When did you start feeling "at home" in Germany?

71 posts in this topic

Posted

I have read many threads about feeling homesick. I even started one. This year, my resolution is to be more positive and to enjoy the aspects of living here.

So, I wanted to ask TT members how long it took you to start feeling at home here? I am sure you must miss some aspects of home but when did it become clear that this is where you really wanted to live?

What helped you to define that feeling? Kids, spouse, work experiences, friends...?

 

I hope I come to think of Germany as home one day but right now, I am trying very hard not to think of anything long-term but to live one day at a time.

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Posted

I think it took about 7 years for the novelty to really wear off.

 

But I don't really feel at home in the UK. I feel a bit alienated there, but at least when I'm abroad the feeling makes snese.

 

I am basically at home with a book in my hand.

 

I've been here now since 1999 and haven't gone back much since Christmas 2002, but I still get a kick out of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco decorations on the buildings here. I still get a thrill at the Christmas markets. I still think it's cute the way they put up seasonal decorations (eggs handing on trees at Easter time??). Carneval still seems strange to me but I'm glad they celebrate it. I still get a kick from being able to take people to breakfast on Sunday. I still love all the facilities here compared to back home.

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Posted

 

Believe it or not, I've been here for 16 years and I still don't feel at home. This isn't home, it's where I live.

 

Same here but I've been here for over 20 years.

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Posted

I am with Nina on this one. I don't feel at home here after 6 years but I don't feel at home when I am there either. :/

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Posted

Exactly. I completely understand. For me it always seem like I have a toe in several worlds and not fully connecting with any of them

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Posted

I've been in Germany for a year and it doesn't feel like home but, coming back to my apartment after traveling always feels good. I'm going back to the U.S. to visit family and friends soon for a few weeks and I'm curious how that will feel since I never felt all that at home in WV or anywhere I lived on the east coast. I'm not sure if anywhere will feel like home until I own the land that I'd be living on.

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Posted

Hi

Ive been in Germany 3 years now and really im saying whats been said already I feel in the middle ,when I head to Blighty after a day or two I miss Germany, I try to keep abreast of uk culture but I still do feel a little out of sync, also as a not very good German speaker I feel like im being shouted at when I get to Stanstead when I listen to German I understand them when im concentrating on whats being said but when Im not my brain disregards it all, when I go back I understand everyone all at once and its deafening! I miss England some days usually like Christmas and Birthdays but my husband is German and we own a house and some cats and for me that is home regardless of what country Im in.

<-@

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Posted

I agree, suffolkrose. When you go back to the UK, you suddenly think "Oh, my god, everyone's talking English." And for me the hard thing is that the accents are so varied and the English often bad. I listen to BBC Radio nearly all the time and also English-speaking audio books and comedy cassettes. There is a certain standard of English, a certain sound level, a certain .. I think the word is 'tone' or 'tonality'. Nothing jarring. But when you get there, English sounds are coming at you from all sides.

 

I couldn't even cope in Asda supermarket in Llandudno last August. Signs 'screaming' at me everywhere. £1 off. Buy two, get one free. Now 20% extra. New! Special price!

 

And then music everywhere - like in the shops. You just need to compare the sound level of Manchester and Dusseldorf airports. Germany is just so much quieter.

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Posted

When I was in the UK for Christmas, I met up with some friends in a pub, and realised I was struggling to hear them and to concentrate as I'd lost the ability to filter out English background chat; it's so easy for me to ignore German chat, that my ignoring muscle had atrophied.

 

However. I lived in England for 13 years and never felt settled. When I moved to Germany I felt strange at first, then reality clicked in and I felt at home- on my 15th day here. Some places suit people better than others.

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Posted

I am so glad to hear others commenting on the general noise levels here compared to the UK. Partly due to the filtering mechanism within, for sure, but the UK really is so loud. A massive Tesco with all those hollering people...we were first involved in a Waldorf kindergarten here, and we were always so LOUD, even when we were trying really hard. I love the quiet.

 

Op's question - "at home" - nope, 10 years and counting. Like it much better than 'home' though, except for those awful irritating busybody bossy people who are so much more visible here than there.

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Posted

 

I am so glad to hear others commenting on the general noise levels here compared to the UK. Partly due to the filtering mechanism within, for sure, but the UK really is so loud. A massive Tesco with all those hollering people...we were first involved in a Waldorf kindergarten here, and we were always so LOUD, even when we were trying really hard. I love the quiet.

 

Ahah. Call me weird but this is something I miss about Italy - a certain loudness in public transport, at the supermarket, and so on. (Mind you I don't come from Naples).

 

In any case, I think it would generally depend on how far off is your original culture from the german "region" where you end up being. I work in Bayern and it's pretty much the same as my home region, except the language and a bit less sunshine in winter. I would likely feel less "at home" in Calabria or Sicilia.

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Posted

Different strokes! I'm bewildered by the quiet. I remember not being able to sleep a wink those first nights here, deafened by the silence! My room back home faces a slum in the next hill, so I was used to sleeping with reggaeton base blaring, gunshots and whatnot.

 

No, I don't think I'll ever feel at home here. I'm too tropical.

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Posted

When did I start feeling "at home" in Germany? - I'm still waiting, as is Mrs AB whom I had carried off from the DDR to the UK where we stayed until 15 years after the Wende when we came here...

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Posted

punkinside - a friend of mine is a Berber from the Atlas mountains (town of Erfoud). He's been here for 22 years (since he was about 21). He says that when he now returns to Morocco, he feels a bit alienated and he prefers the 'Ordnung' in Germany. So you can come from a vastly different culture and climate and still get used to this place.

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Posted

I feel at home in Dresden; it's a nice town and looks and feels 'normal' to me now. I'd say I felt that way about Dresden after maybe 5 years, although I basically liked it from the start. And since we moved out of flats and into our 'own' house (it will be ours in about 100 years!) I also feel at home in my own home. When I look out of the window it's 'my' view of a couple of trees and a gate, and not a view of thousands of other people's homes. And we chose this place as somewhere we liked, not just for purely practical reasons. I decorated it, and there is not a strip of white wood-chip wallpaper in the place.

 

That doesn't mean to say that I feel at home in Germany, after 20 years. I don't feel German and don't feel any need to act German, though I'm sure I act more German than I used to. I'm here for my family and no more. If they weren't here I'd be back in the UK.

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Posted

 

I think it took about 7 years for the novelty to really wear off.

 

With me it was not so much novelty - my "entry" was non-standard in that I first "commuted" over a number of years & then moved out. Being sent out be a govenment organisation (Science & Engineering research Council) meant a pretty cushy landing (rent for small furnished flat paid for). However being here 100% rather than just for a few months at most hit hard - and I moved out in November with 5 months crap weather at first. Luckily I was already involved with my flying club & the bridge club at the DESY lab. Things looked up a couple of years later when I "bumped into" the girl who 4 years later became my wife & subsequently I got a job here & so on.

 

 

But I don't really feel at home in the UK. I feel a bit alienated there,

 

After 30+ years away with a handful of short visits inbetween I'll sign up to that. On last visit having to ask in M&S whether certain methods of payment were now accepted (they were) shows how out of touch one is.

 

Whether I can afford to stay here long-term once I retire or the company throws me out is another matter.

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