Friday, January 06, 2006

across the pond and beyond

Although my tiny life has been humming along at the same pace for some time now with only the occasional sputter, there are big changes afoot in the world of expat bloggers in Germany and elsewhere.

Richard arrived in Germany from New York shortly before Christmas; James just last weekend from San Francisco. Michelle is either on her way to or may already be here in Europe as I write this. And it's only 56 days until Mama Jens and her family leave German soil and returns to the US.

J, who has lived in Germany for some time now, hopes to make the move to Bonn in a few months, and Jen, way over on the other side of the world, is hoping to become a permanent resident of Canada before the year is out.

All this change and movement makes me wonder what it would have been like to have had a support system of fellow expats when I moved here 15 years ago. Would it have made me a different person? I don't know. I also wonder what's in store for us as a family in the next few years. Will we ever be able to realize our dream of moving or is this all there is?

Just some things I'm pondering today.


At January 06, 2006 3:04 p.m., Blogger James said...

Christina, I find it strangely reassuring to know that others from English-speaking countries are now in Germany and have made the transition. I am adjusting fairly quickly--at least getting used to being in Germany. I start my German classes on Monday so we´ll see how it goes. Do you want to move back? Are you not happy in Germany? Have a nice weekend. More later...

At January 06, 2006 5:04 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Hi James! Yes, it is nice to know there are others out there in the same situation.

I've been here for 15 years, and that's quite enough for me. We'd all like to move and try something different but it's not that easy at this stage in our lives.

I'm sure you'll adjust really quickly and enjoy living here.

At January 06, 2006 5:48 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Hey Christina, thanks for the mention. I'd have to say at least for finding a few friends to meet up with, having the internet has helped me a lot. I can't speak for a long time ago because I've been all around since 2002 and without that, I don't think I would have moved away.

Maybe it has changed me in a good way, but only so that I am bold and go after my dreams even more. If the internet wasn't there, I'm not 100% sure I would have done what I did. (move to Switzerland and then to Canada)

At January 06, 2006 8:32 p.m., Blogger Cathy said...

Are you thinking about moving back to Canada?

At January 06, 2006 10:03 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Expat - yes, I think reading about what other people have done or are planning to do does make you more courageous. We didn't even have a computer until 1998, if you can believe it, and I wish I'd known way back when a lot of the things I've learned on the internet. Would have been VERY helpful in making important decisions.

Cathy - it's been our dream for some time now to move. After 15 years this place just isn't doing it for us any more and we're especially concerned about the children's education - you've probably heard that the German school system is very mediocre (see the PISA study for details). But being able to move any time soon is really a question of finances for us. Money isn't everything, of course, but it sure helps, especially if you want to move to Vancouver. :-)

At January 06, 2006 11:16 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Wow, that's a lot going on in the expat world here.

At January 07, 2006 11:49 p.m., Blogger Dixie said...

I don't know if hooking up with the expat community would have been helpful to me when I first moved here. I was already slightly resistent to change and I can't decide if it would have helped me see that change isn't so bad or it would have made me dig in my heels more.

I miss living in the US and I would like to go back except for two things - I will never live in a country governed by George W. Bush and I can't go back to the US with my husband because we could never get health insurance for him. Health insurance in the US is expensive enough without adding a quadriplegic to the mix.

I'm here for the long haul, like it or not.

At January 08, 2006 12:12 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Dixie - well, yeah, those are two pretty huge reasons for you to stay and I can totally understand that.

I think I would have liked to have seen how others were coping, what problems they had, what they liked or didn't like so I could have compared it with my own experience. It was a lonely road the first 8 years!

At January 08, 2006 6:52 a.m., Blogger Berlinbound said...

Christina ... I discovered blogging during the period leading up to the move, found it in fact through my search for information about life here. You were probably the first, and most helpful person I encountered and for that I am very grateful. It is difficult for me to imagine coping with all the changes that the move has brought about without these expat connections via the web ... it has made a tremendous difference as have you.

At January 08, 2006 5:30 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Well thank you for your kind words, Richard! I always hope that passing on my experience to others might make it just that little bit easier for them to adjust, or to not adjust, as the case may be. :-)


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