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.
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