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…

Sick leave in Germany

Being sick is a weak excuse in the London office. Unless everyone can see that you have dragged yourself to work that morning, are looking extra rough, tried to act as if you’re not ill, but still ended up nearly fainting at your desk, you’re either completely faking it, exaggerating or running out of annual…

When life abroad becomes home and home becomes life abroad

Spending some time back home after living abroad for nearly two years (and hardly visiting London) has made me realise that life abroad doesn’t always feel foreign. At some point the tables start to turn… It wasn’t Christmas, it wasn’t my birthday, it was just the first ‘normal’ week I’d spent working in London since…

Cuba

The original plan was to fly from Frankfurt via Toronto, where I’d meet a friend from London and then take the last flight that day to Havana. Whilst we don’t like to plan out trips too much and prefer to see how it goes once we’re there, missing our flight to Havana and having to…

How to prepare for long haul flights and layovers

I’m writing this whilst sat in Toronto airport for a 6 hour lay over after an 8 hour flight from Frankfurt before getting a 3 hour flight to Havana. Sounds like this journey is taking forever but the time isn’t going too slowly so I thought I’d share how I best prepare for a 17…

The lack of customer service in Germany

Essential organisation is required for the brutal 3 minute procedure of having your food practically chucked at you after being scanned, whilst you’re expected to pack, swipe your points card, sign after using your debit card (because apparently a PIN just isn’t good enough) and then maybe you’ll get a “tschüß” if you’re lucky as…

Noticing a change in your native language when you move abroad

Friend in Frankfurt: Once you’ve been here for a while, you’ll realise that your English begins to change. Me: No chance! I couldn’t have been more wrong. 21 months later and I often catch myself saying odd things in English that I never would have crossed my mind before I moved abroad. Of course, the…

Should I leave the city I relocated to?

Following my post ‘5 reasons why it’s OK not to be in love with the city you relocate to’, I had two conversations with people who have thought about moving back home, or even just somewhere else away from the city they relocated to. I’m sure this crosses most expats’ minds at some point, weighing…

5 ways to make the most of your limited time abroad

Time flies when you’re having fun and whilst being abroad, I feel like it goes even quicker. Here’s how to make the most of living in another country so you don’t to look back on what you wish you had done whilst you were out there: Make a bucket list Whether you do it before…

Eating out alone

There’s a lot of stigma around going out for dinner on your own. I’m not talking grabbing a Brötchen (bread roll) or quickly having some chips at a take-away style place. I mean actively choosing to go to a restaurant to sit on your own and enjoy a meal. People tend to feel sorry for…

5 ways to meet people when you move abroad

Making new friends when you relocate can be very hit and miss. I would actually describe my experience as miss-miss-hit-miss-miss-miss… and then a couple more ‘hits’ after a lot more ‘misses’. Ugh. It takes a lot of effort, and the word ‘easy’ doesn’t describe my experience at all, especially in Germany where people are quite…

Why travel the country you’re living in?

We want to travel the world, visit as many continents as possible, touch base in as many countries as possible and explore as many cities as possible. Every time we book a flight we get a rush of excitement as we look forward to leaving the countries we live in for a new and unfamiliar…

Making the time to keep in touch with friends from home

When I last went back to London (home-home), I realised I wasn’t checking my phone half as much as I do when I’m at my home abroad. The reason is obvious: I have 25 years of solid friendships to maintain in the UK compared to 18 months of developing friendships in Frankfurt. I am lucky there’s…

Struggling to show your true personality in a foreign language

One of the beauties of speaking another language is that it allows you to express yourself through different words and concepts that don’t exist in your native tongue. Never did I think though, that it could make me (loud, outgoing and laughs all day Alisa) appear to be shy and reserved. Why is it so…