Who are you?
I am Yamini, an expat living in Franconia, Germany with my boyfriend and our cat. I was born in India, however, I have lived most of my adulthood in the UK, Thailand and Germany.During the day, I am a marketing freelancer, and by the night I am an expat blogger, writing about my life in Germany.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I moved to the UK for my studies in 2005 as a (very) young adult! Then moved back to India. I had a hard time readjusting to India, so I moved to Germany to learn German. Then remotely worked and lived for nearly a year in Thailand, then came back to Germany. Now I live and work in Bavaria as a marketing freelancer.
What challenges did you face during the move?
I didn’t find moving to the UK challenging. I was in university, and finding friends was very easy. However, Germany has been quite challenging as you have to master the language first. It is also difficult to make new friends as the culture here is a bit different to that of the UK, Thailand and India. If you are an expat who is full-time employed or self-employed, you may have trouble finding new friends.
Are there many other expats in your area?
Yes, I live in Franconia and very close to Erlangen and Nuenberg. Both of these cities are brimming with expats from all over the world.
What do you like about life where you are?
It is very peaceful. I live in a small Franconian town, but still enjoy proximity to big cities. Good public transport, nice weather, friendly population. As a small business owner, I have several business opportunities. Germany is also extremely safe for women so I love that I can easily travel around without stressing about my personal safety.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
It can take a long time for foreigners to make friends with the natives. So most of us have to rely on fellow expats for social support and build our own community (which is a positive btw!). German bureaucracy also sometimes makes rather simple processes too tedious and time consuming.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
My home is Germany as I’ve been living here for several years and I feel at home here. India is now just a country where I was born 🙂
But as far as cultural differences go between Germany and India – I think women enjoy a much better standard of living in Germany (and Westen Europe in general). There is a huge contrast between a day in the life of an Indian woman and that of a German woman. Since I don’t want to exceed the word limit here, I would simply wrap by saying that Germany offers a great ecosystem and opportunities for women to truly reach their potential as humans and as professionals.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
Yeah, so German food can seem very simple to someone who grew up with Indian cuisine. I don’t really care so much about German food. But it is easy to find almost any kind of cuisine in big German cities.
There are other things to love. I live in the center of beer heaven in Germany. It is fun to go out to beer cities of Franconia to try freshly brewed beers.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Do it! Living abroad is a great learning experience. It can be truly humbling. You broaden your horizons and become a well-rounded person.
What are your plans for the future?
Continue working hard on my business. Achieve a better work-life balance. Make time for family and friends. Enjoy what life has to offer, not just in Germany but also everywhere else.
You can keep up to date with Yamini's adventures on her blog, Mademoiselle In DE.
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