American Expat Living in Germany - Interview with Cherie

Published: 25 Jan at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Germany
Cherie and Dirk met online several years ago and started dating. This blog is the story of how they met, managed to date while living in two different countries, and eventually moved to Germany together. Cherie shares stories about all of their adventures leading up to and after the move from Michigan to Germany. Cherie's expat blog is called From Michigan to Germany (see listing here)

A day in Bruehl
A day in Bruehl

Here's the interview with Cherie...

Where are you originally from?
We are originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In which country and city are you living now?
We are currently living in Huerth, Germany.

How long have you lived in Germany and how long are you planning to stay?
We moved to Germany in August of 2017 and we are planning to stay here indefinitely.

The whole clan in Koln at the Cathedral
The whole clan in Koln at the Cathedral
Why did you move to Germany and what do you do?
We moved to Germany to be closer to Dirk's family, and to open a new tattoo shop in Bruehl, called Art of the Needle. Dirk works in the tattoo shop and I am a Haus Frau. Cheyenne has an internship at a local Vet practice.

Did you bring family with you?
Yes, my daughters, Sierra and Cheyenne came too.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
Learning the language is a ongoing struggle. But everything else has been wonderful.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I mainly socialize with my husband's family, and his friends. I really haven't met any other expats here. The ones that I have met are much younger than we are, so we do not really have much in common.

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
The city of Koln has endless amounts of things to see and do. From art museums, to nightlife, food and drink. You name it, Koln has it! There are many other cities close by as well, just a short train ride away.

What do you enjoy most about living in Germany?
I love the pace of life here. People work hard, but always take time for fun and time with friends.

How does the cost of living in Germany compare to home?
It is SO much better! We pay 1/3 of what we paid in the States for groceries. Healthcare is so much more affordable and accessible. In the States, we both needed to work just to get by, here we live comfortably on one income.

What negatives, if any, are there to living in Germany?
The only negative is the language barrier. But that is something that we are working to overcome.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Germany, what would it be?
"When in Rome do as the Romans do." Just enjoy the culture here, and stop comparing everything to your home country. Just be at home where you are.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Again, the language is tough to learn. You can feel very isolated when you are unable to communicate.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I am home. I have no intention of moving back to the States. I do hope to visit occasionally as I have family and lots of friends there. But, Germany is now my home!

What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Embrace the local culture. Do not compare it to your home country, just enjoy it for all that it is.
  2. Learn some of the local language before you make the move. This will help you feel less socially isolated.
  3. If you are feeling homesick, take time to meet with other Expats in your area. Sometimes you just need to hear your language of home.
  4. Make friends with local Expats, they can be a good resource for information about your new city.
  5. Take help when it is offered. You don't have to do everything on your own!
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My blog tells stories about how my husband and I met and decided to move to Germany. It also details our often humorous adventures along the way, From Michigan to Germany.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?

About the author

Expat Blog ListingCherie is an American expat living in Germany. Blog description: A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.
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