Events & Stories

How is it to move abroad? Leaving Germany

Many people told me, and many still tell me, that they admire my decision to move abroad; that they, too, would love to do so as well. Well, actually moving abroad is quite easy. And the best advice I can give anyone is don’t overthink it. You‘ll find hundreds of reasons not to and they’re all right! It’s scary and you’ll have to give up  your comfort zone to do so.

Make a list!

Why do you want to move and why do you want to stay? The first thing on my list was that I always wanted to be able to walk barefoot 10 out of 12 months of the year. Well, the decision was easy as that’s not possible in Germany. Then you need to ask yourself: How much value does that reason deserve? I’m sure that deep inside of you, you already know the answer.

Listen to Yourself

I moved abroad twice. At the first time, I must have known that I wouldn’t stay for long. The truth was hidden in my behavior. All things I bought were 90 percent second-hand and I was really avoiding collecting things again. I told myself that I was practicing Aparigraha–freedom from greed, the 5th Yama from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Anyway, once you make the decision, go for it! Don’t plan for too long, you’ll never be perfectly prepared anyway. You will make mistakes and learn from them. On that note, it will be to your benefit if you speak the local language. Having said this, I don’t speak Thai–yet!.

A few things to take care of:

  • Inform your bank that you are moving. Transactions can be complicated sometimes. I kept my German bank account in case I might need it in the future.
  • Cancel all unnecessary contracts – from your cellphone to memberships and everything in between.
    • To avoid long cancelation times for contracts, notify the registry office of your departure.
  • If you do not have anybody who can check your mailbox, look for a provider like “E-Post” or “Getcaya” that will send you a notification should an important letter arrive
  • Sell as much as you can and store only the few things that are really important to you.
  • It’s very important to obtain health insurance before you start traveling.
If you have a lot of friends that you intend to stay close to, consider starting a blog, that way your friends and family are well informed about all the wonderful things you’re doing. It’s a great way to save memories and keep connections alive. If you’re a little more private, consider a diary to keep for yourself. As much your friends love you and no matter how many times they tell you that they all want to come to visit you, there’s one thing you need to know in advance, this mostly won’t happen. Their life goes on just as yours does. There’s no judgement to be made; just understand this and  you won’t be too upset by it. Life can be awesome on the “other side” of the world but don’t expect it to be super easy. It’s just different. Maybe you’ll love it, maybe you won’t.

With love, Mika