A New City And A New Perspective

I’ve been living in Ulm for almost two months now. It’s hard to believe that the time has gone by so fast. You might remember my last post about this not-so-smooth transition. I had hit a low of too many changes in such a short amount of time. Changing your name, address, country, marital status, and daily language in just a few months can do that to you. Pile that on top of moving in with seven strangers in an apartment that my most recent visitor compared to living in a horror movie and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an emotional crisis.

emotions expat life

Source: Giphy.com

I spent the first week doing exactly what you shouldn’t do, which was stay inside my tiny room and mope around. Then I got to leave for a week to go on a long-awaited girl’s trip to Prague with a few of my best friends. Traveling always lifts my spirit and so I started to feel better about this new opportunity.

Before you know it, I was signed up for a German class in the city. I was fairly nervous because I had tried to start a German class before and it was a disaster. The class environment was all wrong, it seemed like no one actually wanted to be there. Then the teacher laughed in my face when I said that German people were nice and she had the class join in and share why they don’t enjoy Germans.  This was a deal breaker for me. I just won’t subject myself to a class where the teacher is willing to stereotype an entire people group in such an unfortunate and untrue way.

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Embrace Change: Step One of Expat Life

Change is scary.

And my life is currently nothing but change.

In the past six months I’ve changed everything from my phone number and my country of residence, to my marital status and even my last name.

Change greets me when I walk out the door and I don’t hear my native language. Or when I run out of my favorite beauty product and have to explore 10 stores to find something similar. When I go to sign a receipt, only to realize I can’t use the same signature I’ve had for years.

Some days I feel like I’ve gone through a rebirth. My life looks nothing like it did even just a few months ago.

But change is also exciting.

Moving to a new place means new opportunities, like going on a honeymoon road trip through six countries. Having a different last name feels like the creation of a new part of myself, like I can explore a piece of my identity that I never knew was there before. Learning a new language is a rewarding (albeit difficult) experience that has taught me a lot and challenged me to remain a lifelong learner.

Maybe that is part of the reason why I’m starting this blog. I want to document this season of change. The good. The bad. The reality of what life looks like when you move to the other side of the world.

So I hope you’ll join me on this journey. It’s going to be quite the ride.