Have you reached the point in your life where you are ready to take on a new challenge? Want to embrace a new chapter of your life? Do you desire to really step outside your comfort zone? For many of my clients, moving to another country to be an expatriate (expat) is appealing. As part of my “Loving Your Life’s Stages” series, I thought it would be fun to look at some options beginning with Germany.
Germany is one of the most exciting countries in all of Europe at the moment. With plenty of career opportunities, a mix of modern culture and history, a fabulous food scene, and plenty of attractions and entertainment to experience. But for all the pros, there is bound to be stress, apprehension, and worry as you prepare to make the move. With that said, here are some tips and advice that can help you through the transition period as you put down roots in Germany, even if it’s only on a temporary basis.
Where Will You Live?
The first thing you’ll want to think about and start planning is where you will live when you get to Germany. You certainly don’t want to wait until you arrive and then figure it out. Doing some research ahead of time on the various cities/towns, the cost of living, how hard it is to get a place, nearby attractions, prime neighborhoods, and more will just help you to prepare.
Ideally, you will want to have all those arrangements in place so that when you arrive, you can move in immediately. This takes away a lot of that initial stress when you get to Germany.
What About Your Income?
Of course, if you plan on spending a significant amount of time in Germany, outside of a standard holiday, then you’re going to need to give thought to your income. How will you make money to pay for your living accommodation, food, entertainment, and all the extras? One option could be to look into what it takes to be a freelancer.
This guide to being a freelancer in Germany from Morgenbird takes an in-depth look at what’s required and what to expect from the job. The freelancer guide covers such topics as how to be a freelancer in Germany (meaning how you get started), the flexibility it offers, what you can expect in terms of salary, whether or not you need a Visa, how you can register as a freelancer, your tax code, and so much more.
It can be that perfect option that makes it possible to make money, yet gives you the freedom to travel around the country and truly experience Germany.
Make a Point of Meeting New People
One of the most difficult things about moving to a different country is meeting new people. Whether you are shy or outgoing, meeting a new circle of friends isn’t always easy. Obviously, if you happen to have any contacts in Germany, it’s a good idea to meet up with them and connect once you arrive, but outside of that, it’s going to be up to you to really get out there and be social.
If you’re looking for tips on how to meet new people, these can help:
- Volunteer at an organization or for a cause
- Sign up for a class
- Join a sports team
- Find a club that focuses on something you love or want to learn more about
- Get out and walk and explore, and don’t be afraid to say hello to people
- Check out the local restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs
Allow Yourself to Feel a Little Homesick
Even though you may have been extremely excited about the move? Don’t be alarmed if you start feeling a bit homesick. It can happen to anyone and there is no shame in it. Rather than dwell on the negatives and the things you’re missing, try to re-train your brain and focus on all the positives. Just remind yourself of the reasons you made the move. What you are hoping to experience and desire to explore. And, of course, how unique this opportunity truly is.
It may take practice to break out of the feelings of sadness. But the more you re-focus, the more your brain will start to do it automatically. Don’t forget, all your friends and family are a phone call or video chat away – you aren’t all on your own.
Absorb Every Experience
Finally, you want to be sure you slow down and truly absorb and savor every experience you have. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you don’t want to take it for granted. This is especially true if you are only staying a limited amount of time. So you want to be sure you make the most of it.