If you hadn't moved to Germany

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Posted

I tend to visit my parallel life in my dreams - the life that may have been mine if I had stayed in California. It's nice enough, with a house in the Berkeley hills (I think that I am married to a university professor) and children who are about 5 years younger than my real ones. I work with people in that life, something rewarding - possibly in a bookshop or a library. What I like most is our house covered with wooden shingles.

When I look at my real life I see so many memories from my childhood as well as visits to Berkeley over the last 15 years that I recognize where this parallel life comes from. It's a nice life to visit but I wouldn't trade.

This is very likely. I would not have learned as many languages but I would certainly enjoy my life in CA as much as I do my real one in Germany.

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Posted

I would probably be working in Housing Benefits - a job I did get and hold down for 7 months before returning to Germany. Or I'd be a secretary.

I'd have to have a car to get around and I would probably be fairly lonely as my school friends are no longer in the area (and one is already dead) and I don't click with many people in the UK.

I would probably go walking alone - if I couldn't find a convivial group. But frankly, in all the years I went walking with the family and even in recent visits, I've never come across a walking group.

I'd have read all libraries dry by now.

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Posted

I would be working a dead-end lower admin job with 5-6 hours overtime a day and a meager pay, being miserable all day and week long.

Based on: what my uni friends who stayed in Italy are now doing.

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Posted

A story I've heard time and again.

I got a facebook update from a friend in the US overnight with a picture of the debt people get into going to college and comparing it with the costs the US spends on prisons and military.

Your's , and others, stories are sad reminders of how important it is to invest in youth and try and make sure everybody has a chance to find their niche in life. There are those that think we have to be responsible for ourselves. Look at the costs finacially and to society of doing that.

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Posted

I'd probably be living in France with a French husband and kids and moaning about that situation instead :-) - I wanted to stay abroad a year or two before trying to become a French/English translator, and it was pure chance that I was offered a job in Germany instead.

Either that or I'd have gone back to the UK, in which case I'd probably have become a translator sooner but still basically be in the same position. What I would have missed out on was all the stuff in between, which has also been quite a kick up the backside for me, in a positive way. A milder version of that army discipline :-)

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Posted

I will be at home watering my garden in my free-standing house, driving my car, hanging with family and friends, BBQ'ing REAL meat (beef). Going to the farm on weekends or to the coast. AND enjoying the endless sunshine. While looking back in-case any criminal elements wants an unfair share of my hard-earned money, the crime rate is a deterrent.

As a teenager I was responsible, I wandered a bit at Uni (had 3 years I would rather forget), then got a great job which allowed me to travel all over the globe. For the sake of change, had to quit as I got a PhD and a job offer in Germany...love the learning environment, my colleagues and new friends...still...

Home is a great place. Can't wait to go back.

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Posted

If I'd never left Iceland, I might still be working as a programmer for that engineering business, rolling in money but depressed to hell from that job. I wasn't a particularly good programmer and I just always had the feeling I was in way over my head. I'd probably still live in that little condo I had downtown Reykjavik and I probably still wouldn't have bothered painting it so it'd still all be dark green inside from the previous owner.

If I'd stayed in Canada, I'd probably still be living in my little old house, that needed a lot of love and care because it was kind of falling apart and although I wouldn't be working at the same place anymore because they went bankrupt, I'd most likely still be working as a CNC programmer in some other cabinetshop. If I ever went back, that's probably what I'd do for a job again but I'd avoid little old houses like the plague.

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Posted

Ahh yes, if I hadn't moved to Germany I could still be just a half hour drive from the south coast (UK), living in expensive suburbia with even more debt and maybe, just maybe unemployed.

Also, I would not have met the wonderful person who is now my wife and the love of my life. I may now have a pretty modest job here, but it's one I enjoy most of the time, I have some great colleages and overall, I think I have a better quality of life than I ever had in the UK and instead of the sea I now have mountains and very picturesque scenery within easy reach.

No great complaints here and no desire to move back there, although an occasional visit isn't too bad.

Malty

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Posted

I can turn this around and wonder what would have happened had a stayed in Germany? I married an American and moved to the states. 20 years later, divorced and still living here. (I am from Canada). Now I want to come back and although I have a B.S. and am working on an MBA, being over 45 cuts me out of many jobs in Germany as does my footloose style of living, moving from job to job because I get bored. I have lived all over the states, from NYC to San Diego,CA and in between but sometime I just get the urge to go back to Germany. But I can't because of the visa problem. I still speak the language as I work as an account manager. CSR for German and UK companies from the states. I miss the seasons and the food and yes the crazy German customs sometimes. California is boring unless you surf maybe and I don't. I feel like home is calling me to come back and I often wonder what would my life be like if I had stayed there.

Anyone else have regrets about leaving Germany?

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Posted

First base for the Rangers. Just kidding...def shortstop.

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Posted

Stuck in my small north Wales village in my cottage, stoned and drunk.

Struggling on shite Bangor University three month contracts.

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If I hadn't moved to Germany I may never have come across the idea that I wanted to become a teacher, I would never have realised that I actually like German and have a rather surprising talent for it, I would never have become so independent (in control of all my affairs - job, money, flat etc at 19/20), I'd not be as mature as I am now. I would probably be more relaxed about the future and wouldn't have a feeling of such a weight on my shoulders, would probably have more friends (not saying I don't have any here), would still be able to play tennis, would be studying at a university of my choice right now instead of the OU, and would be getting myself into massive debt as a result.

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Posted

Before I came to Germany, I was thinking about moving to Cal. and having my dad help me out a bit, so I could go to chefs school out there. All I wanted to do was get out of Ohio. My ex scared me, as I kept having this feeling that he was going to come and kill me and our son. He was so unpredictable and today, knowing he suffers from being bi-polar, he may very well have done away with us. He is the type that says, if I can't have you, nobody can. When we saw him again this past autumn, he was still the same and was still scary. His meds are failing him somehow, which is quite sad.

So, when I came to Germany in '86 on my 2 week summer camp with the Reserves and met this German guy, my decision to move here was colored by my desperation to get out of town. Was it a good choice? Yes and no.

The positives of moving here - I got a lovely daughter out of this relationship, I learned German, have owned 2 businesses, have had the chance to travel quite a bit through Europe, and learned a lot about myself.

The negatives of moving here - Deep down inside, wish I had gone to chef school and become a proper chef, if I had stayed in the US, I probably would have my own house, my own restaurant, & married a different guy, and there is some other stuff too but it is of a private nature.

Like Jay, I fell for the "Be all you can be" slogan too. I watched those commercials and wondered, hm, could I really do all that? I just didn't sign up for the full course, just the Reserves. Going through Boot Camp gave me a lot of confidence that I needed to have. It made me stronger and feel good about myself.

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Posted

Worst case scenario? Shot dead.

The other scenarios are varied. Some worse, some better. Although extrapolating from my state of mind when I left, it would've definitely gotten worse before it got better.

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Posted

If I had not moved to Germany...

I would have (perhaps) finished my thesis which was making me miserable and then, best-case scenario landed a job in some European Commission-related company, since I was having the languages for it. Or maybe I would have settled for teaching, even though I really don't want to. Or maybe I would still be looking for a job (most probable scenario).

I would have overcome my OCD issues - here, I'm too inhibited by my non-fluent German to even start to search for a therapist to help me out.

I would be more open, feel better in my skin and - probably - happier on a day-to-day basis.

But... I would not have found the man who now shares my life, and will probably share it for years to come. I would not be as freely financially independent as I am now at my age.

I am looking forward to leaving Germany (this will happen sooner than later), but I won't go back to Belgium. Belgium might be my home country, but I don't feel home there anymore.

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If I hadn't moved to Germany I'd be living in Delaware or Philadelphia. I would still be working in the cubicle farm at one of the "to big to fail banks" but with a better position and title then when I left. I'd be playing in my old band and enjoying all the shows and laughs. I wouldn't be married but probably engaged to my wonderful wife. I'd also not know what it's like to miss my car, greek yogurt, and free wifi everywhere.

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Posted

As I am a bit self destructive myself (alcohol) and still somewhat am, thankful for my daughter to help control more of that. Without her no idea.

I could imagine several different scenario's. I might of still had a child and possibly gotten married. Not sure if I would be divorcing or not like I am but all is possible.

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Posted

Great start Jay!

If I hadn't move to Germany...hmm let me see... I would not have prospered with my education and career substantially. I would never have felt happiness and comfortable in my own skin. More importantly, I would never have met my love of my life.. my husband!!

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Posted

Doing the same free-lance gig I do wherever I am, but fighting Bay Area traffic along the way. Of course, "the way" would include great coastal sunsets that might be worth the traffic fight. Whatever. This is "here" now.

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If I had not moved here I would have probably joined the Royal Canadian Navy, shipped off to Halifax for a few years and who knows what. My job in Vancouver was, well, not very challenging and I was I started to feel I should return something to the country.

Instead I met a German girl, visited here, decided to give it a try and now have a little 3 year old with her.

No regrets.

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