I (aka Sarah, founder of this site) frequently share with you guys interviews from fab expats living in various locations throughout the world. This week I decided to complete the interview questions myself about the two countries I’ve lived abroad. So, here’s what life has been like for me in Germany. If you are interested in reading about my life in Costa Rica, head over here.
So now, my Germany interview….
Please give a few sentences of background info. Who are you? Where are you from? Fun facts about you?
Hi, I’m Sarah. I am the creator of this site. I’m originally from near Boston.
Ummm fun facts…
I once worked as a park ranger for the state of Massachusetts and spent a summer living in a yurt on an island in the Boston harbor leading kayak tours and hanging with campers. It was one of the coolest jobs ever.
I’ve been allergic to seafood since the age of 23. I discovered this when I broke out in hives and my throat started closing up during a New Years Eve party which I was hosting (that got a little out of hand). It was also the night my boyfriend Thomas and I made our relationship official. 🙂
Why did you decide to move to Germany?
I am no longer living in Germany, but I originally moved there for love. How stereotypical, right? Thomas is German and I moved there so we could be together.
What did you love about living there?
I loved how easy it was to get around. Public transportation is on another level. Also, it is possible to get ridiculously cheap flights to various countries throughout Europe. I also loved the vibe that you could be young forever. Germans can be a bit uptight, but they also take partying very seriously. Also, you can drink in public and Germans make sure to take advantage of that whenever they can.
What was not so great about living there?
Germans and the weather.
I love Germans as a whole once you get to know them, but man, they are typically some of the grumpiest people ever in public situations. My job requiered me to travel around Hamburg pretty much every day. It was rare to see people on the trains or buses that actually looked happy, forget about them actually being nice. That mood tends to rub off on you after awhile. Also, in Hamburg it was often gray and rainy. As someone who is really influenced by the weather, this was difficult for me.
What do you do for a living there & what was the job search process like?
I worked as a freelance English teacher. The job search process was relatively easy. I applied to literally every school in Hamburg when I moved and I heard back from several of them offering me an interview within a few weeks.
How was the visa process?
It wasn’t too bad actually. I wrote a whole long post about it here if you want detailed info.
What is the cost of living like?
I think the cost of living was pretty cheap. I wasn’t making a ton of money while living there, but I had enough to travel frequently, eat good food, buy new clothes when I wanted, and go out partying when I felt like it. I never felt like I was short on money while there.
Would you like to stay there long term?
Wellllll….this is a tough one. I clearly chose not to stay there. Would I move back there someday? Maybe. I think it is a great country, but I don’t know if it was the right country for me. It is a great place to live in your twenties, though. It is also a wonderful place to raise children. The social system is wonderful. The country is beautiful.
What are your fave traditional foods that we should definitely try if we go?
OK, I lived in Northern Germany and I’m not a huge fan of the traditional foods from there, but as far as German foods, definitely eat lot’s of bread while you are there. You should also make sure to eat lots of potato salad. Germans make the best potato salad in the world. Oh! and rouladen! Definitely eat rouladen. Also, it goes without saying that you need to drink some massive beers. 🙂
What are some places we should definitely visit?
Go to Hamburg where I lived. It is not typically a popular destination for tourists, but it is worth a visit. I also loved Munich and the are around Munich. Bamberg is a cool little city to see. And I thought Dresden was really cool.
What are some things about the culture we should know before going?
Germans are organized as f*ck, but they also know how to have a good time. It might be hard to make friend initially, but once you make friends they will be your friend forever.
Would you recommend it to other people who are interested in moving abroad?
Yes. If you are interested in moving to Europe, it is the perfect place to make that dream a reality.
I hope you enjoyed my Germany interview. As always, feel free to leave me questions in the comment section. Also, don’t forget to check out my interview on life in Costa Rica over here.
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