JOIN OUR FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups
READ OUR GUIDE TO MOVING ABROAD
The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free
COMPARE QUOTES AND SAVE MONEY
Insurance, FX and international movers
LISTEN TO THE EXPAT FOCUS PODCAST
The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!
EXPERT FINANCIAL ADVICE & SERVICES
From our tax, investment and FX partners
Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.
Germany > Expat Experiences

Germany

Cherie, Huerth

Published Monday June 25, 2018 (09:15:41)

 

Who are you?

Hallo! I am Cherie, an American by birth, who is now living in Germany. Before moving to Germany, I worked as a Registered Nurse for 17 years.

Now, I am a Hausfrau, who spends her time writing about our adventures from Michigan to Germany.


Where, when and why did you move abroad?

I moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Huerth, Germany (a village just outside of Koeln, Germany) in August of 2017. I met my German husband online and after living together for a few years in the USA, we decided to move to Germany to be closer to his family and start a new tattoo shop.


What challenges did you face during the move?

Finding housing was our first barrier. It was tough to find an apartment large enough for the four of us. Luckily, since my husband is from this area we were able to find a suitable location. But, the biggest challenge has been the language. My daughters and I knew just a small amount of German when we arrived. Not knowing German has been the biggest barrier for us as far as integrating.


Are there many other expats in your area?
There are several, from all over the world. However, I have been reluctant to go to too many meet-ups as I am trying very hard to learn the language so I can integrate into my community here. I am afraid that if I spend too much time with English speakers, I may not advance my German learning as fast as I would like to.


What do you like about life where you are?

I love the pace of life here. People work hard, but they play hard as well. They seem to always make time for friends and family. The Biergartens are always full!


What do you dislike about your expat life?

Sometimes being the outsider is hard, and I feel isolated at times. (Because I do not speak much German, yet.)


What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?

The German people are much more direct when they speak. In America, people tend to talk around a subject, afraid to say what they really feel. Germans just say what is on their mind. It is really very refreshing, you always know where you stand with people here.


What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?

The food and drink is AMAZING here. It's all very fresh and delicious, there are very few fast food places, unlike America. My favorites are the breads and desserts. Bienenstich is a dessert that I recommend to anyone visiting Germany.


What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?

Learn the language before you move if possible. It will make everything so much easier.


What are your plans for the future?

We plan to stay in Germany indefinitely. However, we are thinking about possibly opening another tattoo shop in Scotland at some point. It would be nice to live part of the year here in Germany, and spend the other half in Scotland. The future is really wide open for us at this point.


You can keep up to date with Cherie's adventures on her blog, That Blog Where Cherie Moves To Germany.


Would you like to share your experience of life abroad with other readers? Answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!


Read more Germany expat experiences or view our latest Germany articles

Discuss this article in our Germany forum or Facebook group

 


Expat Health Insurance Partners


Cigna Global

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.