Expat New Year Resolutions

As most of us do at this time of year, I have been looking back on the last 12 months. I’ve been wondering where the time has gone, how the changes have happened so quickly and what’s to come for the new year. We plan, think about how far we’ve come and how much further…

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…

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…

Two years in Frankfurt and I’m not leaving any time soon

How often do you rely on other people? When at work, playing sports, or for some friendly advice? I reckon it’s more than we realise but for those times when we do actually need someone, whatever it may be for, we generally know exactly who to go to and why they’d be the best person…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Leaving everything behind

When someone mentioned that they viewed moving abroad as leaving everything behind, it really did make me think twice. I hadn’t thought about it in this way at all and I guess it has opened my eyes to other people’s experiences. Moving abroad has it’s ups and downs and I can imagine that for people…

Here’s why not investing in trust can prevent you from feeling settled

Imagine how much you have going on when you move house or start a new job. It’s stressful, right? Can you imagine doing both simultaneously and in a new country? It was crazy: Numerous buys from Ikea, remembering everyone’s names at work, numerous returns to Ikea, forgetting everyone’s names at work. Ahh! I met an…