purple flowers garden

Eight Months in Germany

I’ve officially been living in Germany for eight months. It’s hard to believe that the time has gone by so fast. It feels like just the other day, I was imagining what my life would be like here. I’ve decided in honor of my eight months, I will share a few things that I’ve learned so far in the past 240 days.

1. Being an expat is a lot different than studying abroad

Sydney Opera House Australia

My first study abroad experience in Sydney, Australia

I’ve had a lot of experiences abroad. I studied abroad in Australia and lived with other Americans. I studied abroad in Spain and lived in a homestay. I did my entire master’s degree in England and lived in an international dorm. On my various travels I’ve been a backpacker, a vacationer, a visitor, a tourist. But nothing quite prepared me to be an expat. It’s a unique experience that I can’t really equate to any of my former trips abroad.

I think one of the differences is that this is more permanent. I actually live here and I don’t know when I will be home again. There are also no forced activities that you often have to partake in while studying abroad. While it was annoying to have to wake up and go to class, it provided an opportunity for making friends and seeing the city. Now I really have to rely on myself to meet people or participate in new activities, which has proven difficult given that my German is not quite up to conversational level yet.

It’s not all bad though. I like having my own freedom and not having my schedule dictated by those in charge of the semester. I feel more settled than I ever did while living temporarily abroad and more at home in my own apartment. Having a German husband has allowed me to hang out with locals and spend all of my time with people from this country, rather than just hanging out with other Americans while studying abroad. And I get to live my own life that I’ve created for myself, which is a rewarding experience.

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Plane Flying Travel

Why I Travel

When I was 15, I left the US for the second time and traveled to Lima, Peru. I remember before I left, I was terrified. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and that it would completely change my life.

Ocean Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru

From the moment I stepped off the plane, I fell head over heels in love with travel. I could never have guessed that this passion would lead me to visit over 20 countries, across six continents, including living long term in multiple places abroad. When my other friends in high school were discussing their next soccer tournament or football game, I was dreaming up my next international trip.

I guess you could say that not a lot has changed. I find myself sitting here, writing this blog entry, while looking out my window on my new home in Germany. I think the biggest difference in my travel addiction is that I moved my focus from short-term trips to long-term living.

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