Using annual leave when you live abroad

Request annual leave. Book flights. Book accommodation. Go. This is the usual order in which I plan my holidays. I prefer to use my annual leave for travelling and the odd productive day for when the 48 hour weekend just doesn’t suffice. No matter how much you love your 9- 5, it’s always nice to…

Furnishing your home in Germany

I hadn’t thought twice about the fact that I didn’t even know of any German furniture stores before I moved into my unfurnished apartment. I’d assumed I would buy everything from Ikea however, it turned out that Ikea is great for some items but not so good for others. I found myself having to  look…

Celebrating your birthday in Germany

I love spoiling my friends on their birthdays: making them feel extra special as they celebrate one more year of life. I love giving thoughtful gifts, writing nice messages in cards and making sure the person who’s birthday it is gets spoilt. So yes, I was very surprised to find my friends buying me drinks…

Flat sharing: the pros and cons

Whilst I was more than ready to live alone before moving abroad, I decided to live in a flat share  to meet people and make friends. Whilst it wasn’t always a smooth experience, moving to a new city that you are not familiar with and where you don’t know anyone can be lonely. My original…

Learning a language abroad

There’s no better way to learn a language than from the locals themselves. As someone who has lived in two different countries to improve their languages skills, I’ve found different locals tend to have different approaches to your efforts to learn, maintain and improve a foreign language. Here’s a few of the personalities I’ve come across:…

Jaywalking in Germany

The stare I received as I quickly tried to get to the other side of the road in Germany in 2012 was so piercing that I’ve not forgotten it until this day. And it took a few of these unwelcoming stares for me to realises that I was being frowned upon for crossing the road…

Paying the restaurant bill in Germany

“Zusammen oder getrennt?” Together or separate asks the waiter/ess as you finish a meal with friends and request to pay the bill. If you’re wondering what is meant by this, in Germany you are literally asked if you want to split the bill between the table or if one individual will be covering everyone. Honestly, I think…

Being a woman of colour in Frankfurt

After being asked about what it’s like to be a woman of colour in Frankfurt, specifically a black woman, and if I have experienced any racism, I’ve decided to share my experiences with you. I always start by saying that I don’t work in a strictly German environment, in fact, due to the nature of…

Frankfurt: a convenient city

No long commutes and no overcrowding are the two main things I love about living in Frankfurt. Life here is a bit slower than in my home city London, which does of course has many specialities, but I love I no longer feeling like a sardine when I walk around the city and I never…

Apartments don’t come with kitchens in Germany

“What!? How can an apartment not come with a kitchen?” Is the exact reaction I had when I first found out that German apartments do not necessarily come with a kitchen. I mean, really, how is that even possible? It’s like the bathroom coming without a bath/ shower or like a friend of mine said,…

Celebrating your birthday away from home

I love celebrating my birthday and even when I try to make it as small as possible, it always turns into a big celebration! I see my birthday not only as an opportunity to celebrate another year, but to bring friends together and enjoy the time with those closest to me. I’ve been living abroad…

The German obsession with cake & ice-cream

Imagine being hungry, like really hungry and instead of offering you a nice, filling, savoury meal, someone asks you if you want slice of cake. Noooo, I don’t want cake, I’m starving, I want real food! I recently went to a cafe with a group of friends (German and non-German) and given that it was…

Struggling with German in Frankfurt

I definitely had an advantage when I moved to Germany. In hindsight being able to speak German before I got here was actually a huge advantage and I wasn’t quite aware of how much my German language skills contributed to the ease of settling in in Frankfurt. Yes, there were times when I needed to look…

How to keep fit without getting tied into a long-term gym contract

If you aren’t too sure how long you’ll be staying in your new expat home, then you probably won’t want to commit to a one or two-year gym contract just to keep fit and you’d rather go with something short-term. It’s easy to let exercise slip when monthly gym payments aren’t being debited from your…

Self-reflection & progression: the best way to keep a diary

I randomly wrote a list of things that I wanted to work on and named this list “Aims, Goals & Aspirations.” My list consisted of long term-goals to work towards and short-term goals that I could meet in the next few months. My “aims, goals and aspirations” consisted of anything where I felt there was…