Guest Blog - Lezanne & Lilly, Relocators
In this month’s guest blog, we catch up with recent relocators, Lezanne & Gideon who moved to Guernsey from Germany, (originally from South Africa) in 2021 for employment purposes and reached out to Locate Guernsey to find out more about relocating with their dog, Lilly.
If you are interested in relocating to Guernsey for a better work/life balance or simply want to find out more about setting up a business in Guernsey, please get in touch.
- Can you tell us a little about yourself and the reasons why you moved to Guernsey?
We are originally from Cape Town, South Africa. My husband and I lived in Guernsey in 2009 for a few years and absolutely fell in love with the special island and people. Since then we moved back to Cape Town, got married and became dog parents.
The moment we met our furbaby Lilly, it was love at first sight and we knew we were destined to be together... and so the Adventures of Lilly began!
Lilly was born in December 2015 on a beautiful farm outside of Paarl, South Africa and we moved to Germany when she was only 2 years and 3 months old. She was very brave and travelled with us across Europe! Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Slovenia, Luxembourg, Belgium, Monaco etc. From the North Sea to the Bodensee, to the snow-capped Alps, to the pristine lakes of Switzerland (Lucerne, Zurich, Thun, Zug), the vibrant lakes of Italy (Como, Garda, Maggiore), to the beautiful aquamarine coast of the French and Italian Riviera, Venice, Tuscany and the beautiful breath-taking island of Elba. Lilly very quickly got accustomed to travelling with us, albeit by plane, car, train, ferry, tram, bicycle, scooter, boat… from city breaks, to ski breaks to lake, beach and island breaks Lilly embraced it all and adapted so well. A long way from her farm girl beginnings on the southern tip of Africa and growing up with our big extended (fur- and human-) family in Cape Town and the West Coast of South Africa and being used to long sandy beaches. Lilly (and us) always LOVED beach or lake holidays the most.
When we got the opportunity to move back to Guernsey after so many years, for work reasons, we embraced the opportunity, remembering very well the benefits of living in such an incredibly special island! The wonderful quality of life, beautiful beaches, clean sea air, friendly people! And best of all, this time we would be moving back with our fur baby Lilly! We call it Guernsey version 2.0 – now even better because Lilly is here with us, and she also gets to experience the joy and beauty of Guernsey. A dream come true!
- What has been your experience so far in comparison to where you previously lived?
Guernsey is a world apart from life in Germany and South Africa. In many ways, the warm and friendly culture here does remind us a lot of the friendly nature of South Africans, and because we lived here previously, it felt like a true homecoming.
We still have friends here and many things have stayed the same, but also a lot has changed in 11 years. The island has so much to offer that we are never bored or find ourselves missing big city or continental life. The diversity of the landscape and beaches is incredible, we love exploring and re-discovering it all.
We have been back here now for almost a year and still haven’t been to all the beaches or cliff paths or parishes! There are so many wonderful restaurants, kiosks, and cafés all around the island – it feels like the options are endless and we don’t have enough time to visit or discover it all. It honestly does not feel like we are living on an island. The island and community has so much to offer and there’s never a dull moment. One can escape into nature whenever needed and it never feels crowded; sometimes we have entire beaches to ourselves! We also plan to visit Herm, Sark, and Alderney with Lilly this Summer.
Guernsey is an incredibly special place and the fact that Lilly has truly blossomed is the absolute highlight. Guernsey has made her calmer, happier and more socialised with other dogs. The dog friendly beaches are all around the island and are so stunning, Lilly gets so excited for her walks, playing fetch and socialising off leash with other dogs on the beautiful beaches. Life for us with Lilly is perfect here in Guernsey. We cannot imagine a better place to live. The balance of nature, safety, community, proximity to the UK and Europe and career opportunities is just perfect! Guernsey is our, and now Lilly’s, happy place.
- Lilly looks like she is loving island life! Where is your favourite place to walk her?
Lilly loves playing fetch in our garden, but her most favourite thing in the world and that makes her soul shine, (it brings the biggest smile to her cute little face) is when we take her to the sandy beaches of Cobo, Vazon, Pembroke and Chouet. We can take her off leash and throw her small squeaky tennis ball for her, running and playing fetch for hours!
Lilly only weighs 4.5kg, but she has the soul, heart and determination of an African lioness! She has the biggest personality but can also be extremely vulnerable. She rules our roost, and our entire world revolves around our little fur baby princess. We very happily oblige and it is a honour having such an incredible bond with her. We are the “crazy dog parents” and we love her so much!
Our weekends are about spending time with Lilly and taking her on adventures around the island. Our focus is on dog friendly places and it’s pretty much the case of if Lilly can’t go, then we won’t go!
- Are there any cafés or restaurants which are dog friendly, and you would recommend to other dog owners?
This is definitely a big difference from life in Germany and the other European countries we travelled to with Lilly. Dogs were pretty much allowed everywhere. We never came across non-dog friendly restaurants or hotels. Lilly even went clothes shopping with us and could also accompany us on the ferries, (and never had to stay all alone on the car deck)! We really hope that restaurants, (inside and outside) and ferries, (and perhaps even airplanes in cabin) in the future would be more open to the idea of allowing dogs to accompany their parents, (albeit only small breed dogs that can fit inside their carriers).
This is something we miss, but the friendly Guernsey people, the beautiful island and nature makes up for this aspect. I have heard that Nineteen Bar & Grill, Dix Neuf and St Pierre Park are dog friendly, we will definitely go there with Lilly. Most places are dog friendly outside, which is lovely. We therefore mostly go to kiosks and cafés in the Summer months when we can sit outside with Lilly. Our favourites places are; the Woodies kiosks at Chouet and Bordeaux, Le Gouffre Café, Port Soif Kiosk and The Beach Café at Fermain.
- What do you love most about island life?
The quality of life and the friendly people, (like Lily Prus at Locate Guernsey, who was so friendly and helped us with all the information on getting Lilly ready to move to and enter Guernsey from Germany and providing us with all the helpful information on getting settled into life in Guernsey). Guernsey is such a unique and special place, I always try to explain the uniqueness of Guernsey to my family and friends back in South Africa and Germany. The best way I could describe it is to imagine you work in a big city like London or Frankfurt, (the same quality work experience and mix of colleagues and clients), but the moment you step foot outside your office, you are transported to a quaint, safe and friendly town with a bustling cobblestone High Street and your home is a maximum of 15-20 minutes away in a serene seaside coastal village with the freshest sea air and the happiest squawking seagulls soaring in the sky. (And the happiest of pups playing in her magical Narnia-esque garden and running into your arms greeting you every evening when you arrive home!)
If you are considering relocating to the island, the team at Locate Guernsey are on hand to provide confidential guidance throughout your relocation journey free of charge. If you would like to understand how Guernsey could work for you, please get in touch on 01481 220011 or email email@example.com.
© All photo credits - Lezanne Kretschmer