Expat Burnout

177 posts in this topic

I guess this is more of a vent post than a question.

 

I've been living in Germany for two and half years and will be moving back to the states in four and half months. I am beyond excited. My main problem is that I live in a small student city in Bavaria. It's beautiful no doubt but beauty only amazes for the first couple months and you get used to it after awhile. Coming from a large American Metro, the small city life has me bored out of my mind. I mainly stick to my apartment, which is quite nice, unless I'm traveling, because the city's entertainment options are for 20 year old students and lackluster in comparison. This was all fine for the first couple years as I traveled a TON to keep busy and utilized my experience to grow as a person.

 

Now I'm over it. I don't want to travel anymore as I am trying to save as much as possible for house and cash car purchase on my returnEverything I dislike about my German life here feels amplified right now. Even hearing my coworkers Frankish accents is driving me up the wall and I live inside my headphones at work. I am so burnt out with the inconvenience of life here in comparison to home. I got a Tif inspection ticket the other day and they gave me a paper to put in my windshield so that they don't give me another one as my inspection is a week away. Well, they gave me another ticket anyways. These little things are building up and I'm growing frustrated and depressed. The day I move home cannot come soon enough.

 

For those of you who are not in love with your expat assignment, what was / is your experience? How have you coped? One thing that is really helping for me is diving deep into cooking. Over the past few months, since I decided to travel less, I have began to increase my skillset in the kitchen and have spent much more time cooking. This has surely helped but I'm still struggling and counting down the days.

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You can see the end of the tunnel. Hang on in there. Time will fly. You are in one phase of a tried and tested classic course of culture shock already well documented on TT. Top right hand corner search function will give you plenty of reading.

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Thanks. At least you didn't look down your nose at me and just tell me I suck at being an expat like another expat forum did lmao. 

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That's ironic :)

 

You have your escape plan so doesn't that take some of the pressure and trapped feeling off?

 

I understand that the origin of your discomfort is of an expat/culture mismatch nature but now you need to employ endurance skills like you would need to finish the notice period of a job you hate, work your way out of a bad living situation or similar. I've always dealt with those by simply reminding myself that the end is in fully in sight. 

 

And for life in general, it's always good to take pleasure whenever and however you can to offset inevitable difficulties. It sounds trite but can things get much worse? No? Then you have nothing to lose by trying something new ;) As you say this experience has driven you to develop a love for cooking... maybe you can discover other passions you didn't know you had in the course of finishing out your time here.

 

Jedi mind tricks...work it

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23 hours ago, freshtodeath said:

For those of you who are not in love with your expat assignment, what was / is your experience? How have you coped?

 

I started asking myself questions like "what's the difference between an expat and an immigrant?"

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4 minutes ago, sos-the-rope said:

 

I started asking myself questions like "what's the difference between an expat and an immigrant?"

 

Much the same as people from the southern US view northerners, i.e., a yankee is someone from the north who comes for a visit. A damn yankee is one who comes and stays.

An expat is a foreigner who plans to leave. An immigrant is one who plans to stay.

 

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26 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

And for life in general, it's always good to take pleasure whenever and however you can to offset inevitable difficulties.

 

You only have a short time left, so maybe list the things you have really enjoyed here which you couldn't do back home, and concentrate on those, so you are positively milking the best out of this last stretch - is there a nice bakery you enjoy visiting? A specific nature route/place/park? 

 

If you are going to need to re-home a lot of stuff before you go, maybe you could research the best possible way to do that - it always takes longer than we think to do that carefully, with as little waste as possible, and to benefit others.

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You may get back home and find that you are changed anyway. It could be that after a while you want to be back here. Happened to me. After three years in the UK I came back. Sometimes people get sort of stuck between the two countries.

A friend of my daughter is half/third American and was desperate to go and spend a year there. She doesn't like it and can't wait to be back in Berlin. She may have problems here though. 

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I get you. Compared to my life in the London, Germany just seems boring and lifeless. That is, unless you are a 50 year old camp david wearing German. 


It is also much more complicated to live here, I found the UK so much more user friendly and easy in pretty much all aspects. 

 

I wish I also had an escape plan but I'm pretty stuck here. 

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1 minute ago, Adem137 said:

It is also much more complicated to live here, I found the UK so much more user friendly and easy in pretty much all aspects. 

 

You're lucky. I moved here because I could get an actual paying job for longer than a six-month contract... try living in the UK without a job... here you can actually get paid 60 odd percent of your wage while you look for work.

 

I suspect the OP must have some sweet health insurance lined up back home as well.

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20 minutes ago, sos-the-rope said:

 

You're lucky. I moved here because I could get an actual paying job for longer than a six-month contract... try living in the UK without a job... here you can actually get paid 60 odd percent of your wage while you look for work.

 

I suspect the OP must have some sweet health insurance lined up back home as well.

 

If you have no income, in the UK you still get "free" health insurance.

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6 minutes ago, Gambatte said:

If you have no income, in the UK you still get "free" health insurance.

 

Yeah, thank goodness! But the OP is apparently going back to the USA?

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In other news, "skillset" in the kitchen?  Jesus H.Martinez, why does everything a Millennial say make it sound like they're writing a resume?  Nothing personal against the OP, I've just been noticing it a lot lately.  Can't you just get better at cooking? Increasing (oh boy) your "skillset".  Yeesh.

 

Sorry, FTD, I couldn't help it.  You're leaving soon anyway, so just ignore me. ;) 

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On 10.12.2019, 10:06:39, freshtodeath said:

I've been living in Germany for two and half years and will be moving back to the states in four and half months. I am beyond excited.

I have a question: Is there somebody in the USA who's constantly nagging you that (s)he is suffering because you're so far away from him/her?

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2 hours ago, Gambatte said:

 

If you have no income, in the UK you still get "free" health insurance.

Only if you are a British citizen or have a National Insurance number - theoretically.

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3 hours ago, black1 said:

You may get back home and find that you are changed anyway. It could be that after a while you want to be back here. Happened to me. After three years in the UK I came back. Sometimes people get sort of stuck between the two countries.

A friend of my daughter is half/third American and was desperate to go and spend a year there. She doesn't like it and can't wait to be back in Berlin. She may have problems here though. 

 

yes.  I have accepted that my frustration would just be different if I returned to the US :/  Thankfully I love most aspects of living here so it's not so dire, but this feeling of not quite belonging in either place runs deep at times.

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1 hour ago, dessa_dangerous said:

In other news, "skillset" in the kitchen?  Jesus H.Martinez, why does everything a Millennial say make it sound like they're writing a resume?  Nothing personal against the OP, I've just been noticing it a lot lately.  Can't you just get better at cooking? Increasing (oh boy) your "skillset".  Yeesh.

 

Sorry, FTD, I couldn't help it.  You're leaving soon anyway, so just ignore me. ;) 

 

hahaha ok fair but it is a "skillset" isn't it? My college roommate used to rain on my parade when I said things like "I had a blast" at a party. He'd be like "why can't you just say you had a good time?" Oh, I'm sorry bro, I'll make my statements less colorful for you.

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1 hour ago, franklan said:

I have a question: Is there somebody in the USA who's constantly nagging you that (s)he is suffering because you're so far away from him/her?

Negative. My girlfriend is a German girl I met here.

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4 hours ago, lisa13 said:

That's ironic :)

 

You have your escape plan so doesn't that take some of the pressure and trapped feeling off?

 

I understand that the origin of your discomfort is of an expat/culture mismatch nature but now you need to employ endurance skills like you would need to finish the notice period of a job you hate, work your way out of a bad living situation or similar. I've always dealt with those by simply reminding myself that the end is in fully in sight. 

 

And for life in general, it's always good to take pleasure whenever and however you can to offset inevitable difficulties. It sounds trite but can things get much worse? No? Then you have nothing to lose by trying something new ;) As you say this experience has driven you to develop a love for cooking... maybe you can discover other passions you didn't know you had in the course of finishing out your time here.

 

Jedi mind tricks...work it

 

Yes, it actually does. Knowing I am going home and planning for the return is quite helpful. They pay me well and I have a very nice apartment and I do try to remind myself things could be much worse and I do have it quite good at the end of the day. I appreciate the advice!

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