There are things I love about living abroad. There are also things I dislike, which I’m sure I’ll do plenty of whinging about in my future blogs 😉 But what I love most is learning about all the different ways people do things, and it’s this exchange of experiences and ideas that makes life as an expat so interesting.
For the past 5 1/2 years, I’ve had the opportunity to compare and contrast life in the UK and life in the US. I’ve gained a better understanding of what I appreciate and enjoy about both cultures. I’m looking to forward to gaining these same perspectives about life in Germany.
In my job back in Scotland, I used to tell the students I worked with to keep in mind that when they encounter differences, they’re not better, not worse – just different from what you are used to. For the differences you like, it’s no problem. It’s easy to accept something that makes sense to you and makes your life better. It’s the differences that you don’t find so appealing that areharder to adjust to and frustrating. But 9 times out of 10, there is usually a reason why something is done the way it’s done; even if it doesn’t make sense right now.
As I begin encountering all the things in Germany that don’t make sense or I find frustrating, I’m going to try really hard to keep my former advice in mind. Because there’s no point thinking that how something is done in the US or the UK is better or makes more sense; the joy of an expat life is discovering all the things that are different and trying to learn from those differences.