Interviewing US Expat Hanley - From America to Germany

Published: 3 Apr at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Germany
Hanley is an American expat living in the great, green, gorgeous land of Germany as an au pair. Although her week day activities include being a referee and taxi driver to little kids, the weekends are all about travel and fun! Follow along as she takes the plunge into the great German unknown... Hanley's expat blog is called Pink Parliament (see listing here)

Meet Hanley - US expat living in Germany
Meet Hanley - US expat living in Germany

Here's the interview with Hanley...


Where are you originally from?
Chicago, USA.

In which country and city are you living now?
I am currently residing in Germany, in an itty bitty town just North of Munich.

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I have been here 4 months, I plan to stay 8-12 in total.

Why did you move and what do you do?
I came to Germany to be an au pair, and I absolutely love this place!

Did you bring family with you?
Nope. I did the big jump over the great blue sea all alone!

My two best friends here, Taylor and Helena on a day trip to Regensburg
My two best friends here, Taylor and Helena on a day trip to Regensburg
How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
I can't say that it has been easy, but it wasn't terribly hard either. Manual cars, sorting garbage and the no rule about staring aren't my favorites, but I am adjusting. lol
Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?

Most of my friends are other expats. I used couch surf to meet a few locals. I am friends with two other au pairs here in town. Through other expats, however; you meet locals. I have a good base of locals... or expats turned locals in Munich. Be friendly.. make friends.

The great, green land of Germany.
The great, green land of Germany.
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
I would recommend Bavaria in general to any expat looking into Germany. I can not speak for the Berlin area.. but I have yet to find a single place in Bavaria that isn't absolutely beautiful. Neuschweinstein Castle, Trausnitz Castle and the New Town Hall in Munich are among my favorites.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
The beauty and the company. The old stereo type that Germans are bitter is crap.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
It depends what we're talking. The cost of living is MUCH more expensive, especially if you do the currency conversion. Food and grocery's tend to be cheaper, as well as hygeine products. Make up, clothes, and pretty much anything you have but don't need to survive in cave man days, is much more expensive.

Trausnitz Castle located in Landshut, Germany. This was my first trip as an expat living in Germany, I was completely stunned! Plus, I managed this great picture :)
Trausnitz Castle located in Landshut, Germany. This was my first trip as an expat living in Germany, I was completely stunned! Plus, I managed this great picture :)
What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
Leaving my family and friends back home and little to no sun in winter. I am sooo ready for spring!

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
STICK IT OUT. The first month was rough, because I didn't know anyone and was adjusting. But after I made friends, I love this and love them!

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Having to be outside your comfort zone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think its going to be the best thing ever! I love Germany, but I also can't wait to get back to the US!

This is the view, every morning from my host families house. Incredible.
This is the view, every morning from my host families house. Incredible.
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Do your research. Getting to another country and finding out you don't like it is costly and unfortunate.
  2. Stick it out. This applies with everything. The people, traditions, and even sorting garbage. You get used to it.
  3. Once you are earning euros, stop thinking about the conversion rate. It can get sickening in some instances. But if you are earning euros, you're spending them too. Only convert if having to use dollars.
  4. Create a blog... my blog has been the best tool in meeting fellow expats.
  5. Breathe. If you give it a chance, this place will really WOW you!


Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I created my blog as a way for my friends and family to keep up with my journey. It was a way to tell them all one story with out having to repeat it a million times. However, it has been absolutely key to meeting new people. Other than my two best friends here, pretty much everyone else I met has came from that little contact me tab. :)

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Via my blog and the contact me tab!

Hanley blogs at http://pinkparliament.wordpress.com which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Pink Parliament has an ExpatsBlog.com listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Hanley, please also drop her a quick comment below.

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