We’ve been in Germany nine months now and it’s safe to say that I am in love with our life here.
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The first few weeks were a challenge– figuring out how things worked, where the best places to grocery shop were, just your general “I moved to a new place and need to find all my ‘places'” kinda thing.
But once I got a hold on life in Germany, I fell hard!
Things I’m Loving
The constant ringing of bells!
Every day the bells ring around 7:30, again at lunch time, and in the evening. But on holidays- they ring all day long! And I absolutely LOVE it! One night I was even up till 12:00 and I heard one small little church ring it’s faint bells at 00:00 (which is actually what are oven clock says.)
In the Fall and early Spring, when it’s still cool outside but warm enough to have outdoor seating- there are blankets everywhere!
I love going to a restaurant, sitting outside, and curling up in a blanket with a glass of wine! (Except now I’m much more into beer!)
Transportation Without a Car
Don’t get me wrong- I miss my car! And HEB curbisde.
But I really love being able to hop on my bike and feel the wind in my hair.
I love walking everywhere.
I love hopping on the bus to the other side of town and being able to sit and relax while the bus takes me where I need to go.
The opportunity to travel differently allows me to take things a bit slower and enjoy the things around me. In fact, a couple nights ago Cody and I were riding our bikes home when I happened to notice a spider building it’s web. We stopped and watched for probably twenty minutes. These are the little things I miss out on when in a car.
A Simpler Life
Life is a lot simpler here. I don’t mean just for us, although it definitely is. But people just seem to be so much more relaxed. There are constantly people at coffee shops or Biergartens relaxing. Sundays all shops are closed so when you do see people out and about they are truly enjoying their time on Sunday to rest and recoup for the upcoming week.
Plus the break from teaching has been really good for my soul!
Watching Life Pass By
Our apartment is on the fourth floor (third floor by German standards) and I have a pretty good view out our kitchen windows.
My favorite thing to do in the morning after Cody leaves for work is to watch the busses drive by (they look like caterpillars to me!), watch the kids walk/bike/scooter to school, and watch the people bike to and fro.
Freedom and Independence
One thing Cody and I really appreciate about the German culture is the independence of kids.
From about 7 years and on, kids are free to do as they please. They walk themselves to school. They ride the public transport alone. It’s so crazy to my American frame of mind.
But life is safe here. People watch out for each other. It’s not weird or irresponsible to let your 7 year old daughter ride the public transport to school 30 minutes away. Why? Because people watch out for each other.
Would we raise kids here? Probably not indefinitely. But I can definitely see the appeal of an overseas delegation when we have children and allowing them to learn life on their own, without the fear and constraints we have back in the U.S.
The German Language
I am LOVING learning a new language. It’s really hard and confusing. I am in my third German course and it’s going really well. My first course was through a language school and a 1:1 setting (and is how I met my friend, Sara!)
Once I finished up that, I moved onto taking classes at the local community school here. The first course I took there was not very good, the teacher was not the friendliest and I left crying every day for the first week. I did make some friends there though!
Then I took a break to travel to Italy, Texas, and southern Germany. Once I got back I enrolled in the next level and this teacher has been SO much better!
The four a day classes and daunting task of learning a new language is tiring, but I also can’t explain feeling I get when I get to have a conversation with someone in German. It’s really freeing!
I know Regensburg Germany isn’t the only place in the world it snows. I know that there is a ton of snow happening just a few hundred miles north of us in The States.
But I’ve never experienced snow like I have here. And I absolutely love it.
Experiencing the four seasons is so joyful. I love that in winter everything goes dark and gray and I can really spend that time cozying up in the house reading and drinking warm coffee.
But I also love that in summer it is light so long, making up for all those short days in winter. I love that I can take the dogs on a walk at 9:30 at night, sit in the park, and read- enjoying the fresh cool air.
Along with experiencing the seasons is smelling flowers everywhere. The only thing I can conclude is that in Texas it gets too hot too quick so all the flowers just instantly die.
Cody’s Mom, a horticulturist (is that a word?) visited us in June- the most expensive time to buy flights over here, so she could experience the flowers.
I think she was in Heaven when she was here. So many flowers, so many smells. It really is so calming and peaceful.
Speaking of beer- my new favorite drink! Colaweizen! Pronounced cola-vi-zen.
Weiss Bier (white beer) + Cola = DELICIOUS!
You’re not allowed to knock it till you come over here and try it!
Now that Spring is here and the sun is out- our Sunday ritual is a long dog walk and a stop in the Biergarten near us for a couple beers, reading, and relaxing!
After Dinner Shots
Most places you go serve you an after dinner shot. It’s usually some kinda of liqueur to serve as “a digestive.”
But to me it’s a free shot and I’m not complaining!
Things that are Hard
The most common question I get from people here or even back home is “has it been hard?”
In some ways it has. But in most ways- no. Germany and the U.S. are both highly developed, first world countries.
Besides Cheetos, good salsa, and pop-tarts- I can get pretty much everything I need. Grocery stores are the same like in the U.S.- just smaller.
The language barrier is a challenge for sure, but pretty much anyone 45 and younger can speak enough English that we can get what we need.
We have made friends which is such a blessing! Because I am not working in a traditional work environment, I’ve had to be extra diligent to make friends.
It’s worked out. I’ve met people online and met up with them in person. I made friends with my first German teacher, Sara. One time I even heard an English speaker, struck up a conversation with her, and exchanged numbers.
I have also resorted to Bumble and have no shame in that because it brought me my friend Julia who is so much like me and in the same online entrepreneurship world and I am so grateful!
The hardest thing has been finding couple friends and finding a church community. Church looks a lot different here. And the church we did find that resembles our church back home is mostly in German so….we gotta work on our German skillz for that!
Overall, we love Germany! I am really enjoying the slower pace of life. I think Cody is really liking the reasonable work hours and not having to work overtime (or if he does, he actually gets time off for it).
Milo and Scout seem to be happy and enjoy their daily walks and traveling with us.
Life is good here and we are so grateful!
We’d love to host you! Our travel/visitor calendar is filling up quick so if you want to come visit us, check out our calendar for some open times!
Until next time,