Moving from Australia to Germany

Everybody asks "Are you crazy?"

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Hi Toytowners,

Recently, after a trip to Germany to visit family we decided to relocate to Germany, my partner is German and we have 2 x young children. I am really looking forward to moving to Germany, as is my partner, our move is based on the fact that our nearest family is 8 hours away in NZ or 17 hours away in Germany/UK and after living in Western Australia for the last 4 years we find it isolating. A move to NZ is out of the question, work is an issue for my partner and opportunities are much better for him in Germany.

Problem is all of his German friends in Oz, think we've lost our minds, and can't fathom how we can even reconsider returning to Germany. This lack of support has now planted a seed of doubt in my mind...I know its colder over there, but I grew up in NZ - how bad can it be? I can speak some German and understand a lot more than I can speak, so translation is not a huge issue. If it was anyone else bagging Germany I wouldn't worry, but these are Germans, they grew up I'm not freaking out yet, just trying to cover all bases.

Its a huge move relocating to another country and I just am trying to stay positive about it, without being dragged down by his friends.

P.S. I know the search 'is my friend' and there was a similar topic awhile back - I just need to get this out there.
all of his German friends in Oz, think we've lost our minds
seems a common gripe by people that have relocated - look at half the posters on this board - either moaning about their new country (Germany) or bad mouthing their country of origin with a superior tone. Tiresome

you'll probably be the same in a few years. All elitist and superior because you live in Europe and are somehow more refined than the uncouth people in the outback
Ah yes, I'll probably wonder how I hung out with those convict descedants for all those years...
Small Town Boy
See this thread for some pretty convincing reasons for living in Germany rather than Australia:

To the Australians: Why are you here in Germany?

I can't see myself ever going back to Australia. The advantages of Germany/Europe are too great. Advantages that I see over here are:

* Being so close to other countries/cultures. Australia is so isolated that you have to get on a plane for 10 hours to get anywhere interesting
* Nice, compact historical cities. Australian cities, in which 90% of the population live, are sprawling and busy. There is virtually no public transport and people have to drive everywhere
* Wide open spaces on your doorstep. Yes, thats right. Its easier here in Germany to get into the countryside than for the majority of Australians. Most people in Australia live in the suburbs, which are surrounded by more suburbs. My parents live 45 minutes drive from Brisbane city, and on the drive in all you see are suburbs. You have to drive a long way from Brisbane city itself before you see any country side. Here in Munich there is farmland literally 10 minutes from town.
* Cost of living compared with wages. I don't know about for other fields, but I earn much more here than I could in Australia. Cost of living in Australia is now about the same as over here.
* Like I mentioned, the weather over here in my opinion is infinitely better. The weather in Brisbane is almost the same all year around - dry and hot. You might think that sounds good, but it gets very boring after a while. Some people like it that way - fair enough, but I don't.
* Proper mountains and proper beer
* Lack of bogans. Australia is really full of them - I put it down to the isolation of the place. I know a number of people over there that couldn't tell you where Europe or America is on the map. They are nice enough people, but there is only so much conversation you can have about utes, fishing and bundaberg rum. People in Europe are generally more worldly.
My husband and I recently went through a similar experience. I had lived in the US for 15 years and he is American. We got lots of different responses to announcing our plans to move. From really positive to really negative. Some of the most negative responses came from Europeans/Germans. You have to understand that these are people that made a decision that probably took a lot of guts and sacrifices. And probably a lot of rationalization. You going the opposite direction calls many of the most important decisions they ever made in their lives into question. It shouldn't, but that is probably what it feels like to them. Therefore the negative reaction. Don't take it personally. At the end of the day you are moving from one well off country to another in the world. If it doesn't work out you can always go home a lot of experiences richer (though possibly with a lighter bank account).

For what it is worth, we have been here a little more than two months and we love it. Life is great. Germany is great. Whatever else you might read on this forum is certainly valid, too, but I wish we had done this sooner.

Good luck with everything!
I just took a look at STB's link, and I just can't help but laugh at this comment by Hutcho:

There are only a few things that I miss - the beach, good customer service and shops that open on Sundays.
Beach? Yes, fantastic. Shops open on Sundays? Yep. Good customer service? Yeah, right. The customer service in Australia is just about the worst customer service I've ever experienced - much worse than in Germany. Yes, in person they're a lot friendlier and helpful and are nothing like the German waitresses who couldn't care less about you, but the attendants in shops are absolutely clueless to help you and customer service reps on the phone leave you on hold for AGES. I'm not even exaggerating. My husband and I have both, at separate times, spent at least an hour and a half on the phone with Optus trying to sort out their screw ups, and we've had similar experiences with Foxtel and Virgin mobile. It seems like no companies here have computer systems on which they can leave notes on an account. If you have a problem with your order, you have to wait until the person who took your order is back in the office, and you have to talk specifically to them. WTF? It's awful. And we've only been back in the country for a few months!

I lived in Germany for a few years, then went back to the States for a few years, and now we're in Australia. I personally think both Germany and Australia are great places to live, but I feel a lot more at home here in Australia. I'm from California, and Australia is very similar in a lot of ways. In comparison Germany is much more uptight, and Australia is a lot more laid back, like I'm used to.

You know, you can always move back to Australia at some point if Germany doesn't suit you. It's definitely worth it to spend at least a few years of your life living in Europe. There's no need to be apprehensive about the move. It's your life, and if Germany doesn't make you happy, you can always do what you need to to be happy (i.e. move elsewhere or back to Australia).
After 4 years in Perth, we moved to Hannover. Ok the weather is definitively worse (but no risk of skin cancer here), but it also many advantages, be paid in euro, no delivery fee for amazon and overall I found the quality of the fresh product better, good value cheese (from France and Swiss) and so easy and cheap to travel around Europe.
Going also closer to family is very nice and enjoyable.

I miss the friendly customer service in Australia and the vast landscape of WA but the perfect place does not exist! So you can move safely and you will not regret it.
I get the "are you crazy" line all the time and "why on earth did you leave Australia?". German's don't appreciate what they have. I wouldn't worry about what people say. Make sure you choose a nice area to move to (with lots of English speaking contact) and you will be okay.

It is definately worth spending (a long) time in Europe. You really do learn so much about the world. I highly recommend it.
*waiting for my man's response to this, ha ha*

IPJ, Foxtel and Virgin Mobile are globally rubbish - it isn't unique to Australia.
I know its colder over there, but I grew up in NZ - how bad can it be?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Well, are you crazy?
Hi there, I am from Sydney and have now lived in Munich for 2 and a bit years. Everytime I meet a local they always ask me if I am crazy as well. Well I am a bit, however moving here was the best thing I have done. I love it here. When my friends visit from Australia they understand why I live here as well. In Sydney I lived directly on the beach, do I miss it yeah a little however when I thought about it I didnt use the beach that much at home. You make what you make of living anywhere, I fell in love with Germany and am here to stay. Recently I went back to Australia for a holiday after 4.5 years and wasnt impressed, glad I moved away. Enjoy your new life in Germany.
I moved here with my German girlfriend about 6 months ago, and I've enjoyed it here, but we are moving back to Australia in another 6 months. Really, there's nothing wrong with Germany (or at least Munich) but I do prefer the lifestyle and people in Australia. My girl and I like to travel so we're a bit worse off there, but then again I do like the feeling of adventure you get when you leave Australia - it may sound a little pathetic but it makes some sort of difference to me when I'm travelling somewhere genuinely distant rather than just getting in the car and driving to Austria or something. Language wise I am really out of my comfort zone here as well, and that is one of the decisive factors for me - I really hate not being able to express myself in a natural way and my German is very stilted and halting even after 6 months of on-and-off study while I've lived here. I can definitely say though that it won't be a mistake and you are pretty likely to enjoy the experience!
It all depends on where you move in Germany, but like I wrote on the last thread, I find it much better here in Munich.

There are only three things in my mind that are better in Australia - good service (service here is appalling), friendly people (not as bad as the appalling service, when Germans are not being paid to be friendly, they are a lot more friendly) and good white bread. Bread here sucks bigtime.

I used to say the beach, but on my last trip, I realised I don't give a shit about the beach.

Like others are pointing out, you're talking to people that have moved by choice to Australia. They obviously like it better there or they would move back. It is of course a subjective thing.

Germans also ask me all the time why I would move here when I come from Australia, but they all know it from their holidays or from TV, where of course they get a good impression. Living day to day in a country is far different than going there on holiday.

Further to that, German's in general (unlike in Australia - plus point for them) never look on the positive side of things. Everything is more negative than it needs to be. As such, they have a pretty low opinion of their own country.
Well, are you crazy?
Apparently so

Hutcho - I'm not that into beaches either, we go maybe 5 x times a year, even though its only 25 mins away.

Thanks everyone for the great points, I can at least see it now from the Germans point of view.
When I was back last time, I thought we'd go to the beach. I was quite looking forward to it. We drove like 35 minutes to get there (Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast). Then I noticed that there were no showers, because of the water restrictions because of the drought. Then I walked down to the water, stood there and thought "Fuck it, this isn't worth the effort" and just went home.

I guess I'm just not a beach person.
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