My time dwelling overseas in Germany is slowly coming to an finish. 11 1/2 years is a protracted, very long time to fall in love with my expat homeland and have become totally built-in into the tradition. There are various issues I’ve each struggled to adapt to throughout my time right here and have fallen head over heels in love with. Forsaking each is a bit bittersweet and because the time involves an finish, it’s making me a bit extra emotional. Right here is my listing of favourite issues I’ll miss about Germany!
My days in Germany as an expat at the moment are numbered and the ultimate countdown is on and since my time right here is coming to an finish, I’ve been very sentimental about leaving and reminiscing in regards to the superb 11 1/2 years I’ve spent right here. It was by no means supposed for me to remain so lengthy, however as they are saying, life occurs. And through that point, I’ve been very blessed to discover many corners not simply of Germany however of Europe.
There are various many features of life in Germany that I’ll definitely miss, from ChristmasMarkets to autumn foliage to schnitzel and well being care. However whereas I’ll miss a lot of these items, I do know it’s not goodbye eternally, however extra like see you once more quickly. With a German husband, I’m positive we are going to return as typically as attainable.
That is my love letter to Germany and every thing I’ll miss about it as a I say Auf Wiedersehen to my expatlife and return dwelling to the US with open arms, a constructive outlook, pleasure and a little bit of trepidation.
Each August/September I anxiously anticipate the discharge of Federweißer, a younger wine that’s nonetheless a bit fizzy and candy. It’s this time of 12 months that grocery shops all through Germany launch bottles of purple or white Federweißer which is at all times completely paired with an Onion Tart (Zwiebelkuchen). It’s the primary signal that Autumn is approaching and it will get me excited for the upcoming vacation seasons. It’s one of many greatest issues to eat in Germany so look out for it!
Vibrant and Fiery Autumns
Coming from Southern California and transferring to Montana, I used to be launched to 4 seasons and the colourful colours autumn has to supply, however I didn’t know the true fantastic thing about it till I used to be fully immersed in it in Germany. It’s right here in Germany that I discovered my autumn soul. From the autumn colours palette of my garments, to my obsession with all-things pumpkin flavored, to the crisp cool mornings that nip at my nostril and the nice and cozy sunny afternoons that make me remorse placing on that fall sweater. I wait ALLLLL 12 months for autumn in Germany, the brief 4-6 weeks of vibrant autumn foliage that illuminates virtually each inch of Germany!
Ludwigsburg’s Pumpkin Pageant – The World’s Largest Pumpkin Pageant
Königssee Almabtrieb – Bringing the Cows Dwelling from the Alps
Magical Christmas Markets
I’ve at all times been a Christmas woman and beloved adorning for the vacations, however my time in Germany has spoiled me rotten with limitless magical Christmas Markets! I’ll miss discovering new cities, villages and cities to discover their Christmas Markets, searching for magic in each cup of Glühwein and each Christmas stall. I really like freezing my tooshie off, all bundled up in my cutie Christmas outfit, strolling up and down the rows of stalls, searching for the right little Christmas reward or memento. It’s the time of 12 months I encourage my family and friends to come back to Germany probably the most (after autumn).
I’ll particularly miss having fun with including to my assortment of Glühwein cups, warming up with a scrumptious Nutella Crepe or snacking on some Quarkbällchen and freshly roasted Chestnuts or sugar-coated almonds.
I cannot nevertheless miss the concern of strolling within the presence of a Krampus. Whereas I used to be excited to see them the primary time, they had been terrifying sufficient for me to remain out of attain of this explicit Christmas custom. No quantity of concern can undo a 12 months’s value of naughtiness earlier than the fats man brings Christmas presents! I’m hopeless!
White Asparagus Season aka “Germany’s fifth Season”
Earlier than transferring to Germany I had no concept there was such a factor as white asparagus. Inexperienced asparagus, sure. White? No. And Germans LOVE LOVE LOVE their white asparagus a lot, it’s typically joked as Germany’s fifth season. They adore it a lot, that they even crown an Asparagus Queen yearly, celebrating this eatable white gold! It’s at all times paired completely with cooked potatoes and slices of ham, drizzled in scrumptious hollandaise sauce. Yow will discover it in each restaurant and each German dwelling. And Asparagus huts pop up on each different nook promoting the regionally grown deliciousness!
Good German Beer
Germany won’t have a HUGE selection in beer sorts, however they do have a HUGE number of brewers, who concentrate on producing most of the similar beers in their very own distinctive kinds, resembling Weizen, Helles, Pils, Radler, Bockbiers, Dunkles, Zwickl, Kölsch, Schwarzbier and so many others. You may at all times depend on the truth that German beer is nice, until it’s one of many cheaper beers.
Each time we’ve guests, we take them to certainly one of our favourite breweries in Bavaria, the Kuchlbauer Weissbier Brauerei in Abensberg, in addition to the Weltenburg Abbey which is the oldest monastic brewery on this planet and residential to a number of the greatest beer ever!
Lengthy Bike Rides alongside the Danube
Earlier than transferring to Germany, I didn’t bike. After a horrible childhood bike accident, I prevented biking just like the plague. However after 3 months dwelling in Germany, I invested in my stunning blue bike cruiser I named Gretl. She took me far and vast and to each nook of Regensburg and past. I went from not biking to biking as much as 15 miles for particular bike excursions. I got here to actually get pleasure from biking and the wind blowing by way of my hair.
I’ll miss the right summer season days, biking alongside the Danube to any random Biergarten we stumbled on. There was nothing higher to chill down with than ingesting a basic Radler.
Germany’s Quaint and Charming Half-timbered Cities
Little did I do know, that once I visited my first half-timbered city, Monschau, alongside the Belgian/German border, that I’d eternally be modified. It rapidly turned certainly one of my signature niches within the running a blog world, looking for the cutest half-timbered cities in Germany (and Europe)! Apart from discovering these cities UTTERLY PICTURESQUE, I additionally felt they gave a transparent glimpse into Germany’s historic previous and quirky little particulars of superstitions. Better of all, in addition to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, half-timbered cities in Germany lack mass quantities of vacationers they usually all make you are feeling such as you’ve stepped by in time right into a fairy e-book city.
Good Summer time Evenings on the Biergarten
Biergarten season is likely one of the greatest seasons in Germany and such an iconic a part of life in Germany. Biking to 1, as beforehand talked about is likely one of the best joys of dwelling right here. However the very best a part of chilling at a Biergarten are the nights when the dialog is so good, within the presence of nice firm and the temperature is good that you just speak late into the night time, having fun with an ideal view!
Among the greatest German meals will also be discovered at a Biergarten, from native delicacies resembling Obatzda in Bavaria to your extra basic meals like Schnitzel and Bratwurst.
A Plethora of Swans All 12 months-Spherical
It’s swanderful on a regular basis! Regardless of the time of 12 months, you could find pairs of swans gliding gracefully throughout lakes or down rivers. They make for stunning surroundings and I’ve a selected little pond I’ll miss driving by the place I can at all times depend on a pair of swans. Within the winter, it simply makes driving the backroads that rather more magical, when every thing is simply lined in snow and mist.
Gorgeous Libraries Belle Would Die For!
Europe was as soon as thought-about the cradle of data and that may definitely be seen in any of the spectacular and jaw-dropping libraries in Europe! Superbly sure leather-based books on each matter conceivable from theology, astronomy, faith, historical past and extra, superbly displayed on rows and rows of bookshelves. Gorgeous sculptures and paintings adorn the bookcases and go away you wanting to go to each single library attainable and Belle could be jealous of any certainly one of these libraries. As a e-book nerd myself, my husband virtually has to tug me away from the libraries we’ve visited.
Sundays are quiet days of rest, made for spending time with household and catching up, sometimes for espresso and cake or going to dinner. Shops and lots of companies are closed on Sundays, giving everybody in Germany a day of relaxation, until you’re employed in a restaurant or cafe. Many households select to make amends for Sundays as a result of it’s the at some point everyone seems to be free to fulfill.
In the event you don’t end up catching up with household, then often, you could find Germans spending some high quality time outdoor, absorbing the well being advantages of train, be it an off-the-cuff stroll, Nordic strolling, climbing, biking, water sports activities and so on.
Sundays are a day for recuperating after a protracted week and resetting your thoughts to prep you for the subsequent week. It’s the quietest day of the week and that helps sooth the soul. You’ll by no means hear somebody gardening, doing any type of building or loud events. Sundays are sacred in Germany, and so is the silence!
Coming from the US, quiet Sundays had been exhausting to regulate to, particularly whenever you wanted groceries or another merchandise of significance. It grated in opposition to me for the longest time that issues had been closed on Sundays, however over time, I’ve come to understand relying on Sundays, figuring out that it could be a day of a lot wanted relaxation to lounge on the couch, snuggle up with a great e-book, go for lengthy walks with our pupster or a little bit of biking.
The Chime of Church Bells within the Distance
The sound of church bells ringing off within the distance was not one thing I grew up with. One of many first issues I did once I moved to Regensburg, was sit at a restaurant immediately in entrance of our large cathedral, get pleasure from a sizzling cup of Cafe Latte mit Bailey’s and admire the view, listening to the chime of the bells. Greater than something, THAT made me formally really feel like I had made my dream come true to dwell in Germany. We simply don’t have many large cathedrals within the US, and none that I knew of inside driving distance of my hometown.
And day by day since, every time I stroll by, I ALWAYS take the time to cease to hearken to the chime of the bells, or admire the cathedral. And irrespective of the place I’m in Germany, someplace close by there may be at all times a church bell ringing within the distance at any hour of the day. I like to get up to the smooth sound of the bells off within the distance or know that once I go to sleep at night time with the home windows open, it’ll be the very last thing I hear, in addition to the sound of crickets and the rustle of leaves.
The Lovable Custom of Easter Fountains
Yearly, the 40 days main as much as Easter, many cities scattered throughout Bavaria adorn their city fountains with colorfully painted easter eggs, referred to as Easter Fountains (Osterbrunnen). It’s an odd custom, a unusual custom, however a good looking one and also you by no means know whenever you may come upon a city that has adorned their fountains. It’s one thing easy, however one of many cutest issues I’ll miss about dwelling in Germany!
The most effective factor about Germany is which you could at all times discover an ideal bakery close by, providing up a number of the greatest styles of bread and pastries. Relying on the place you might be, there are native favorites. Ours is at all times both a Schifferl or a Wünsche. Relying on the time of 12 months, you could find nice seasonal treats. Within the Autumn, you could find Kürbisbrot (Pumpkin Bread) to take dwelling to get pleasure from with some pumpkin soup. You’ll discover different scrumptious breads resembling Bauernbrot, Zwiebelbrot and so many different scrumptious choices.
In January-February you could find jelly crammed donut-like Krapfen. These come out proper earlier than the Carnival (Fasching) festivities. The purpose of Krapfen is to fatten up earlier than the 40 days earlier than Lent. In fact, you’ll at all times discover basic pastries resembling Chocolate Croissants, Plain Croissants, Nussschneke, Apfeltaschen, Kirchtaschen, Mohnenschneke and extra!
Lengthy Walks By means of Nature to Reset the Soul
Between all of Germany’s cities is limitless quantities of nature, particularly forests. Only a 5 minute drive in any course of Regensburg and we are able to discover ourselves in stunning forestry. And since we received our pupster, we’re at all times looking out for brand new locations to go for walks. Even when we don’t have the time to drive additional away for a stroll, simply past our neighborhood is farmland brushing up subsequent to forestry. If we it’s not a forestry place we’re both strolling or operating by way of, we’re strolling or biking alongside the any of the rivers that encompass Regensburg. There’s something really enjoyable about leaving your cellphone behind, immersing your self in nature and abandoning the sounds and muddle of a bustling metropolis to set you proper earlier than you begin one other week.
Bierfests and Wine Festivals
All through the summer season months, between Might and October, you could find any variety of beer festivals all through Germany, particularly southern Germany. Beer festivals are one more a type of iconic cultural occasions that happen that may be discovered going down from small villages just like the Gillamos in Abensberg, to MaiDult or Herbstdult in Regensburg, to large beer festivals like Oktoberfest. It’s an ideal purpose to go along with mates or coworkers, dress up in conventional Dirndls and Lederhosen and sing alongside to Ein Prosit der Gemütlichkeit, bumping our Maß krugs and simply having a jolly good time.
And if you happen to simply so occur to be within the wine rising areas of Germany, these beer festivals are changed with any variety of wine festivals. Not fairly as rambunctious as an evening out at a bierfest, wine festivals supply the very best of the area’s native wine. Würzburg is my favourite city for limitless wine festivals in Germany which can be mixed with nice views.
Wine Tasting in Germany
I’ve been a very long time wine drinker, however solely within the final 5 or so years, I’ve develop into a bit extra obsessive about studying in regards to the wine course of and transitioning from ingesting wine for enjoyable to having fun with wine tasting and visiting historic wine areas in Europe. Wine areas with charming cities surrounded by vineyards for days is what I dwell for. Nothing is extra pleasing to me than having fun with a glass of native wine and admiring some breathtaking views. As quickly as we head away from the Oberpfalz, we discover the panorama altering from hops fields to vineyards.
Driving Tremendous Schnell on the Autobahn
There’s something actually and really cathartic about placing the petal to the steel when driving on the autobahn, on a protracted stretch of freeway that’s void of any Stau. The fun of driving 160kmh + (100mph) is exhilarating. And all of it works completely when everybody else on the autobahn additionally is aware of the foundations. No passing on the suitable, solely on the left. You recover from rapidly, particularly if you happen to see somebody driving quicker than you approaching from behind. Transfer it or free it! And with the suitable automotive, you barely even really feel the velocity and it’s tremendous straightforward to simply concentrate on the street with some good tunes! And as somebody who LOOOOVES to sing throughout street journeys, I get all of the street remedy I would like!
The Proven fact that Germany is Surrounded by 9 Nations
Makes for the very best excuse to go on a street journey! From the place we dwell, Prague and Salzburg are 2 hours away, Vienna is 5 hours in case we’re in want of scrumptious espresso and cake, Lucerne was 5 hours, the Alsace wine area is 5 hours, Belgium is 8 hours ought to we ever need Belgian waffles, Amsterdam 9 and the farthest, could be Copenhagen or Gdansk at 10 hours after we’re craving pierogi. We drove all over the place. We love with the ability to hope within the automotive, make a street journey and stopping at a number of spots alongside the route.
Inside just a few hours we had been at all times in a distinct nation, with a distinct tradition and delicacies. Being so simply immersed into one other tradition was among the best issues about dwelling overseas. You study a lot about world delicacies and get to know totally different folks.
Native Bavarian Delicacies
Originally, many Bavarian Delicacies had been clearly international to me, made me wince on the considered attempting them. Earlier than I met my husband, I hated attempting new meals and was at all times hesitant, afraid I’d hate it proper off the bat. However what’s an journey with out attempting numerous new meals?
Through the years in Bavaria, I’ve come to like Weißwurst, Lekerkäse, Obatzda, a wide range of sausages and salamis excellent in your conventional Brotzeit platter. In fact, I’ll miss our native Candy Mustard made proper right here in Regensburg known as Süßer Senf!
The Nice Healthcare System
Throughout my 11 1/2 years in Germany, I’ve discovered myself extra occasions than I care to depend both in hospital or within the ER. And for all of it, I paid thus far 100€ for a complete of 10 days in hospital. It was a type of cultural shocks throughout my time right here when all I needed to pay for after my surgical procedure was solely 10€ per night time for my hospital mattress. All the pieces else was lined by my medical health insurance, and that’s WITHOUT a copay. I by no means needed to fear if I’d have the ability to pay my hire OR pay to have a obligatory surgical procedure.
I’ll miss the convenience with which I don’t really feel the necessity to go to work once I’m sick. If I’m sick, I’m sick and with a physician’s observe, I’m out till I’m properly sufficient to return to work, with out stress or harassment from my employer, nor am I shamed for taking day without work, longer than deliberate after my surgical procedure. And I nonetheless get my full paycheck.
Limitless Fairytale Castles Perched Right here & There
It doesn’t matter the place you might be in Germany, irrespective of which course you look in, there’s a fort perched someplace on a hill or snuggled up into the mountains, overlooking a cute and charming city. You may at all times depend on a fort or fortress or perhaps a monastery to be inside a 5km radius. It’s like continually driving by way of a fairy story portray or story e-book. All that’s lacking are the knights in shining armor on a white horse and streets lined in gold.
However you need to perceive the distinction why some are known as ‘Schloss’ and others are known as ‘Burg’. ‘Burgs’ are extra like fortresses, constructed to guard and defend, with little or no glamor and generally is a bit chilly and extra stone-like, whereas a ‘Schloss’ is a fort, constructed extra to showcase a ardour for the humanities and literature, which is clearly seen within the quantity of decor, work and high-quality structure. However then, you even have what are referred to as a ‘Residenz’, which is the place Prince-Bishops lived fairly an expensive life, for instance in Würzburg or the Munich Residenz.
The Ease of Public Transportation
When in Europe, public transportation is an day by day a part of life and there’s no disgrace in utilizing it. All courses of society use the general public transportation to get round and it’s so good to not need to depend on self-driving or needing a chosen driver each time. And it’s extremely enjoyable (when every thing goes easily) to journey by prepare. Although it’s removed from excellent, the German public transportation system is in depth and makes it completely attainable to get round and not using a automotive.
Germany’s Distinctive Metropolis Halls
There are gorgeous metropolis halls scattered all throughout Europe in each city. Some are primary, some are charming, and others are superb. It’s at all times my favourite place to start any sightseeing adventures in any new city we go to. You get a great sense of the historic architectural type for the remainder of the city. Make sure to pop into town halls, as a result of some supply guided excursions, however they’re all nonetheless working buildings. Many weddings nonetheless happen on the metropolis corridor, mine included at Regensburg’s Outdated City Corridor the place I wanted an expert translator to speak to me that I understood I used to be night time signing my life away to a washer or a stranger.
Returning Stateside a New Lady
My listing of favourite issues about Germany might go on and on and on. I might simply hold going. However for now, I’ll simply need to cherish each little bit. Who is aware of for the time being whether or not we shall be transferring to the US completely or quickly. Nothing is eternally. If it doesn’t work out for us, maybe we’ll come again to a distinct a part of Germany, or maybe we’ll discover ourselves some other place in Europe.
Whereas I really like all of those fantastic features about Germany, in addition they make for excellent causes to encourage you to maneuver overseas your self! If ever given the prospect to maneuver overseas, I hope you are taking that likelihood. Residing overseas is a superb alternative and I want everybody had the likelihood to do it. It’s an effective way to get to know new folks, new cultures, new methods of doing issues whereas getting to have a look at your homeland from an outsider’s standpoint. It can problem you and it’ll change you. There shall be robust occasions and your coronary heart will ultimately be torn between two international locations, and at some point you’ll have to decide on. And it might be the toughest resolution of your life. You’ll NOT be the identical and transferring dwelling won’t ever be the identical once more when you’ve left for any period of time.
All of those features of life in Germany have modified me and I’m not the identical woman I used to be once I arrived right here. I used to be a lady of 26 and right this moment I’ll be leaving as a girl of 29H. I really feel like I shall be returning dwelling a brand new lady, cultured and extra self-educated from the in depth quantity of touring we’ve finished.