American Expat in Kaiserslautern, Germany - Interviewing Melissa
|Published:||26 Oct at 4 PM|
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Here's the interview with Melissa...
Where are you originally from?
I am originally from Colorado. I grew up in Colorado Springs, went to college in Fort Collins, briefly lived as a ski bum in Breckenridge, and then spent my most recent time in Denver. Colorado is amazing and I’ll most likely end up back there someday. If you haven’t been, go immediately!
In which country and city are you living now?
Now, I am living in Kaiserslautern, Germany.
How long have you lived in Germany and how long are you planning to stay?
I have been living here for 4 months now. I have no immediate plans of leaving, but you never know where life takes you and I’m always up for an adventure. I can say, though, I positively love Germany.
Why did you move to Germany and what do you do?
I moved with my partner in crime. I currently take online classes, read books (taking recommendations), write a ton, take German lessons, and travel as much as possible!
Did you bring family with you?
Just 3 suitcases and myself!
It was nice because I came with someone and it’s always easier to go through changes when someone is going through the same things with you. Plus, the town we live in is pretty Americanized and many people here speak English. Besides that, the transition has been pretty easy.
Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
It’s difficult to make friends especially since I’m not working. It’s really about finding different clubs and groups with like interests that you can get involved with. It’s also nice that there is a huge ex-pat online community. I get tips and tricks and ideas from many ex-pats online.
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Our town is great! Right in the middle of the Palatinate Forest, there is a ton of hiking and biking to do. We’re in wine country, so you can do a lot of wine tastings in nearby villages. If you’re into castles- there are many in the area. Saarbrucken, Trier, Luxembourg, Metz, Frankfurt, Rhine Cruising, Stuttgart, and Manheim are all within an hour or two of us making for great day trips!
I love the culture here. It’s very relaxed and accepting. Plus you can find great beer and wine and food everywhere! I also love the proximity to so many other places I’ve always dreamed of visiting.
How does the cost of living in Germany compare to the US?
Europe in general is quite a bit more expensive than back home. But some things are a lot cheaper. Food and drinks and grocery store items, for example. Not to mention they have kick ass farmers markets here!
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Germany?
I have yet to find good Mexican food. I knew I would miss it when I came here considering tacos, hands down, are my favorite food. I heard a Chipotle was recently opened in Frankfurt so a road trip may be happening very soon!
If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Learn the language before you come! I’m lucky that I’m in a very Americanized city, so most all Germans here speak English. But I wish I had learned the language before moving here. It instantly makes you feel comfortable and you gain more respect amongst Germans.
Being away from friends and family. I’m having a fantastic time here, but it’s hard not to be able to experience these amazing things with them not to mention just having them in my daily life. Thank goodness for technology.
When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think it will be strange buying beer in 12oz bottles instead of half liters. Ha. I think it will be great to eventually go home. Like I said before, I’m always up for an adventure and if life brings me back to the states I’ll be ready to adapt to that change.
What is something that surprised you when you moved?
I had the impression, or stereotype, I suppose that German people were rude, dismissive and unfriendly. While I still get my fair share of the German scowl, people here are overwhelmingly friendly and helpful and make me feel really comfortable as an American in their country
- Learn the Language!
- Take pictures, keep a blog, keep a journal, document all your adventures!
- Stop converting (if from USA). Learn what Euros, kilometers, and Celsius mean to you
- Find Opportunities to get involved in your new city
- Don’t overpack. Only bring essentials.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I started the blog when I first found out I was moving abroad. From there it goes into the ups and down of moving and telling my friends and family. More recently it’s about the traveling I’ve done around Europe and specifically living in Kaiserslautern. It includes places that are right in this town and easy day trips nearby! As the fall comes and my travels slow down it will become more of a lifestyle blog. Cooking, crafting, and how-tos, all while living in Kaiserslautern.
How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Through my blog is best! Twitter works as well.
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Comments » There are 2 comments
Hey Melissa, just got through reading your interview about living in K Town in Germany and also looking at your Pic's from the Rocky Mountain High ! I am an American living here in Germany near Luebeck on the Baltic Sea north of Hamburg with my German wife. I lived in Colorado Springs for two years in the 80's and loved it! Been back 3 times since on vacation to Denver and saw concert at red Rocks and stayed in Vail and Breckenridge, along with Germany, I absolutely love Colorado and my wife loves it too!! Contact us and we could share experiences about Germany and Colorado and Info too!! We would love to hear back from you,ok !! Tschuess!
Hi Melissa, just moved to Kaiserslautern (down town area) two weeks ago. Where are you taking your German lessons? Also, my car is being shipped, but it hasn't arrived yet. Do you have any tips on riding the bus and train?