38. L’F.A.Q. / by Allie Farris

1. Where are you moving?

I’m moving to Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s a smaller city, 30 minutes east by train from Geneva. It’s on the western French third of Switzerland, right on the waters of Lake Geneva, and seemingly only a few hours from everywhere in Europe. 


2. Why?

C accepted a job there, with a big company. That’s all he’ll want me to say about that. The guy is private. We’ve been over this. (Still the greatest dancer ever to live; still has never danced.)


3. When?

Soon. There are still a few loose ends left to be tied, so I regrettably must remain vague.


4. What will you do over there?/Are you giving up on music?

This has been a very common question. Dear sir or madam: I am not quitting music. In fact, it’s just the opposite: this new company is paying for me to take a few classes in whatever I choose to help ease me into beginning a new business in a foreign land. I will finally be focusing all of my efforts back into music, rather than mostly tuning and a little music. I will learn more about audio engineering, and record my own music as well as producing the music of others. I’ll have a home studio, and it will be the new center of the universe for all things Allie Farris Music, and FM Band (www.fmband.net). Chey and I will keep our weekly writing sessions, and conduct them over Skype. I’ll also plan to have a podcast, this blog (obviously), and be the best at social media. It’s a lot to do, but it’ll all be music. Oh, and my amazing booking agent has gotten in touch with some house concerts, so maybe I’ll be doing some fancy schmancy Swiss touring.


5. That’s pretty far away. Are you worried/nervous?

Yes. For nearly 28 years, I have lived, toured, and at times struggled in the United States. I have seen all manner of people and deemed them to be, essentially, all the same.  It’s for that reason that I’m able to fight back the frog hopping up my esophagus: if I never meet another American again, I’ll still keep meeting humans, over and over. They’ll be nice or they’ll be mean. The mean ones can go away. I don’t know what’s ahead, but that unknown has never been enough to stop me from charging ahead.


6. Will you be coming back? 

You bet your boots; Chey and I have shows this fall with FM, and I’ll be commuting back and forth to meet with him when we need to record new videos, or likely very soon when some major label in LA, Nashville or New York has to buckle to demand and bankroll our groovy tunes. Chey and his family also have a standing reservation in our guest room for even the slightest itch to come work together in person, or go on a fancy schmancy Swiss tour for FM.


7. Don’t they speak a different language over there?

Yes, Lausanne and the surrounding area on the west side of the country speak French. C has been very optimistic towards my chances of finding English on the streets of our new home, but in any case, I’m a quick study. To help me along, the company, as part of my “relocation”, will pay for 40 hours of French tutoring. By next spring, I’ll sound like a local. Crazy, huh?


8. Have you found a place to live?

C traveled ahead of me and found a wonderful apartment in the heart of town, with a big balcony just screaming for a garden. There will still be stuff arriving by boat within a few months, but for the most part our things are unpacked, a new couch has been bought, and my wine rack has been assembled. Everything except my home studio, which I will design myself, will be raring to go. 


9. Do you know any Americans over there that can speak English with you?

None yet, but I anticipate I will. The internet is an amazing place for connecting people, and I haven’t done my due diligence in seeking out the American expat message boards. Of the searches I’ve done so far, I know there are a few, but not many. An American working in Switzerland these days is pretty dang rare. 


11. Will you be safe?

Yes, to my knowledge. Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world, landlocked from any oceanic weather..and that Swiss Guard shouldn’t be trifled with. Neutrally aligned, and chock full of happy citizens looking at mountains and recycling.  


12. It sounds like a dreamland.

I’m sure it has its issues. For instance: Amazon isn’t a thing there like it is in America. That will soon change, but even when it does, if you’re not home to receive your delivery, there is no “leave the package by the door”. You’ll have to put on your shoes and march over to the post office to retrieve your package in person. Working from home, this might not be such an issue. Also, everything, and I mean everything is closed on Sunday. Hungry? Tough. Go eat a Toblerone.


13. Will you feel cut off from your home all the way over there?

I hope not. I’ll be asking everyone I know to download the app WhatsApp, which will allow me to text them as normal, but from wherever I am, no matter what country. I’ll call my friends late at night when people are just getting off of work back in Nashville, or right when I wake up and my family are going to sleep. My parents are already mulling over a possible ski trip in the Alps, and Sharon has already bought a ticket to come see the Christmas markets for the first time with me this December. 


14. How has the moving process been?

It’s been rough, to be honest. Selling most of my stuff has been annoying, mostly for the hassle of talking to some really frustrating individuals. I’m down to only a few things, and if those aren’t sold within a few days then I’m not above just calling someone to haul the stuff away. 


15. Are you married yet?

Soon! Probably this November, at the Lausanne courthouse, just like David Bowie and Iman. Then we’ll plan a ceremony for sometime in the next year or so in France. 


16. (Proverbial next question) Kids?!

I need at least a few years to be on my feet with my new music business. Then, hopefully so. They will be little Swiss/French/American goobers with my hereditary emotional tsunami and C’s Greek nose. 


17. What will you be leaving behind in America?

Nothing I can’t stand to lose. My friends, family, memories, and music dreams will all remain with me at all times. My regrets, toxic influencers, and predatory sludge monsters will stay behind to bother somebody new. 


18. How does your family feel? 

My American family has taken this whole thing very well. So incredibly supportive, and maintaining a bemused resoluteness: they say that somehow, they’ve always known that this is what I would eventually do. 

My French family seems excited, but until next spring I won’t know for sure. They speak no English.


19. Will you still tune pianos?

At least one piano a month, to keep my ear. 


20. Sounds like you’ve got most of it figured out. Anything you’re missing?

If I forget my straightener, I’ll buy the Swiss equivalent on the other side. No sense in looking back now.