meat is a delicacy or in London that pie usually contains meat (apparently with or without horse), I find that you can always learn something from doing things differently.

What’s been the hardest part?

All of the above! Living in Tokyo meant navigating in Japanese, a language I had never ever even touched before moving there. That also implied that everything was written in characters I could barely understand- even, for instance, my lease! In other words, it’s great to learn about different ways to go about life but it also implies bending backwards sometimes to get things achieved. And signing things you cannot read: not something I would recommend.

Where have you lived around the world? Favorite places?

I grew up half in Geneva, Switzerland and New York City. I went to college in Providence, Rhode Island, during which I lived for my junior year abroad in Madrid, Spain. After university I spent three years in Tokyo and have now lived in London for several years.

My favorite place has to be London just because it’s a healthy mixture of European sensibilities and Anglo Saxon (read American) mentality. Everyone is somewhat of a foreigner, which makes for a dynamic and interesting life… Oh, and there is pretty good Japanese food here which makes my tummy happy. I do miss Japanese food a lot.

Where do you want to move to eventually?

I actually would love to stay in London… It would be an achievement at this point in my life to live in one place for more than a few years rather than moving around. That being said, I think in the right conditions, I could pretty much live in any urban area. Part of me misses living in Asia. The other part of me really enjoys the stability of being in London.

What’s your sense of ‘home’?

Home for me is divided between London where I live and the Swiss mountains where my parents are based. I have great memories of growing up in the Alps and running around the cows, pigs and dogs not to mention skiing, hiking and snowboarding. That said, my life as an adult is in London, which I love except for the rain.

Share anything else you’d like us to hear!

As I get older and a tiny bit wiser, I find that home is really more about friends and lifestyle rather than pure location. That being said, I am still a huge fan of traveling whether it be just on the Eurostar to Paris or on a long flight to Asia.

For more travel tips and lifestyle musings, visit Clarisse at Ramblingmuse.com. Follow Clarisse on Twitter @FlutteringMuse.

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