What made you leave Germany

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Hi Medic, I'll chime in. Even though I'm still in my "honeymoon phase" of living in Germany (here since Oct 10), I do know what it's like to take a big leap and make a huge life altering move. Ya know what? Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If you see a way to improve your quality of life and have an opportunity, take the chance. It sounds like you and your wife have already made up your minds and are just browsing down the pros and cons aisle right now.

[warning: cliche cache]The grass IS always greener on the other side, but look at it this way: you have one life, best not to live it on "should've, could've, would've". If you're wrong, you can always come back and start again. Home is where the heart is.

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I was drawn to this thread as I wanted to see what people residing in Germany thought. I currently reside in the United States and visited Germany this past summer and really would like to spend an extended amount of time there. I have enjoyed reading your comments as it is hard to find constructive critisizm regarding living in another country. I have spent my whole life in the United States and I really enojoyed being in Europe. I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but I feel like the United States isnt for me. I consider myself a moderate/leaning left individual who really appreciates the attitudes of europeans regarding the social good for all. To me the United States has become a giant shopping mall with all of us consuming more and more and I really dont want to be a part of that. Again many thanks for your opinions and hopefully I will get back to europe sooner rather than later . JR

 

Hang fire there my friend, there are a few problems with that.

 

 

I currently reside in the United States and visited Germany this past summer and really would like to spend an extended amount of time there.

 

 

I have spent my whole life in the United States and I really enojoyed being in Europe. I know the grass is always greener on the other side, but I feel like the United States isnt for me. I consider myself a moderate/leaning left individual who really appreciates the attitudes of europeans regarding the social good for all.

It's easy to see the best in other countries, especially when you want to leave your own, but if you scratch below the surface, you see that Germany has much the same social layout as the US with a couple of differences; in that you have a vocal right-wing southern region, and very vocal left-wing northern areas like the east of Berlin. One difference being that poverty levels and unemployment increase the further east you go (mirrors the EU in general). Poverty levels in some parts of Germany and Europe are just as bad, if not worse than the poor areas of the USA, no matter how much social care is donated. Which brings me to another point, the global recession has hit the EU extremely hard, national budgets are shrinking across the board, and one of the major victims of spending cuts is social welfare. Not that those on social welfare ever really got enough to live comfortably, which has created these pockets of poverty in EU nations, since nobody can afford to move out. The myth of European social care was never very strong but these times are really starting to pull out skeletons from closets.

 

Although not directly quoted from you, one thing you may also have on your mind is the idea of Socialised Healthcare. It does work, and it has saved many lives, and brought many lives onto earth, but most countries in Europe wont allow you to make use of it until you have paid a certain amount of money into the National Insurance schemes they run (basically tax), and if you cant speak German well enough to get a job, you will need to have private health insurance, which can be more expensive than the US, and more complicated too. In some countries, this is actually written into law, so you have no choice.

 

 

To me the United States has become a giant shopping mall with all of us consuming more and more and I really dont want to be a part of that. Again many thanks for your opinions and hopefully I will get back to europe sooner rather than later

I'm sorry to break it to you, but this mentality exists in Europe, perhaps even stronger than in the US! The second and third largest retailers in the world are European companies (Carrefour and Tesco respectively), the largest and most influential (read: expensive) fashion houses on earth are European, and they are worshipped by the weak of mind all over the planet. In short, it's no different to the US; there's just as much advertising, there's just as much hype and since the EU has a bigger population than the US, more consumers too.

 

I don't want you to think that I am shouting at you, or trying to dissuade you from coming to Europe. Quite the opposite, I want you to have the full lowdown on life here, so that instead of just rocking up with a bucket of dreams and no idea, you can plan properly, get yourself off to a great start and ultimately have a much better time. It's no good looking at things with rose-tinted glasses, nowhere is perfect, but everywhere has bits that are pretty close.

 

Best of luck :)

J

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The unofficial motto of California is Keep California green and golden: Bring money.

 

I thought it was "Lets invade Austin and try to turn it into Cali 2.0 after we have ruined our own cesspool of a state"

 

 

Again many thanks for your opinions and hopefully I will get back to europe sooner rather than later . JR

 

OU Sucks.

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@Mr.B: I don't know if it's a Germany thing or just me but I've found it pretty hard to keep up a healthy network of friends here. Berlin's a very transient place and I've seen many people come and go in a few years. So that is definitely part of it, but if I compare my experience here to similar (~4 year) timeframes in other places, I have to say in the other places I've developed more and stronger friendships. And no matter what kind of skills one has to offer, success also depends on formulating those long-term relationships. It kind of freaks me out sometimes when I look around at some of the old expatriates I know, many of them are just kind of cruising along in perpetual low gear and I don't want that to happen to me. In short, I got some better traction in other places.

 

Not that it's all been bad here, I have made few good ones, but not enough. And curiously, my German friends all empathize very clearly with the above sentiment. So maybe it is more a Berlin/Germany thing and I'm not mentally whacked after all. Berlin is an awesome city and there's no place in Europe that comes close in my opinion, but long-term it's toxic for me, or at least looks that way. We'll see, I keep waiting for that big payback that all the Toytown oldtimers keep going on about...

 

Anyway good luck.

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Responding to my own post. I read it and think for a minute and say, wow what a load of crap. :lol: Come on tuttle that's BS. No matter where one is, the onus is on the individual to engage. It also doesn't justify the sentiment that my 'friends' would sit there and have a pity party about it. Bottom line is you are where you are and at the end of the day, if you're not satisfied you have nobody else to blame but yourself.

 

These are the two polar opposites between which I have been vacillating while in Germany. The bit about the lack of traction is for real, though, as is the toxicity. Without proper traction this kind of thinking is like spinning ones' wheels in the air and burning up the engine.

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These are the two polar opposites between which I have been vacillating while in Germany.

I think this is totally normal, a.tuttle :) . I've been thinking about medic82's post again today and much the same thought came to me. I live on much more of a rollercoaster of ups and downs than I ever did before. I was sleep-walking (even in London) compared to how I live now ;) . Even that's double-edged of course: has its benefits and its disadvantages! (I also share exactly the same ambivalence towards Berlin as you express very well imho - fabulous city but the low energy drains me rapidly when I am there - more so over time, I find myself spending less time there).

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glad to have got you thinking about my post swimmer.

 

Yes they say the grass is always greener on the other side, but dammit sometimes it really is greener. Anyway I don't need much grass, just sand ocean and sun will do just fine.

 

Another reason to leave. I just bought an Electric grill today. I really wanted to buy a Coal grill, but my wife kept telling me that I am not allowed to use it here except in designated areas ( we live in an apartment) and that we will have to drive to a park to use the coal grill. This pisses me off big time because I just want to freaking have a great cookout with some damn Coal. If this was back in the US, I would be able to use my Coal grill on my apt grounds. Where I would most likely have a swimming pool also, to make it a pool day with friends and family, cold beer, juicy sizzling steak, oh and not to forget a 100 pc order of Buffalo Chicken wings. Yummmy.

 

I need to leave Germany soon.

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Responding to my own post. I read it and think for a minute and say, wow what a load of crap. Come on tuttle that's BS. No matter where one is, the onus is on the individual to engage. It also doesn't justify the sentiment that my 'friends' would sit there and have a pity party about it. Bottom line is you are where you are and at the end of the day, if you're not satisfied you have nobody else to blame but yourself.

 

These are the two polar opposites between which I have been vacillating while in Germany. The bit about the lack of traction is for real, though, as is the toxicity. Without proper traction this kind of thinking is like spinning ones' wheels in the air and burning up the engine.

 

 

 

No matter where one is, the onus is on the individual to engage.

There you said it.Home is where your friends and family are.No matter where you go to live, you will have your challenges.Once you have gotten used to an environment and finances are not the pushing force,habits, hobbies and climatic condition may count.I would find living in Germany much to restrictive now.I love the wide open spaces and the freedom of movement and no sign of "das Betreten des Rasen's ist verboten" and similar bureaucratic mischief.Weather, where I live is an annoying marker, but there are a lot of other offsetting things to soften the impact.And there is always relative cheap gas, Hawaii,Arizona or Mexico to soften the hardship of winter.

Live wherever you think is the place and a living can be earned. Friends and entertainment you have to seek(or make)where ever your domicile is.

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I would be very happy to leave Germany...if I'd know where to go.

I'm very eager to experience something new, after more than 1 year living here, but I'm still undecided where to go...

- Norway? Beautiful, wild, but too cold and dark in winter, too isolated from the rest of Europe

- Switzerland? Beautiful, but too conservative, rampant xenophobia and an housing bubble currently going on

- Denmark? Maybe, although...what's so special about it?

- Ireland? Beautiful, friendly people, but maybe it's better to wait for them to sort the financial mess they are currently in

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Weird, innit?

 

I guess everyone would like a place which they can truly call "home".

 

Spent two extended summers 1967 and 1968 in Germany. Loved it to bits.

 

Finished my UK schooling, came to Germany again to work 1970-71. Missed England like crazy. Then I came "home" - and started missing Germany like crazy.

 

Finally moved to Germany again in 2007. What now? Certain aspects of "home" I still miss - landscapes and spicy Indian food, the ability to use my native language in all situations with ease.

 

But otherwise? Not so much, really. I'm still an expat - a Brit in Germany. I doubt if I will ever become totally assimilated and I'm not sure that I want to be. Just want to be "me". Living in Germany doesn't prevent that - in certain respects this country encourages my indivuality and does not attempt to stifle it. (Caveat: if it tries, it can go fuck itself.) However, I felt far more stifled in England, to be honest.

 

The bottom line - "Home is where the heart is."

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Blimey, Keefy! I came to Germany for the first time in 1969 when I attended a German language course at Bonn University! Three weeks for the first time abroad on my own! Loved it..it was summer and it didn´t rain! Back to England and finished my A levels ( including German )...came back to Bonn in 1970 for a year..got a job in a factory but ended up in an office in the company because a young bloke my age in the company found out I was from Southend ( Essex )..and his girlfriend ( I think ) was from there and he put a word in for me..I hated the factory work and was bullied as the Engländer..

You´re still the expat? I am , too, but I would feel like that in England , too! Too much has happened in my life...I´m the willing expat everywhere...a moving soul..never quite anywhere...but " doch "!

 

The bottom line? ( Your bottom line ): yes, home is where the heart is..but my heart likes a bit of travelling... :)

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An 'Agony Aunt' in the papers said years ago about relationships...and living someplace..is having a relationship with it..."If you ask yourself, 'Is it over?', it certainly is."

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You´re still the expat? I am , too, but I would feel like that in England [----] yes, home is where the heart is..but my heart likes a bit of travelling...

 

Then I'd recommend some good bedtime reading - The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. There are a couple of strands to the tale - Aboriginal life in the Australian Outback (very funny at times) plus a dissertation with quotes and anecdotes on the theme of travel itself - maybe human beings, thinks Chatwin, have a race-memory of the time when all of us were nomads.

 

Caught the travel bug when young, encouraged by a father who had caught it himself - towards the end of WWII he was on his way to Japan on an aircraft carrier to support the invasion, but no sooner had he set out than the war ended. He returned to England with Brits, Aussies, Indians and Kiwis who'd been POWs of the Japanese on board. Gave him a chance to have a look at Egypt, India, Burma and Sri Lanka.

 

So he taught me map-reading, took me to heritage sites and National Parks as well as the seaside, bless 'im - encouraged me to go on YHA "Adventure Holidays" at a very early age (Belgium and the Luxembourg Ardennes when I was 16) and since then there's been no stopping me!

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Great dad you had, Keefy! I didn´t have that kind of background. It was my French teacher at school who encouraged me to come to Germany in 1969 for the summer course in Bonn. When I came back in 1970-71 I was in a bookshop in Bonn, saw a book with brilliant pics of South America in it, let out my tennage wow-style aaarrgggh and an old lady next to me in the shop said it was her book! She was English and had been in Latin America for 50 years and came back occasionally to market her books. Can´t remember her name but she was the one who got me excited about a part of the world i knew nothing about! So I thought " right, that´s it"!...

 

The bug has never left me...

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I,ve been here for 41 years now and when I go on holiday the nicest thing is the plane back here. I cannot even imagine living anywhere else. The health system and the pension scheme here are the best in the world.

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