The 5 hardest things about living abroad

I love living abroad and it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made but every now and again I get this ‘ugh’ feeling. This frustration with the abnormalities of living abroad. I asked a few international friends what they sometimes find difficult about living abroad and we pretty much agreed on the same points….

The four phases of culture shock

It creeps up on you when you least expect it and pushes you out of your depth as you try to comprehend these abnormalities that are actually now normalities. In fact, you’re the abnormal one now. Culture shock. Two and half years into my expat journey and as much as I have embraced the German…

Things to do in Frankfurt in the winter

The second half of winter is usually pretty quiet and if you’re anything like me you’ll almost hibernate until it finally begins to get warm again. But as much as I love being at home, I just can’t stay indoors all the time. So here’s 5 things to do in Frankfurt in the winter: 1….

How to make the most of your weekend visit home

Visiting home for a weekend when you live abroad can be described perfectly in just one word: Busy. Or in my mum’s words “friend-speed-dating”, which I think is a pretty good explanation. It’s go go go and the anxiety is real when I am sitting there trying to work out how I am possibly going…

Living away from your family

Living away from your family can be hard. Whether it’s a different city, a different country or a different continent, the thousands of kilometres between us and our families can make them feel very unreachable. Being able to get to your siblings’, parents’ and grandparents’ homes in less than an hour really does seem like…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…