Hello, hello — Happy mid-May! We have lived in Germany for just about three months now, & I honestly have not shared nearly as much with y’all that I want to. The foods, history, things to do, how I’m handling everything, etc! But, that changes now 🙂 So, let’s dive in with my top five favorite things about living in Germany.
1. The Community & Events🎡
It only makes sense to start this list with a story from one of our very first memories here! About a week after the big move, a friend picked my husband & I up to show us around the local town. To my surprise, the streets were filled with what looked like a Mardi Gras party — There was a live band, people dressed in fun // crazy outfits, & lots of beer & laughter! The city was celebrating “Fasching” An annual party just before the season of Lent.
We quickly learned that there are festivals & community events sprinkled year round across Germany! Beer fests, carnivals, Christmas markets, & lots lots more. There are [allegedly] more than 10,000 German festivals annually… *is shook* Here, the people sure do love to have a good time, & I really can’t complain about it. Hehe.
2. Environmentally Friendly♻️
This little corner of the world seriously does their part to help take care of it, and I’m h e r e for it. To start, while shopping & checking out, you will not see those itty bitty plastic bags that we have in the states (At least from all the stores I have gone to so far) Most people carry around reusable bags — seriously the move out here!
Also, the recycling here ain’t no joke! If you return bottles // glassware where you bought them, you get a refund. Trash is split up into paper, plastic/aluminum, & regular trash [in our neighborhood] I’ve heard of other communities including bins to dispose of glass, organic bins, & hazardous waste bins. Basically, no mindlessly throwing out trash ever!
Lastly, the transportation. Bikes & also public transportation are wayyyy more common here than back home –Each being pretty eco-friendly options. Even driving here is more eco-friendly than anywhere else I’ve seen. German cities require acceptable emission levels in vehicles in order to be driven. It’s a law to provide a sticker in the windshield displaying if the car is environmentally acceptable or not. Which is actually pretty… rad. #EarthDayErryday🌎
3. Being Where History Happened🏰
This. This times a thousand. I can’t even begin to describe how much I learn by living in a place where so much has gone down. When I walk on the same soil where history lies, & see some of the buildings // castles that have been around for hundreds of years with my own eyes — I connect with the past more. I understand it better. I empathize with the people in ways I never could have before. It’s almost like I am standing right there with them. & each place I go, I leave with more wisdom than I came with.
4. Being Out of My Comfort Zone🌿
Outside of our comfort zone is exactly where we need to go in order to grow. Me living here in Germany is definitely a step out my comfort zone. Shoot, it’s a full on leap out of that bad boy if we’re being real. I moved across the entire world, & am surrounded by people who’s first language is different than mine. However, as intimidating as that all is, I understand that these new experiences teach me life lessons I otherwise never would’ve learned.
In allllll of the new things that I am adjusting to, I choose to find the good in each part. It would be easy to let cultural differences frustrate a person who has no choice but to acclimate. BUT — it takes strength to be positive, & learn from these experiences. I choose to grow while being outside of my comfort zone here. & I already have so much.
5. The Beauty🌳
From the cute small historic towns, to the grassy rolling hills… & even the delicacy of food presentation in restaurants — you can’t help but notice the beauty in everything here. It’s in the design of buildings — each inch carefully carved; architecture that has been thoroughly thought out. It’s in the countryside; being vibrant, clean, & just… breathtaking. & lastly, it’s in the restaurants. Chefs here prepare each & every plate with attention to detail — making every meal feel like a gourmet restaurant meal. No matter where I turn there is beauty everywhere. Everywhere.
Now, I promised you that I would share more things about Germany in general — so here are a few questions that I got from my peeps on IG!
Has it been hard learning German?
Yes! English is the only language I am able to speak fluently, so this is my first time ever reallllly trying to learn a second one! It’s tough. BUT! I do know the basics — ordering off of a menu, all of the numbers, months, weekdays, alphabet, things like that! I am determined to learn even more though!
Has navigating the grocery store been easy?
Yes & no. Yes because it’s usually pretty easy to understand what is generallllly in each aisle. & No, because a lottt of my time is spent translating things (sometimes the food literally doesn’t even translate!!) & calculating Imperial System measurements to Metric System measurements. Also, not every product is exactly how it is back home. Mostly different sizes, sometimes different textures, things like that!!
What is something different that shocked you?
This might be silly, but the windows in the houses! You can open them like any regular window, but you can also prop the top open only! It pulls the top inwards a couple of inches, & I have neverrrr seen that before. This opening creates a draft without having to fully open the window. The first time my husband propped open the top part was on accident, & was in front of our Realtor. He & I both got realllll nervous, but she reassured us that it was normal.😂
Will you host me when I come to visit?
I will have to think about it….. yes, of course!
Okay folks, that’s it for now. I would love to keep typing away my thoughts to you, but it’s late here, & time for me to get some sleep! I will talk to you all again next month, same day, same time. 😉
♡ Valerie Karen.