Why did you decide to leave Germany?

151 posts in this topic

This is for those of you who used to live here, took the plunge and moved away from Germany, but still read the forum from outside Germany. What made you decide to leave? Did you leave of your own free will, or was it somehow forced upon you? How does your new 'Heimat', in your opinion, compare to Germany? Do you regret leaving?

 

I'm asking as someone who is kind of undecided about getting out of here. Sure, life is cool in many ways in Germany... but I've been here so long, not sure what life is like outside the good old BRD. What are your thoughts?

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No matter where you go there is good and bad you just have to find it. I hate germany as well as love it. I have bailed twice on this ship and twice have come back. In reality I am never happy where I am at and always look to the horizon. We all have to find our own happiness some folks say. Others think Two may tow is correct over tah mah tow who knows. Thankfully in Deutsch it is Tomaten with a capital T.

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My husband and I (both American) moved both to and from Munich entirely voluntarily. We moved to Munich because we thought it would be fun to live abroad for 2-3 years, learn German, travel, etc. Hubby's job with a multinational semiconductor company made it quite comfortable to move abroad and eventually return.

 

When we left, after 6 years (!), it was with mixed feelings, but it was just time to go. Many from our circle of ex-pat Munich friends were leaving. We had an 18-month-old daughter, whom we didn't particularly want to educate in Munich and who needed to get to know her American family.

 

Hubby's career prospects were never as good in Munich as in the US, and indeed his own job was in continual peril there due to constant layoffs. We didn't want to get laid off and stranded in Germany to make our own way back to the US.

 

We weren't doing as much travelling anymore, due to having a child. We wanted to buy a house and not just rent, but that would have been unaffordable in Bavaria. We wanted to get back to the higher salary levels available in the US.

 

I guess it just got to the point where it made more sense to leave than to stay.

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I hate germany as well as love it. I have bailed twice on this ship and twice have come back. In reality I am never happy where I am at and always look to the horizon.

I feel the same.

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We left Germany (after having been here for 8 years) because we needed a change and going back to an English speaking world seemed like the right thing to do. So 12 months ago we packed our bags and moved to Australia.

 

...we are now packing our bags again and moving back to Germany and have bought a house 5km from where we used to live.

 

...the grass is not always greener.

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Our stay in Germany was always going to be a temporary thing, since we just moved there for grad school. That said, we were ready to go when the time came. Partly, though, our experience there was not as good as it might have been otherwise, since we has very little income as students and a lot of debt, and we lived in a tiny village outside of town with no car. We left Munich to move to the SF bay area, were there for a few years, and now we're in Australia looking for a house to buy. In all honesty, any of those places could have been home just as easily as any other. Home is definitely where you make it, but to a large degree it depends on the opportunities available to you. It's usually more the circumstances of your situation that will determine which place will make you happier and not the place itself.

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because I didn't believe I could get a good job here -this being the single reason. otherwise liked everything.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

Hi everyone,

 

There's a question on my mind I'm hoping you guys can help me with. Here it is: for anyone who's left Germany after a longer stay, how did you know it was time to leave? And for those who are still here, what would make you decide it was time to go home (or go somewhere else)?

 

A little background: I've been living in Germany for almost 3 years. There are a lot (a lot!) of things I love about this country. My German is solid and my social integration is pretty good. I have a job and an apartment and friends here, but in the last 7-8 months things have been going downhill pretty fast. And since there's nothing really incontrovertible holding me here, I've been thinking about moving home and seeing if that "fixes" the problem. At the same time, I know the dangers of idealizing your home country and ending up with a major letdown when you get there. Plus, I don't think what I've got is homesickness, per se.

 

I guess what it comes down to is this: I don't want to move home on a whim and end up regretting it, but I also don't want to stay "too long" and end up remembering Germany as a place where I was unhappy. Anyway, apologies for the rambling and on to the questions. Has anyone else had this experience? Any tips on coping with it? Is it a phase and will it pass? Any other thoughts?

 

Thanks in advance!

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I think there is a cycle that foreigners go through (no matter what nationality and what country). They start off by being all enthusiastic about living abroad.. then become disenchanted, then ... let me see if I can find a better description:

 

there seems to be plenty here;

https://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=seven+cycles+expat+s+&oq=expat+cycle&aq=1b&aqi=g1g-b2&aql=&gs_sm=1&gs_upl=557l2608l0l6803l11l6l0l0l0l0l371l1024l1.4.0.1l6l0#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=expat+cycle+adjustment&pbx=1&oq=expat+cycle+adjustment&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=3&gs_upl=80977l82377l1l82614l11l11l0l0l0l0l193l1538l0.11l11l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=46ce13c264e15e93&biw=785&bih=411

 

such as

http://www.transitionsabroad.com/publications/magazine/0205/life_as_an_expatriate.shtml

 

I went back to the UK in 1995 as I thought the economy was going to the dogs here. It took me a year to find a job in London - despite being signed to about recruitment companies, despite four languages, typing skills, secretarial experience, teaching experience... I came back in 1999.

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Every time I go back to the US I feel less and less at home. Maybe go home for a few weeks vacation and see how you feel.

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2nd what Cindy said. I find a couple of weeks in Canada is all I need to start thinking "get me back to Germany asap". Go home for a few weeks and if you find yourself thinking I need to get back, then do, and if you find yourself not thinking that, then stay. Currently I'm in another country altogether and Germany doesn't seem that bad at all in comparison. Sometimes you just need a little perspective.

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What perdido says reminds me that this is the fifth time back in D'dorf or Germany

 

Came over here as a student in Göttingen for three months.

Back to Wales

Then a year abroad in Ratingen near D'dorf

Manchester - where I finished my degree

Back to Wales

Ratingen - working in D'dorf

Moved to D'dorf

Moved to Johannesburg

Back to Wales

Back to Ratingen

Moved into D'dorf

Moved to Palma de Mallorca

Moved to D'dorf

Moved to Wales

Moved to London

Moved to D'dorf in 1999 - initially for three years and then the plan was to move to Toulouse in France.

 

I then did an exercise in What Color is Your Parachute? and realised that D'dorf gave me the most important things I wanted to make my life comfortable so I guess I'm here for the long term.

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And for those who are still here, what would make you decide it was time to go home (or go somewhere else)?

I haven't been back to the US since August 2001. According to my brother, everything changed after September 11th of that year. Couple that with the fact that I've lived in Germany for my entire adult life, and I think it would be very difficult for me to start all over in the US. I love it in Germany and think it's a great place to raise kids. I don't think anything could make me think it's time to go back, short of war between the US and Germany.

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Ive only been here 2 years and haven't got to disenchantment yet but I agree with the other posters who have said go back for a few weeks and think about it ..I miss home but when I go home I want to come back here after about 4 days

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Last time I was back home in the States I couldn't wait to get back "home" to Germany. I've really settled in here and I think maybe I feel just a little too settled. I think I could go back for a week or two and get it out of my system. The States after 9/11 isn't the same at all.

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for those of you who used to live here [...] moved away from Germany, but still read the forum ...

 

Who cares about your reasons for leaving Germany ... I want to know your reasons for continuing to read TT!

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This is my second time in Germany. First times was 2.5 years , this time is 15 years and counting. In between I have spent time in Belgium and 2 parts of Holland (as well as the UK). Very shortly I will be moving back to the UK for the last time.

 

While there may be many other little issues (for and against) the real reason I am moving back to the UK is because of family ties. I can live anywhere but people (particularly families) matter.

 

Each place I have been has a lot to recommend it (as well as some frustrations). In each place the enjoyment has been greatly enhanced by making my life there while I was. I have hugely enjoyed my time in Erding for most of my 15 years because it was my home and my life was based here. There are still things I enjoy but the centre of my life is not here any more and that very much diminishes my enjoyment of life here. My wife has moved back to the UK ahead of my (delayed) retirement and all of our furniture (that we want to keep) is in our house there. I am 'camping out' in a mostly empty flat and looking forward to my weekend trips 'home' every 2-3 weeks. For 15 years this was my home and I visited the UK 2-3 times a year. Now it isn't any more and it feels completely different.

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I lived in Germany for seven years, then I left, and when I left I was sure that I would never come back, but eight years later I am back.

 

The reason I left eight years ago was because I went to a bakery in Munich and asked for "vier Bröchen bitte". The woman looked at me and said, "wie" so I repeated my request, this time pointing at the bread rolls that I wanted. The woman looked at me again and said "wie, was?" and then she looked at her colleague and they both shrugged as if they had not got a clue what I wanted. And, then I remembered that I was in Munich and so I said, "vier Semmel bitte." As the woman gave me the bread I resolved to leave Germany. I could no longer take the pressure of always being wrong. However, now I am back, but in Berlin where the people don't seem so fussy...

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Basically, we (my husband and I) decided to leave Germany after reading a topic in this forum a couple of months ago...

 

in summary I have a really good job, great boss/colleagues, also good opportunity to grow professionally, great friends and we do what we love, ie travel, going to music festivals etc... so Germany is great for and to us. However our parents are growing old, and I know for a fact that if we stay any longer in Germany and the inevitable happens, we would deeply regret it... We had an awesome experience here and we are leaving with great and fond memories, but now just eager to be close to our family and enjoy precious moments that can otherwise be compromised by us staying any longer here.

 

we will miss Germany very much but we are also welcoming our new phase of our life back home. I totally agree with the saying that home is where the heart is, right now the heart is in Melbourne with our family...

 

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