Books

Swiss Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known (May 2014) is a collection of both published and new essays in which Chantal discovers that no matter how hard she wills her geraniums to cascade properly, she will never be a glamorous American expatriate—or Swiss.

99.9 Ways to Travel Switzerland Like a Local (May 2017) is one part travel book, one part culture guide, and total bucket list enjoyment. It allows readers to say adieu to Lucerne and allegra to the place the Swiss voted most beautiful. It encourages souvenir shoppers to cut the Swiss army knife from their list and replace it with a rubber messenger bag. And it gives tourists the inspiration they need to stop following umbrella-toting tour guides (or books that act like them) and start following 320,000 well-dressed Swiss cows instead.

Fodor’s Essential Switzerland (2018) It’s tough making sure the Rheinfall is still there, but somebody’s got to do it. For this book, I updated the Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein chapter. Don’t miss the beautiful city of St. Gallen, which is often overlooked by visitors. The Abbey Library, one of the most beautiful in the world, is a World Heritage Site.

Fodor’s Essential Germany (2019) For this book, I contributed to the Bodensee chapter. The city of Konstanz is a great place for shopping and dining. But my favorite place in this section of Germany is Insel Mainau. Go there in the spring for the tulips or anytime for the amazing children’s playground, possibly the best one in Europe.

Fodor’s Travel Switzerland (2015) This book took me to cities like Appenzell, Vaduz, and Schaffhausen–if you know your Swiss geography, then you know I updated the Eastern Switzerland and Liechtenstein chapter. Schaffhausen has one of the most beautiful Old Towns in all of Switzerland and of course, the nearby Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe, is definitely worth a detour.

Coming Soon

In American Life: 30 Things I Wish I’d Known (TBD), Chantal explores the United States through the eyes of a very confused repatriate. It’s a perplexing place where everyone’s an extrovert (even the introverts), corporations are people, hovering is a required parenting skill, and no one is at the playground in the rain–even in a city of 8.2 million. To try to fit in, Chantal walks less, smiles more, but ultimately concludes that in today’s angst-ridden America we all feel like foreigners in one way or another. Join the mailing list to be notified of the book’s publication.

Mother Abroad: Learning to Parent 5,000 Miles from Home (TBD) Forget meetings in multiple foreign languages. Neighbors who redefine your definition of dirt by power-washing your concrete planters. And a culture that never smiles. For one American in Switzerland, motherhood was the biggest cultural shock of all. It began when a Swiss midwife put cheese on her breasts, led to a realization of regretful responsibility, and turned into one of the greatest stories of finding love in a foreign country she ever could have dreamed of—that is, if she could sleep long enough to enter that oh-so-elusive REM cycle.


Fodor’s Essential Switzerland
(September 2024) Ja, ja. The Ebenalp, the northernmost peak of the Appenzeller Alps, is still there. And you should visit it. Combine a simple cable car trip up with a difficult, but doable hike back down. As you descend, you can hold on to the thoughtfully installed (and very Swiss!) steel cables–the pain will be worth it for the gorgeous lake you’ll encounter. Have an apple gelato at the Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli before you descend. Discover these tips and more from the Eastern Switzerland chapter, which I updated for this edition.