5 pieces of advice to my pre-expat self

Which advice you would give yourself if you could go back 3 years in time? 

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Three years ago some of us had just arrived in Germany while some others did not know that the universe was planning to bring us here.

If we could come back three years in time we would give us some advices before starting this expat adventure:

1. Never stop dreaming: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it

If you believe in something, go for it. Nothing and no one can stop you.

There will be days you will reconsider everything, there will be moments you will want to go back to your family (your comfort zone), sometimes you will feel homesick…

However, never forget that if you believe in yourself nothing can stop you. If you wanna change something just make the first move.

The most common obstacles while living abroad are traditions and language. Do not wait until the last minute to learn the language and to adapt yourself to the local culture. The earlier you do it, the earlier you will start overcoming any difficulty.

2. Do not lose your inner child 

Learn from each single moment, look around with the same curiosity as if you were a child, talk to different kind of people, laugh at yourself, enjoy simple things in life, face this adventure in a positive manner and never stop smiling, because this is the adventure of your life.

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3. Every person comes to you at the right moment

Every single person you will meet living abroad will come to you at the right moment. Together you will experience remarkable adventures which allow you to evolve as human beings, and your friendship will be a special relationship that will least the rest of your life.

Every person comes to your life for a reason. Learn from them because they will make a difference in your life.

4. Integrate yourself into the local culture

Do not be a conformist; learn the language, make local friends, try local food, travel around the country, go to local festivals, taste typical drinks, go to after work meetings, discuss with different kind people, get used to the local way of transport, speak the local language (even if you are just starting to learn it)…

Be ready to discover a new culture and to experience it, integration is the first step to feel at home.

5. Each situation will teach you a life lesson

Expats are outside their comfort zone. Expats are far from home. Expats are trying to be part of a new culture with different traditions.

Sometimes a trivial thing can be huge problem: a misunderstanding due to the language, looking for a job, a legal matter… Learn from these situation and keep always in mind that there are no problems, there are just solutions.
And the most important advice:  Enjoy this experience like you have never done before, because this is the best life lesson you will ever learn.

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7 signs you are becoming German

Are you getting used to the German way of life? Are you including potatoes and sausages in your diet? Do you also think that the christmas markets are the place to be during winter time? If you answered yes to all these questions it is a sign of your “germanization”. Are you becoming German? Here you can find definitive 7 signs you are becoming German

1. When you
move you bring your old furniture to your new flat

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In Germany it is quite usual to do not leave a single nail in your old apartment when you move to a new one. Germans
take all their furniture when they move: the kitchen, the freezer, the wash
machine… also the bulbs!

If the furniture does not fit in the new apartment they leave it in the street, so that other people can re-use it. Recycling the old-fashioned way! 🙂

2. When you
see a ray of light sun and you run outside your flat

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It does not matter if it is winter or summer. Germans are crazy about the sun. If there is
a sunny day they will be on the street enjoying it. Everytime the sun shine the
streets are crowded of people having a walk or drinking a coffee in the terraces.
No one will stay at home during a sunny day.

3. When you split the bill

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Zusammen oder getrennt? That is the question. If you come from the south of Europe there
is a high probability that your answer “zusammen (together)”. In some countries
it is common to invite friends for a coffee or to pay a meal.

However, a good german would have answered “getrennt (separate)”. In Germany they split everything, also the coffee bill! So, if you want to invite a friend do not be
surprised if he looks weird at you.

4. When you
remove your shoes in the entrance of your flat

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It is a non-written rule. When you enter in a flat you have to remove your shoes, to
leave them at the entrance and to walk barefoot.

The main goal of this non-written rule is to avoid scattering the snow and the water of the rain around the whole flat. It is a good idea, taking into account that the average of rainy days in Germany is around 128 days per year.

Do not forget it when you visit a german friend!

5. When you like to spend a day at IKEA

Spending the day at IKEA is a german common hobby. No matter which day of the week, if
you go to IKEA it will be totally crowded. We do not know the reason why
germans love to spend their time there, but it is quite normal for them.

Did you know one of the biggest IKEA of the world is located in Germany?? Concretely in
Düsseldorf.

http://www.rp-online.de/nrw/staedte/duesseldorf/duesseldorfer-ikea-ist-jetzt-der-groesste-der-welt-aid-1.1144216

6. When you cannot wait to get off the public transport

Germans tend to be ready to get off the public transport before it stops. Usually they
start to queue up at the previous stop. In the subway they queue up during 2
minutes, however, it can take longer when you travel by train.

It looks like if they were always on a hurry! Can it be due to the punctuality of the Deutsche Bahn? We would like to apologize before sharing the following with you: German public transports come hardly on time! Maybe that is the reason why germans are always in a hurry?

7. When your idea of a perfect summer plan is to organize a BBQ in a park

When summer comes organizing a BBQ in the park is THE PLAN. Nothing else can make germans
happier than a good BBQ, beers and friends.

In fact, it is easy to organize one. You just need to buy some beers, food and to find a place in some random park around the city or in front of the river. Sincerely, we do not why they
love BBQ so much, is it maybe not because of the food itself but due to the weather (as we said before)?

We are almost “germanized” 🙂 After some years living here we like their way of life. An what about you, are you becoming German?