June 2011 I finished my French and German degree at Manchester Uni, said my goodbyes to the North and formal education and traipsed back home to Hertfordshire. On June 28th 2011 I said yet more goodbyes and got on an EasyJet to Berlin. And I’ve been here ever since.
I originally came for an internship in online marketing, which I did for 9 months before realising that living off 400 Euros a month wasn’t really okay long term. So, I quit that and having decided that I wasn’t quite through with Berlin yet, I found myself a much better and actually paid job, using everything I had learnt in the online marketing internship.
I never planned on staying this long, in fact I wasn’t even sure at first if I would last the year. But a mixture of making some really great friends and never tiring of what the city has to offer means that four years on and I am still here.
Since living in Berlin I have:
– Lived in 3 WGs (flatshares) and subsequently moved into my first appartment on my own.
– Become a keen cyclist: there is simply no other way to get around this city as well as you can by bike. 70km/week commute by bike in the summer means less need to do the 30 day shred obsessively.
– Improved my German. Admittedly when I came to Berlin I already had a degree in German and had lived for a few months in Vienna so I was well on my way but it’s definitely got better since I’ve been here. That’s not to say that I don’t have days still where I just can’t speak any German, sometimes English still wins.
– Experienced the Germans’ love of nudity. And I am almost, ALMOST ok with it, not that you will find me frequenting the FKK beach any time soon.
– Become an auntie! I was technically already a step-step aunt and now I have 3 niece/nephews back in England which means I am back there every couple of months to visit.
-Worked for a really great company. Hello free organic breakfast every morning and hello flexitime.
– Adopted the German adoration of brunch. Germans take breakfast seriously at the best of times, but when it comes to a weekend brunch, this is where they do it best.
-Become obsessed with taking photos for my 365 project. Berlin is seriously photogenic at times, I am currently on day 914.
-Learnt how to argue in German. I always knew I was good at arguing in English, but having a dispute about customer service/yelling at cars and other cyclists in German is a whole new level of enjoyment.
-Discovered that Germany has AMAZING countryside. You would never think of going on a beach holiday in Germany but the baltic sea is so pretty and clear. Also…LAKES.
-I learnt that on the whole German men are shy when it comes to talking to girls, but when you encounter the odd one in a club who thinks a bit too much of himself, it’s absolutely fine to slap him. Twice.
– I learnt later that night that this tactic backfires when you encounter him again on the tram journey home. Advice here: run.
– Made the most of being situated slap bang in the middle of Europe and visited Prague, Warsaw and various German cities.
– Realised after 4 years that I will probably never come to terms with the fact that shops don’t open here on a Sunday. It’s just so impractical if you work full time.
– Discovered SO many great places to eat in Berlin and some authentic thai food.
– Visted an abandoned theme park. Post about Spreepark will be coming soon.
– Started this blog and another exciting project which will be revealed soon!