A few weeks ago I announced that I’m going to be moving to Germany in January.
And, despite the fact the move is still weeks away, I find myself sat in a room full of boxes, with an utterly confused dog, contemplating what the move is going to bring.
The only thing I feel truly certain of is that it’s a strange time in my life.
Although I’ve lived much of my life as a traveller – visiting over 30 countries, 13 states and hundreds of different cities – I’ve always taken solace in the fact I’ll be coming home to my stuffy bedroom in Salford.
I can’t say whether it’s a happy or sad feeling. I don’t think I’ve really come to terms with it yet. However, it is all starting to feel quite real for me.
I sold my car to consolidate my debts (like a real adult). I played my last game of Rugby for Eccles. And, in a few days, I’ll be celebrating my last Christmas whilst still living at home.
On the one hand, I’m really excited for the new chapter in my life. There is so much on the horizon and such an electric buzz around the move that I can’t help but get excited.
But, on the other hand, so much is going to change in my day to day life. What was once around the corner is now 600 miles away. And, more than I thought, I’m going to miss the British way of life. We’re a weird, awkward, little piece of the earth. But it holds a fondness in my heart.
Mostly though, I just want to be there. To rip the band aid off and be done with it.
Okay, so that kinda brings me to this blog (and why you’re sat here reading it).
Mostly, I want to write about what is going to be a big adventure in my life – learning a new language, living in a new culture and swapping my Tea and Crumpets for Schnitzel and Sauerkraut – and share it with you.
Maybe in the future it’ll grow into something bigger and more robust. Who knows?
In the mean time, I’d like to take a moment to answer some of the questions I’m repeatedly asked about this move and clear up any confusion or thoughts on peoples minds.
Why Am I Moving To Germany?
Stories like this always start with a girl, don’t they?
Back in early 2016 we met by chance on the first day of our respective Camino de Santiago trips.
We’d both come to tackle something alone; to be independent and prosper in the rugged Spanish wilderness (whatever that is). Yet we ended up walking almost every one of the 830km together. Go figure, right?
She’s from Cologne and after months of travelling between the two countries I decided it suited our lives better if I move out there.
I’m lucky enough to have forged a career as a Freelance Writer where I can work from my laptop as long as there is an internet connection. Not so many other long distance relationships have that same luxury.
Plus, I really do like the country. I’ve travelled to many different parts of the world and Germany is consistently a country I find myself drawn to.
Combine that with the fact the cost of living in Germany is cheaper than it is at home, it really becomes a no-brainer decision,
Home is only a 90 minute flight away and is yet to cost me more than £50 return on even the tightest time frame, it’s not like I’ll be staying away from home for too long. And, one of the pleasures of moving to another country, is that people tend to want to visit you. No doubt I’ll find myself with a string of friends looking for a cheap booze up on my doorstep from one time or another.
Where Am I Moving To?
As I kind of alluded to earlier, I’ll be moving to a small area of Cologne called Linenthal. It’s about a five-minute bus ride from the city centre and comes equipped with its own high street and city forest.
If your Germany geography is a little off the mark (don’t worry, mine is too) then here’s what that sits in the rest of the country:
You’re so central to important places in Europe it’s really a great place for me to live, especially with the amount that I travel. It’s two hours on the train from Amsterdam. It’s an hour or so to Brussels. And you can connect yourself to the rest of Europe in no time at all.
It’s also a city that is quite like Manchester, too. It’s filled with art and music and students and nightlife and history. I never really feel out of place when I’m there and the local beer, Kolsch, is tasty and cheap. Can’t go wrong.
Do I Speak The Language?
I started learning in September using the Benny Lewis Language Hacking Book and I’ve recently been able to go entire days without speaking English. But my vocabulary is small and my Grammar is most likely awful (and I’m blissfully unaware of it).
I’ve also taken a few lessons and treated myself to a few Language Learning tools, like GermanPod101.
If you were to drop me in the middle of rural Germany I’d find my way – and maybe make a few friends – pretty easily.
On the 19th January I’ll be taking part in a Month Without English challenge with the Fluent in 3 Months blog where I can only speak German. That means no speaking or listening to English for a total of four weeks. (I can write after two weeks because, well, I need to put food in my belly).
That’s All For Now…
That’s all I really have to say about moving to Germany right now. As the weeks go on I’ll be writing more about the process of moving there: how I’m doing it, why and anything else that pops into my head.
Until then, don’t forget to join my Deutschified mailing list if you want to keep up to date with anything (and everything) I get up to.