Blogparade – ¿Cómo hacer amigos en Alemania?

Una de las cosas que tenía claro antes de mudarme a Alemania es que quería expandir mi círculo de amistades. No tenía muy claro qué acciones tomaría para lograrlo, sin embargo, tenía claro que los amigos de mi esposo eran mis conocidos y que por mi salud mental necesitaba crear mi propia red social de carne y hueso.

Un año después de haber llegado a Alemania, decidí compartirte 4 tips sobre cómo hacer amigos en Alemania:
  1. Acepta tu realidad pero no dejes que te paralice. No es mentira que hacer amigos de adulto es difícil. Cada quien tiene su propios intereses y prioridades bien definidos y toma tiempo derrumbar esa barreras, sin embargo, difícil no significa imposible así que no te rindas.
  2. Desconéctate de tu país de origen. No significa que te olvidarás de las amistades que dejaste en tu país de nacimiento. Significa elegir estar presente en el nuevo lugar, abierta a decidida a conseguir nuevas amistades y dispuestas a exponernos para empezar a cultivar nuevos lazos de amistad.
  3. Sé proactiva.Teniendo lo anterior, lo más importante bajo este escenario es salir de tu zona de confort y buscar formas de empezar a conectar con otras personas. Sin pensar, en este punto hasta dónde llegará nuestra “relación” con estos nuevos conocidos.
  4. Insiste y persiste. Ahora es el tiempo de iniciar a cultivar las relaciones con las personas que conociste. Ten presente, que tal vez conocerás muchas personas, sin embargo, poco a poco irás descifrando cuáles de ellas quieres seguirán formando parte de tu círculo 0. En esta etapa toca ser aún más proactiva y constante porque es fácil que en el día a día las conexiones se pierdan y toca esforzarse un poco más mientras todo va tomando su curso.

Aproveché este tema tan importante para organizar un Blogparade donde 8 blogueras hispano-germanas nos comparten sus tips sobre cómo hacer amigos en Alemania.

TAISA DE lasaventurasdetaisa.com/ - MAMÁ EN ALEMANIA

  • Si vienes sin saber alemán, obviamente, será complicado hacer amigos nativos. Igual con algo de suerte, podrías encontrar amigos comunicándote en inglés. Pero lo mejor es que le des caña al alemán.
  • Hay quien se cierra en banda a tener contacto con otros españoles, pensando que van a perjudicar su avance con el idioma… pero realmente, al principio, necesitas una red de contactos y de apoyo. No lo descartes. Y a veces sienta muy bien poder charlar un rato en tu idioma. Yo he avanzado bastante bien con el alemán, y sin embargo me he metido en muchos grupos y actividades para hispanohablantes, y he hecho grandes amigas.
  • Las madres tenemos una gran ventaja, ya que los niños siempre son un buen nexo de unión. Aunque no siempre es tán fácil (yo pensaba que haría alguna amiga en las clases de preparación al parto, cursos de yoga o gimnasia post-parto, y no fue así). Los lugares ideales son los parques de juegos, y cuando los niños ya van a la guardería, para hacer contacto con otras madres. Como comentaba, en las actividades realmente me ha costado más conectar con la gente, aunque alguna vez hayamos charlado.”

Ana Sánchez
de
MYSPANISHSOUL.COM te aconseja:

  • Buscar amigos que hablen tu idioma. No digo que te encierres en una especie de gueto. Sino que las amistades de un origen cultural similar al tuyo son fundamentales para los que venimos a Alemania con intención de quedarnos una larga temporada.
  • Enterarte de dónde se reúnen los hispanohablantes (en mi caso) en tu ciudad y apuntarte a alguno de sus eventos. Ya sea haciendo un curso de alemán o yendo a la inauguración de algún local (restaurante, tienda) de comida o productos latinos.  
  • En mi caso la maternidad, y sobre todo el blog, es lo que me ha abierto todo un mundo de posibilidades en cuanto a nuevas amistades. Actualmente, casi el 90 por ciento de las amigas con las que quedo regularmente son de habla hispana. Aunque conservo también amigas alemanas y de otras nacionalidades, he comprobado que para mi paz y estabilidad interior, necesito energía latina a mi alrededor.

Irene
de alemaniaentrebastidores.blogspot.com

Creo que una de las mejores maneras de hacer amigos, ya sea en Alemania o en cualquier ciudad del mundo, es apuntarte a algún tipo de actividad. Ya sea yoga, clases de teatro, pintura, una escuela de idiomas, fútbol o una asociación donde la gente queda para hacer senderismo. Compartir un interés con alguien va a hacer que tengamos algo en común con la otra persona, con lo que desde el principio, tendremos un tema sobre el que hablar. Tener cosas en común es un paso muy importante para crear lazos de amistad.”

Sheyla de
vivacoloniafreetour.com
nos cuenta:

“A mí lo que me ha ayudado a hacer amigos ha sido el acudir a clases colectivas, es decir, clases de alemán, de baile, acudir a eventos donde he conocido a gente que comparte mis intereses, etc. También he ido a eventos de Internations. Meetup o de intercambio de lenguajes. Otra buena opción es hacer un tour turístico en la ciudad! Mucha gente viva ya en la ciudad o sea nueva, se ha encontrado a nuevas amistades en los tours.

Si bien, tengo que resaltar que si lo que quieres es tener un amigo alemán, el proceso se complica un poco. Vas a necesitar tiempo para ganarte su confianza, pero si lo consigues, tendrás un amigo para toda la vida.”

Esther de querida-alemania.com

1) Apúntate a alguna actividad recreativa que te guste. Allí encontrarás otras personas con tus mismos intereses. Deporte, coro,  cursos en la Volkhochschule… cursos de cocina, instrumentos, fotografía, teatro, pintura, etc. Yo me apunté a mi llegada a un curso de Salsa y allí conocí al alemán que hoy es mi marido. De esto hace unos 20 años ya. Con los del curso salía al menos una vez a la semana. Toítos alemanes!

2) Si tienes hijos las amistades te llegarán automáticamente a través del la guardería o colegio.

3) Aunque es normal que al principio sólo quieras tener contacto con alemanes para activar el idioma, a la larga te darás cuenta de que también necesitas juntarte con gente que hable tu misma lengua. Investiga a ver si hay algún grupo por tu zona. Si no hay, puedes intentar localizar a algunos hispanohablantes en tu zona y tener la iniciativa que convocar un espacio público común un día y hora determinados de la semana. Tienes que comprometerte a estar presente en el lugar. Para conseguir el espacio puedes hablar con algún centro social de tu zona, librería o algún café donde poder organizar una stammtisch, incluso de intercambio con alemanes interesados en tu cultura.

Montserrat de kartoffeltortilla.com

Hay muchas formas de hacer amistades en Alemania, pero si tuviera que recomendar sólo una te diría que te apuntases a alguna actividad con la que disfrutes. Porque ¿qué mejor manera de establecer lazos con otras con las que compartes los mismos gustos e inquietudes?

Puedes echar un vistazo a la oferta de Vereine, Stammtische, workshops formativos u ONG que hay en tu ciudad para saber si hay algún curso o grupo en el que te apetezca participar.

Alba de www.dusseldorf-lleva-umlaut.com nos dice:

Cuando vivimos en otro país, es más fácil que nos sintamos reflejados con personas que viven en nuestra misma situación, con lo que no debemos sentirnos mal porque la mayoría de nuestras relaciones sean con Ausländern.

¿Cómo hacerlo para conocer a gente local? Yo personalmente recomiendo muchísimo buscar un compañero/a con quien hacer un Tandem, que consiste básicamente en un intercambio de idiomas. Otro consejo sería apuntarte a actividades que te gusten en tu ciudad, ya sea deportes, clases de cocina, arte, manualidades, etc. ¡Ahí podrás conocer gente alemana a la que le guste lo mismo que a ti!

https://www.dusseldorf-lleva-umlaut.com/amigos-alemania/)

Natalia de Mariposa Migrante aconseja:

“Tener PACIENCIA. En este país no se dan las amistades tan rápido como en nuestros países, pero con el tiempo todo es posible. Hay que ser paciente, poner mucho de nuestra parte y una vez que encuentras amigos, éstos son para siempre.”

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Buscar vivienda en Alemania

buscar-vivienda-en-alemania

Dependiendo de la ciudad donde te encuentres, el proceso de buscar vivienda en Alemania puede fácilmente convertirse en una pesadilla. El próximo mes, me estaré mudando con mi esposo a un apartamento que llegó a nosotros sin haber estado buscando, sin embargo, sé que viviendo en Hamburgo hemos sido afortunados al poder heredar el apartamento de una compañera de mi esposo.  Como sé que no siempre se tiene una suerte como la nuestra, decidí resumir en un blog post el proceso de búsqueda de vivienda en Alemania.

El primer tip que puedo darte es que te armes de paciencia y pongas atención a lo que voy a contarte. Especialmente si estás buscando vivienda en una ciudad grande o una ciudad estudiantil.

¿Dónde buscar?

Las ofertas de vivienda se publican en portales especializados en Internet, periódicos o puedes contactar a una agencia inmobiliaria para que te asista en la búsqueda. Estos portales son una herramienta muy útil y por eso estos sitios son populares y por esta razón la competencia suele ser muy alta.

Si buscas apartamento o vivienda, los portales especializados en Internet más conocidos son:

http://www.immobilienscout.de/

http://www.immobilien.de/

http://www.meinestadt.de/deutschland/immobilien/mietwohnung

http://www.1a-immobilienmarkt.de/

http://www.immobilo.de/

http://www.immobilien.de/

Si buscas compartir vivienda y ser parte de un Wohngemeinschaft, los links siguientes podrán serte útiles:

http://www.studenten-wohnung.de/

http://www.studenten-wg.de/

http://www.wg-gesucht.de/

¿Qué cosas debes tener en consideración?

  • A la hora de buscar vivienda, debes tener en consideración que en Alemania todas las habitaciones, excepto el baño y la cocina, cuentan como habitaciones y no sólo los dormitorios.
  • Que el primer piso en Alemania no se cuenta, a este se le llama Erdgeschoss y que se cuenta entonces, del segundo piso en adelante, Erste Etage…Zweiten Etage, etc.
  • Que las cocinas en los apartamentos y casas suelen venir sólo con los estantes y a veces sin ellos, es decir, tendrás que traer tus propios electrodomésticos y/o comprar el mobiliario de cocina por tu cuenta. Lo que puede costar entre unos 2.000 – 3.500€ aproximadamente.
  • Es importante que hables alemán. La competencia puede ser muy fuerte y el que hables el idioma puede ser un factor determinante en el proceso de que te alquilen o no la vivienda. El idioma te ayudará a comunicarte mejor con tu arrendador y a entender las cláusulas de tu contrato de alquiler.
  • Como la competencia suele ser tan feroz  por una vivienda se aplica. Si, como a un trabajo por. En nuestro caso, nos tocó remitir una carta manifestando nuestro interés por la vivienda y entregar nuestros tres últimos comprobantes de salario.
  • No te extrañes si el arrendatario te invita a una entrevista y en la misma te haga preguntas personales. No lo tomes a mal, son filtros que utilizan para reducir la cantidad de interesados y elegir al mejor candidato al cual la vivienda le será alquilada. ¡No te dejes intimidar por estas preguntas y sigue!

abreviaturas importantes

Otro aspecto importante que debes tener en consideración es qué significan las distintas abreviaturas que se encuentran dentro de los anuncios de vivienda. Es importante entender su significado ya que son los términos que nos permitirán conocer las características básicas de las condiciones de arrendamiento del apartamento o vivienda anunciado.

Encontré este resumen en español de abreviaciones en anuncios de alquiler que me parece resume a la perfección estas abreviaciones.

 

Abreviaciones de anuncios de alquiler

Tomado de www.portalalemania.com

Espero este post te ayude a hacer el proceso de buscar vivienda en Alemania un poco más fácil.

¡Un abrazo desde Hamburgo!

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Como el perderme, me llevó a descubrir lo que quería hacer con mi blog sobre Alemania

blog-alemania

Duelo migratorio

Aunque sabía que regresaría a Alemania para vivir de forma permanente en Hamburgo, no hay nada que te prepare lo suficiente para el desafío a nivel emocional que vivirás durante el proceso de duelo que se vive al emigrar.

Es por ello que si tuviera que resumir en una palabra mi primer año viviendo en Alemania, lo resumiría como agridulce. El inmigrante llega al nuevo país con nostalgia por lo que se deja y lleno de expectativas por lo que está por venir elementos que hacen aún más desafiante el proyecto migratorio.

El coaching y la pirámide de las necesidades de Maslow

En mayo, caí en cuenta de que me algo me faltaba. Estaba viviendo con mi esposo, tenía salud, un trabajo y amigos y aún así me sentía perdida. Es en este momento cuando decido pasar por un proceso de coaching personal con el propósito de reconectar conmigo misma y lograr tener claridad acerca de qué dirección tomar con mi vida. Mi cerebro en este momento era una maraña de miedos y creencias bloqueando mis sueños entre tanto ruido.

Durante este tiempo, logré entender que (siguiendo la pirámide de las necesidades de Maslow) mis necesidades fisiológicas y de seguridad, ya estaban cubiertas y que me sentía así porque mis necesidades de afiliación y estima no habían sido satisfechas, aún.

Cambiar de dirección

#MissHenryinGermany nació de mis ganas de compartir mis historias con familia y amigos pero luego de 9 meses bloggeando de forma regular, me di cuenta de que lo que más me llena de este proyecto es el poner mi conocimiento y experiencias al servicio de otros.

Por lo que decidí transformar a #MissHenryinGermany en una plataforma digital con contenido diseñado y curado para empoderar a mujeres hispanohablantes viviendo en Alemania a conquistar con éxito el proceso ambiguo y agridulce de emigrar.

Lo que no cambia:

Lo que cambia:

  1. Lo bueno, lo malo y lo feo del proceso de ser #inmigrante en Alemania
  2. Reflexiones
  3. Positivismo y buena energía
  1. En vez de un post por semana tendré dos posts al mes.
    1. El primero, donde compartiré información útil sobre vivir en Alemania
    2. Un segundo post que será sobre alguna de las siguientes categorías
      1. Historias de #inmigrantesqueinspiran
      2. Recomendaciones sobre libros y herramientas útiles para #inmigrantesvalientes  
      3. Una nueva sección sobre maquillaje y cuidado de la piel
ajustar-velas
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Vivir en el extranjero por amor

En 2013, cuando me mudé a Alemania por primera vez, mi objetivo principal era regresar a Panamá con mi diploma en mano y con la experiencia de haber vivido en el extranjero en la mochila. Poco sabía yo que el destino tenía otros planes para mi y que sin estarlo buscando encontraría a mi compañero de equipo durante ese tiempo. Hoy hace casi 4 años desde entonces, siento que es cada vez más común el mudarse al extranjero por amor.

La semana pasada tuve la oportunidad de compartir con 3 panameñas que también se mudaron al extranjero por amor y lo que rescato de ese día es que todas son mujeres valientes. Mujeres valientes que hacen lo que tienen que hacer a pesar del miedo, que tomaron riesgos sin tener certeza de lo que la vida les depararía pero sobretodo son la prueba viviente de que el no arriesga no gana. Si no hubiéramos sido lo suficientemente fuertes y perseverantes no estaríamos donde estamos. El camino no ha sido ni seguirá siendo fácil pero ese día entre risas e historias, le agradecí al universo por ese momento y a ellas por ser parte de mi vida. Gracias Melanie, Fabiola y Natalia por demostrarme que esta travesía de vivir en el extranjero es una de dejar cosas atrás pero que lo que se gana se vuelve día a día más valioso.

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De derecha a izquierda: Fabiola, Natalia, Melanie y yo en Mit Herz und Zucker en Hamburg
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Reflexiones entre gelatos

El pasado fin de semana, me escapé de último minuto a encontrarme en Roma con mi mamá. Un encuentro express, de esos que te dejan las baterías llenitas. Aprovechando mi visita por Italia, aproveché para darme una escapada a Florencia a visitar a una amiga y ponernos el día. Lo que no esperé es que este escape de último minuto, trajera incluídas conversaciones profundas las que fueron un wake-up call para volver a encarrilarme y seguir haciendo lo que me gusta.

Estuve trabajando con una asesora de marketing online y aunque la primera sesión fue muy enriquecedora ya para la segunda, el hype de la primera sesión se había convertido en miedo. Estaba intentando forzarme a hacer algo que no estaba alineado con mi visión al crear Miss Henry in Germany: compartir con mi familia, amigos, conocidos y desconocidos la gran travesía y  todos los retos y descubrimientos que implican el emigrar a un país extranjero.

El alejarme de esta visión causó que las cosas no fluyeran como hasta el momento lo habían hecho. 10 semanas donde no había dejado de escribir ni una sola vez fueron interrumpidas por sentirme obligada a escribir, a hacer algo que no es la visión que tengo en mente para #misshenryingermany .

Cuando decidí lanzar este proyecto su objetivo principal era compartir mis experiencias a través de mis palabras compartidas a través de un blog que me permitiera conocer a otras personas, mostrarle al mundo que si se pueden alcanzar sueños aún cuando el cielo esté blanco como en Hamburg a veces y no para ser famosa ni tener millones de seguidores. Mi deseo es que aquel que lea mis palabras sea porque le gusta lo que escribo y se sienta identificado con mis vivencias y hallazgos. No por la foto bonita que posteo o por la ropa que traigo. Que el que me lea, conozca a #misshenryingermany como es honesta, realista pero siempre positiva.

 

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Nunca se deja de aprender

Esta semana estuve en Düsseldorf, una ciudad al oeste de Alemania, tomando un seminario de dos días sobre cómo escribir Propuestas Ganadoras utilizando el método Shipley. La empresa para la que trabajo me envió a tomar este curso para formarme como Administradora de Propuestas. Este curso es una herramienta que me permitirá realizar mi trabajo de una mejor forma. Fueron dos días intensos pues sólo éramos dos personas tomando el curso pero esta oportunidad me permitió confirmar una vez más que nunca se deja de aprender.

En este trabajo, no tuve la oportunidad de tener una inducción con la persona que tuvo la posición antes que yo así que este curso me cayó como anillo al dedo. Vino a llenar un vacío brindándome estructura y distintas herramientas para poder hacer mi trabajo de la mejor forma. Yo decía que luego de tomar la maestría no estudiaría más pero la vida sola se ha encargado de demostrarme que mi mente se alimenta de conocimiento y que nunca perderé esa sed de aprender, que seré una alumna de por vida.

Alemania me ha enseñado que cuando se es inmigrante el reinventarse, sucede por voluntad propia o consecuencia de las vueltas que da la vida. Si vives en el extranjero y te estás reinventando, procura siempre, disfrutar de la travesía. La travesía es diferente para todos pero es a través de ella que nos hacemos más fuertes, es cuando confirmamos que somos capaces de más de lo que creíamos y cuando más que nunca debemos agradecer por aquello que tenemos.

camillacosmephotography-germany-europe-photographer-lifestyle-izmir-henry-web-55

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I am trying to go unnoticed

Para leer la versión en español, por favor desplázate hacia abajo

A few days ago, a friend who also moved from Panama to Europe told me that after reading my previous post, she realized that she was suffering from the same syndrome as me. Apparently, we are both avoiding attracting attention, that is to say, to go unnoticed.

Our conversation, as has already happened to me on other occasions, gave me the opportunity to reflect. Izmir, you? the extroverted and outgoing Panamanian who loves to be surrounded by people and does not stop talking, wants to go unnoticed in Germany?. Honestly, no. I’m one of those people who thinks you should be yourself, wherever you go. However, in this situation there is a compelling reason why, in my opinion, we are trying to go unnoticed. We’re doing this as a defense mechanism.

Lene and I are women of African descent in countries in Europe where the majority of its inhabitants are white-skinned. It saddens me to know that just because we have a different skin color than the majority, we’ve fallen for this. And that for locals, it is easier to accentuate the difference than to admire the courage and immense effort that we as immigrants are making to integrate ourselves into society, even though we know that it will never be enough.

On the other hand, I am sure that this will not diminish our efforts to integrate ourselves into society. That even in adversity, we will continue to give the best of each to continue reaching our goals and dreams wherever we go.

Yesterday marked International Women’s Day and with my letters this week I want to exalt our daily struggle, where we fight for our rights, to educate ourselves and to live in violence-free societies against women, because being tenacious even in adversity, we are contributing to the greatest battle, equal rights for women around the world.

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Versión en español

Hace unos días, una amiga que también se mudó de Panamá hacia Europa me comentó que luego de leer mi post anterior, cayó en cuenta de que estaba sufriendo del mismo síndrome que yo. Aparentemente, ambas estamos (estábamos) evitando el llamar la atención, es decir, pasar desapercibidas.

Nuestra conversación, como ya me ha pasado en otras ocasiones, me puso a reflexionar. Izmir, ¿tú? la extrovertida y escandalosa panameña que le encanta estar rodeada de gente y no para de hablar, quiere pasar desapercibida en Alemania. Honestamente, no. Soy de las personas que piensan que uno debe ser uno mismo, donde quiera que vaya. Sin embargo, en esta situación hay una razón de peso por la cual, en mi opinión, estamos intentando pasar desapercibidas. Estamos haciendo esto como un mecanismo de defensa.

Lene y yo somos mujeres afrodescendientes en países en Europa donde la mayoría de sus habitantes son de piel blanca. Me entristece saber que sólo por tener un color de piel diferente al de la mayoría, hayamos caído en esto. Y que para los locales, es más fácil acentuar a lo diferente que admirar la valentía y el esfuerzo inmenso que como inmigrantes estamos haciendo para integrarnos a la sociedad, aun sabiendo que nunca, nunca será suficiente.

Por otro lado, estoy segura de que esto no hará que nuestros esfuerzos por integrarnos a la sociedad disminuyan. Que aún en la adversidad, seguiremos dando lo mejor de cada una para seguir alcanzando nuestras metas y sueños.

El día de ayer se conmemoró el Día Internacional de la Mujer y con mis letras esta semana quiero exaltar nuestra lucha diaria, donde batallamos por nuestros derechos, por educarnos y por vivir en sociedades libre de violencia en nuestra contra.Porque siendo perseverantes aún en la adversidad, estamos aportando nuestro granito de arena a la batalla más grande, la igualdad de derechos para las mujeres alrededor del mundo.

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Finding your tribe, why is it important?

Para leer la versión en español, por favor desplázate hacia abajo

Moving to Hamburg was not hard and whenever someones asks me what is it that I miss the most about Panama, I always mention the weather but more than the weather the people I left back home so it was very important to me to find my tribe here in Hamburg.

In order to find them I knew that I had to put myself out there. Making friends as an adult isn’t easy and making them abroad makes it even tougher. What’s the easiest way to get people together? Food so that’s why I did. A home-made lemon pie gave me my two best friends here in Hamburg, Razan and Tina.

But that was just the beginning, after meeting them my Hamburg family got bigger when Yvonne joined my Girl Gone International family and when our husbands got along so well that they now even meet with out the original GGIs. GGI is a Facebook group that gave me my tribe in Hamburg, these girls that take care of me and have shown me that it doesn’t matter where we are from, they are here for me. To take care of me, cheer me up and just make me feel special. Make being away from home a bit easier. So that’s my advice for you today, if you ever move be it temporarily or permanently, find your tribe and take care of it because that group is what makes the ride of living abroad as an expat bearable.

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Versión en español

Mudarme a Hamburgo no ha sido fácil y cada vez que alguien me pregunta qué es lo que más extraño de Panamá, siempre menciono el clima pero más que el clima, lo que más extraño es a la gente que dejé en Panamá por lo que era muy importante para mí encontrar mi tribu aquí en Hamburgo.

Para encontrarla supe que tenía que salir de mi zona de comfort. ¿Quién era la nueva en la ciudad? yo, así que aunque sabía que hacer amigos de adulto no es fácil y hacer amigos de adulto en el extranjero aún más difícil. Me puse a pesar en ¿cuál es la forma más fácil de reunir a la gente? Comida, por eso hice mi pastel de limón favorito y esta reunión me regaló a mis mejores amigas aquí en Hamburgo, Razan y Tina.

Pero eso fue sólo el principio, después de conocerlas mi familia en Hamburg se hizo más grande cuando Yvonne se unió a mi familia de Girl Gone International. Al punto que después que nuestros esposos se conocieron, se armaron un grupo de Whatsapp y ellos se reúnen sin nosotras. GGI es  el grupo de Facebook que me regaló a mi tribu en Hamburgo, estas chicas que me cuidan y me han demostrado que sin importar de dónde somos, están aquí para mí. Para cuidarme, subirme el ánimo y hacerme sentir especial. Ellas han hecho que el estar lejos de Panamá sea un poco más fácil.

Si alguna vez decides mudarte temporal o permanentemente a algún lugar, sal de tu zona de comfort, arma tu tribu y cuídala día a día porque es ese grupo lo que hará más llevadero la experiencia de vivir en el extranjero como expatriado.

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Why are you not wearing flowers anymore?

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My mom is my greatest supporter but at the same time the first one to call me out whenever she realizes something in me has changed. This time it was the way I dress.

Why are you always wearing dark blue? – she asked

To what I could only then reply: mom, most of the colors you find in the clothes that are sold during winter are either black, grey, dark purple or dark blue, therefore my options were quite limited.

When she told me this I didn’t take it so seriously but now that I am trying to find my blog tribe, I met Evelina, a graphic designer from Lithuania, and she asked me a similar question, why are you not dressing as colourful as you normally did? is when I started thinking. Why is it that I am not wearing bright colors anymore? Is it really because I don’t find colourful clothes in store or is it me that has changed?

To be honest, no, I haven’t I still love wearing bright colors, yellow and flower patterns specially but in the process of adapt to life in Germany once again also meant that I had to adapt the way I dress to the Hamburg and its weather. I didn’t bring all my colourful clothing from Panama because most of my wardrobe is not Hamburg weather-proof but at the same time I was trying to blend in to avoid the rejection. Rejection during the job seeking process and also because I was trying to avoid being the center of attention whenever I was walking on the street.

It is so silly but during this process of adaptation I began to also lose a form of expression, my personal style, and by putting the excuse of not finding colourful clothes I was avoiding expressing myself through how I dress so now that I have the job and can buy myself some presents every now and then, I decided that yes, I would make the necessary adjustments to make my wardrobe Hamburg’s weather-proof but without losing the essence of my being and keeping my personal style intact.

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My why is it that I am not wearing flowers anymore face

Versión en español

Mi mamá es mi mayor apoyo, pero al mismo tiempo la primera en hacerme ver que algo en mí ha cambiado. Esta vez fue mi forma de vestir.

¿Por qué siempre te vistes de azul oscuro? me preguntó.

A lo que sólo entonces pude responder: mamá, la mayoría de los colores que encuentras en la ropa que se vende durante el invierno son negro, gris, morado oscuro o azul oscuro, por lo tanto mis opciones son bastante limitadas.

Cuando mi mamá me dijo esto no me lo tomé tan en serio, pero ahora que estoy en el proceso de encontrar mi creative-tribe para el blog, conocí a Evelina, una diseñadora gráfica de Lituania, y me hizo una pregunta similar, ¿por qué no te vistes tan colorida como lo hacías normalmente? Esa no eres tu. En ese momento es en que me puse a pensar. ¿Por qué es que ya no estoy usando colores brillantes? ¿Es realmente porque no encuentro ropa de colores en las tiendas o soy yo quien ha cambiado?

Para ser honesta, no, todavía no me ha encanta usar colores brillantes, especialmente el amarillo y los estampados de flores, pero en el proceso de adaptarme a la vida en Alemania una vez más también significaba que tenía que adaptar mi forma de vestir a Hamburgo y su clima. No traje toda mi ropa colorida de Panamá porque la mayor parte de mi vestuario no es a prueba del clima de Hamburgo, pero al mismo tiempo yo estaba tratando de fundirme entre la multitud para evitar el rechazo. Rechazo durante el proceso de búsqueda de empleo y también porque estaba tratando de evitar ser el centro de atención cada vez que caminaba por la calle.

Es muy ridículo, pero durante este proceso de adaptación también empecé a perder una forma de expresión, mi estilo personal, y poniendo la excusa de no encontrar prendas coloridas estaba evitando expresarme a través de cómo me visto. Ahora que tengo el trabajo y puedo comprarme regalos de vez en cuando, He decidido que haré los ajustes necesarios para ir armando mi wardrobe a prueba del clima de Hamburgo, pero sin perder la esencia de mi ser y manteniendo intacto mi estilo personal.

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Life-Changing Experiences

When I received my residence permit I also received a letter that stated that if I wanted to increase my chances of obtaining a permanent residence permit I had to assist to an Integration Course. This Integration Course has two parts and when you complete both of them you have to do two tests to prove that you successfully completed this course.

When I received the letter that stated that I had to assist to this course, I was already taking german classes so I was able  to skip the german part of the course nevertheless, I did have to attend a 20-day Orientation Course.

Being the nerd that I am, I was excited to assist to the course because this course touches on different topics that in my opinion are very important to understand the society and the culture of the germans. If you don’t understand how the german society is structured the adaptation process can be a shock. I already lived here so I got that lesson with tough love.

In this class I spent the time with people from different countries something that made the course even more interesting. I had classmates from Afghanistan, Rumania, Spain, Brazil and Ukraine.

One of the things I enjoyed the most was being able to discuss a broad-range of subjects in a respectful manner while at the same time being able to share our experiences from each of our own countries and cultures. These days showed me that even though our cultures are deeply embedded in ourselves and also very different from one another being open and respectful are the key to each of us better integrating into the German society.

I can’t tell that I know everything about each of their cultures but the biggest lesson I got from this whole experience is that not knowing much about a person and a culture is not a reason to forget that this person is a human being. A human being that deserves my empathy and my respect and even more my admiration because moving to another country, for whatever the reason behind this big step and doing your best to integrate, to learn and to adapt is a big thing to admire and from me, to you, that ever took this big step I give you a big round of applause.

Living abroad changed my life. It will change yours if and only if you step out of your comfort zone. If you don’t , this experience won’t  have a meaningful impact on your life but if you do, how you see yourself and how you see life will change. Studying in Germany was an experience that did change my life and one of the reasons why I decided to pursue this project.

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July 2013, Hamburg
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Did I discover my passion? Finally?

support: middle English (originally in the sense ‘tolerate’): from Old French supporter, from Latin supportare, from sub- ‘from below’ + portare ‘carry’.

Last week, I began working as Global Sales Assistant in a logistics company here in Hamburg.  Throughout this week I kept asking myself, can it be that I finally found my passion?

Actually I am not sure but I am certain that I am getting paid to do things that make me really happy. As Global Sales Assistant my duty is to read, write and learn so that the our Sales Team has the necessary tools to provide customers with a solution with the highest quality.

I have many times read if you do what you “love”, you won’t work a day. It wasn’t so long ago when I didn’t have a clear idea of what it was that I liked doing and that’s basically  the reason why I don’t like when people compare the life of an entrepreneur to the life of a person that has a 8 to 5 job. Come on, being an entrepreneur is not a must in life. I actually did both, simultaneously and it wasn’t because I hated my job. I did it because I enjoyed both things. 

Right now I am just doing the 8 to 5 job and I feel comfortable with this because this is what I wanted. I wanted to work in an international company in a Logistics company specifically with a team composed of people from different countries and where I could experience another culture in a work setting. I am now a supporter for the Global Sales team and I am enjoying the learning curve this new challenge has brought.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Are you open to diversity? Even if someone spat on your face?

We were invited to eat Filipino food at the house of our friends a couple from Australia who have been living in Hamburg for some months now. During this evening, Carlo told us a story that left me in shock. On his third week in Hamburg he went for a run and during his run he tripped with a woman. He said sorry and kept running further. Some minutes after, he happened to stop at a pedestrian traffic light and the husband of this woman started yelling at him because he had tripped with her, apparently it was the wife of this guy. Carlo apologized again and kept moving forward. Apparently someone saw this happening and as Carlo passed the pedestrian traffic light someone spit on his face.

When this happened of course Carlo was really mad. I can’t even think of how he should have felt. In this moment, he remembered that his friends back home had told him he had to get mentally prepared for Germany because things like this could happen.

Of course his story shocked me because I believe I have never been discriminated in Hamburg. Such an international city, how could this happen? What is wrong with people? was my thought.

But now, a few weeks after this episode, Carlo said something very surprising: you might think that because of this situation I would then put all germans in the same bag but I won’t. I refuse to give him a taste of his own medicine.

This is precisely what I will keep from this awful experience. 2018 and I can’t believe that we still have to be dealing with such issues. We are humans, period. That’s something we shouldn’t forget. Be a human to humans. You don’t necessarily have to agree with someone’s opinion, behaviour, sexual orientation or belief but what you have to do is respect everyone.

In moments like this is when I feel the most thankful. To have completed my high school studies in a school where a diversity of ethnicities peacefully coexisted. To know that my parents raised me to see humans, not boxes. To have been able to pursue master studies in another country which opened my mind and showed me that I don’t know everything and that I am constantly learning, evolving and experiencing.

I truly hope that one day our society realizes that we are all the same so that more people can get to have best friends from Croatia, Australia or Lebanon. Tina, Yvonne and Razan you are the friends that I selected to call my family in Hamburg .

With love,

Izmir

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2017, thanks for the lessons

When 2017 began I was panicking. I knew I was moving to Germany in August and wanted to have everything under control. I started applying for jobs with the hope of having “everything under control” by then. Back then, little did I know that applying for a job in Germany was a job itself. I got frustrated and just stopped applying. I was investing too much time thinking about the future and not enjoying the present. I was going to leave Panama in 8 months so  decided to adjust my energy and invest it in enjoying my time with family and friends. The family and friends that I was probably not going to see for a long time just on the screen of my phone.

Getting prepared to leave Panama wasn’t an easy ride. As my departure got closer and closer, I started feeling scared. The decision was just setting in. It is hard to let go of things that you don’t really want to leave behind. I loved my job, felt very sad to leave my mom alone, had made new friends with whom I would have loved to spend more time and a promising small business but I had to leave. The other founder of my own family, Viktor, was in Hamburg and the time had arrived for us to finally be together.

Nothing could have prepared me for these four months. They have been quite a ride but they have also taught me that I am more lucky than I realised. They taught me how to appreciate the little things in life. That my mom, wherever it is that I am will always be my biggest supporter. That being married is not easy but that when you have by your side a person that supports, takes care and lifts you up in your worst date, it’s worth the job. That your true friends will always be there for you, it doesn’t matter that you live on the other side of the world.

Life is not easy, that you may already know but I do believe that what helped me go through these tough times was staying positive. I had days in which I gave myself permission to feel sad and not see the bright side but that was it. The day after, I would turn these feelings into fuel and just kept moving forward but the biggest lesson that this year left for me is that I am stronger than what I believed. That my sacrifices and the hard work will be worth it and that if I stay persistent my dreams will become true.

Here I am, on the last Friday of 2017, feeling happy because we’ll spent New Year with our new friends. I’ll begin my professional path in Hamburg next Tuesday and I have already booked two trips for 2018.

My wish for you, you that take the time every now and then to read my thoughts. In 2018, please:

Be kind to yourself.

May your life be filled with good energy and good intentions.

May you stay healthy.

May you work hard to reach your dreams and goals.

From my side, I’ll still be here weekly, sharing with you my life in Germany. I am already thinking on some things that I would like to improve within the blog so stay tuned for that.

I wish you a healthy and enriching 2018.

With love,

Izmir

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All I want for Christmas is…

Do you have a wish for Christmas?

That’s what my parents-in-law ask as soon as Christmas season is getting closer and because I know them must of the times I have an idea in mind for when they ask. This year I actually didn’t have an answer for their question because what I wanted for Christmas was something they couldn’t get me, a job.

A few weeks ago, I was job hunting and I found a vacancy that called my attention immediately. I felt my resume and the position were perfectly fitting and what’s a plus is that the working language was english #win

At that point, I had finished reading How To Win Jobs & Influence Germans: The Expats’ Guide to a Career in Germany and decided that I was going to put to the test one of the tips that are given in the book to see if it could work. I decided I was going to give a call to the hiring manager, whose contact information was posted in the ad, and I would manage to get relevant information that would allow me to write the perfect cover letter for my application.

What I didn’t see coming was that this call was going to become a mini interview that would make me sweat because I was not prepared. Nevertheless, I did manage to obtain the information that I wanted and I wrote the cover letter that same night and sent my application just after that.

Am I speaking to Frau Henry? It’s xxx from xxx and I am calling to invite you to an interview.

I close the phone and started to cry. Apparently, calling the hiring manager managed to be a good strategy. This interview has been one of the toughest ones I have had because even though I was prepared, there were some questions that I hadn’t thought about. In the end I just hoped for the best and rushed home to tell Viktor all about it.

Apparently my gut hadn’t failed me, this seemed like a good opportunity for me and even though there was a downside with regards of my salary expectation, I decided to focus on the bigger picture and confirm that I was interested in being considered for the position.

In the second interview, I felt more nervous than in the first one. I guess I was more nervous because I was going to meet the person that’s the right hand of who would be my boss if I was hired. Interview #2, check. They would get back to me by the end of the week.

Surprise, surprise…the hiring manager called me the same day, some hours after to ask me how did I felt about the second interview. I thought that was kind of him.

What I once again, didn’t see coming is that just after hearing my reply he told me that he wanted ME on his team.

I closed the phone and broke into tears once again. My Christmas present had arrived and earlier that I expected. From January 2, 2018, I will be a Global Sales Assistant in a logistics company from Bremen and I can’t be more excited.

This is what I wanted. An opportunity to start my career. I didn’t care if I had to begin in an entry level position. I just wanted to find a job that would motivate me to get out of bed and to be part of a team of great people. It took long because good things are worth the wait and even though the ride wasn’t an easy one the important part is that it made me grow and appreciate all the little lessons during the ride.

All I wanted for Christmas was a job and my wish came true.

Thanks for being part of this journey.

With love,

Izmir

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How did you know what your life's purpose was?

This is a question I received on one of my latest blog post and to be fairly honest, I DO believe it is a positive thing to have a north, a purpose in life but I also feel it is a way of our society to put unnecessary pressure on us human beings.

My answer to Annie was that even though it might seem like I do that I always had everything clear. I didn’t and I still don’t. I actually do not know what my life’s purpose is.

I’d rather say I have an overall life goal but not that I have a perfectly calculated life. I will say it is more about living a thankful life where I appreciate all the blessings I have received in my life. I want to stay healthy, I want to stay positive and I want to work hard so that I can give my best to make my goals and dreams true.  

9 years ago, I was hit by a car when I was on the way to meet one of my best friends. This happened three weeks before my high school graduation and I am lucky that I didn’t get such serious injuries besides some scars, a broken toe and vertigo for a month.

Since then I decided that I was going to live my life without regrets. I did not want to look back one day and feel regret that I didn’t do something I wanted. All of this of course with restrain. I knew I wanted to study something that didn’t categorize me, that allowed me to work in different types of industries but at the same time that would allow me to make an income to keep enjoying my life. This is the reason why I studied International Business.

I then also knew I needed to obtain my bachelor so that I could apply for a scholarship so as soon as I completed my bachelor I applied for the scholarship that would then allow me to live and study in Germany. I won it and the rest is history.

When I look back, I can confidently say that these two years in Germany a life changer.  If I had to summarise it in one word I would take the word self-conscious. As a result, I changed my attitude towards life. I became more mature. I began focusing on myself. How could I be better. I became more emphatic and I began appreciating things that I didn’t treasure before.

But all of this just happened because I was brave enough to keep moving forward. Even at times when I was not sure if I was moving in the right path. I guess what is important is to keep moving because when you move, things change and change will always teach you more about yourself.

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Will you adopt the German citizenship?

Will you adopt the German citizenship, she asked.

I have no clue, was my answer.

This was a question that stuck in my head after this conversation with someone I know.

When I got my residence permit, it was said to me that I had to take an Integration Course. An Integration course has two parts: a language course and the orientation course. Because my knowledge of german is more advanced than the levels the test covers, I do not have to take the language part just the test that will leave a written proof that I, indeed, have a knowledge of the german language till the B1 level. I will take that test, the DTZ, next month.

As for the orientation course, I will be attending it till mid-December and I must confess that even though the amount of hours I have to spend in class are a lot, they have so far being very interesting. I consider that I am a curious person so when I heard my one of my classmates, M. I will name him, complaining about the fact that he has to take this course made me feel kind of sad.

Why wouldn’t someone want to learn more about the country where he/she is living? About its history, legal system, culture?

I can totally understand that you appreciate and value the culture of your home country but I also wonder if the the country where you are living doesn’t deserve the same appreciation.

Beyond appreciation I would say it’s respect and thankfulness. It’s making your life here a bit easier because you will know be able to understand why are certain things how they are in Germany. Three days in this course and that already became clear to me.

Even if eventually, I do decide to become a german citizen, I will never stop being a Panamanian. That is the place where I was born. My home and wherever I am I will represent it and respect it. With or without a passport. I guess that where M. and I should keep in mind. Our countries and their traditions, values and history are with us wherever we end up living. Let’s respect our home countries and not forget where we come from. But let us also be grateful and respectful to the country that we know call home.

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Good things take time, they say

I woke up to a message from a recruiter on my Inbox.

“Are you still searching for a new professional challenge?” – she asked.

“Yes”, I replied and I immediately forwarded my CV to her.

Next day, we had a call. Less nervous this time, the recruiter explained that an opening within a Pharmaceutical company was available and she wanted to know if she could nominate me for the position. I was static.

Salary range, great. Job description, challenging. Just what I am searching for.

One week after, I am still waiting for a reply. I feel anxious about it but I ignore it. Truth is, I might end up sending a follow up message by the end of this week but then I begin to wonder.

Is this a sign? A test? Is the universe trying to send me a message?

I am starting to believe that is what is happening here. My oh so long well-followed life path is shaking. Shaking every fiber in my body and making me question EVERYTHING.

I do want to get a job. Even though I am enjoying the time free time I have and taking the most advantage out of it, I also start thinking that I didn’t burn my eyelashes for this, this many rejections.

I like to be productive, I want to learn from others and I like to challenge myself. This is part of my self-career statement.

Nevertheless, apparently, life has other plans in store for me and these lasts weeks I think the message became clearer to me. Yes, it is cliché but good things take time. This time will probably force you to reevaluate your plans and goals. Time will even make you consider things you once said you would not do, like going back to the university again to take a second Master or even consider changing your career.

What makes feel even prouder about this is that I am learning to live with uncertainty and beginning to internalize that indeed good things, the good things I want in my life will take time but they will make this journey worth every day.

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Do you have a job already?

This is the question I have heard the most the last weeks. Whenever I get it I take a deep breath and answer: no, not yet.

I have been searching for a job since the end of August making a total of 15 applications sent to this day. The lesson that I wasn’t expecting to realize is that finding a job in Germany is a job itself and that is the job I will have for a few months. In these months I have to keep being patient and persistent and so far, that has not been easy.  Some weeks I am and some weeks I am not.

When I am none of the above, I cry and I cry because I feel frustrated; anxious and impatient. This was something I was not prepared to, I mean, of course, I knew it was going to be a challenge but all the things that start crossing your mind start to become overwhelming.

When I feel overwhelmed, I give myself permission to cry. When I cry, I feel all these feelings leaving my body through my tears and these tears actually give me power.

They give me power when I reach the bottom because they help me remember everything that I have already overcome. They help me remember all the things I want to do. All the things I want to experience. All the places I still have to visit. Things that this job, this job I am working on finding will help me accomplish and finding a job, a good, well-paid job will take time.

After I dry my tears, everything falls into place once again. This too shall pass and I am the only person that will take me out of it, so Izmir: suck it up and only then I also happen to realize that the question Do you have a job already? is the way in which my family and friends remind me of this and the only thing that is left is to keep on going.

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“A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”

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Why am I learning german when it’s such an "ugly" language?

For as long as I can remember, I had this inexplicable fixation with the UK and Germany. This fixation was so strong that I told my mom that whenever I had the opportunity I was going to study in one of these two countries. In November 2012, I found myself sharing the news with my mom that I had been awarded a scholarship to pursue a master in Germany.

From this moment onwards, it was clear to me that I HAD to learn German so whenever I tell people that I am able to speak german, the response that I get is but why? it is such an “ugly” language.

I won’t argue with you because yes, this language does not sounds as romantic as Italian so this week I decided to share with your  what learning german has taught these last 4 years.

Patience: German is not easy so having patience is very important if you decide to learn this language. This language is COMPLEX and during the journey you will want to quit; feel frustrated and even question yourself on why are you going through this torture.

Flexibility: when you learn german, what you learn today might change tomorrow so you have to be open and not being afraid to change because even though there are rules there are more exceptions and things might change faster than you think.

Empathy: while learning this language I have met people from so many different countries and the thing that I admired the most from all of them is that even though their native languages might not be derived from the latin-script alphabet like german, they took on this challenge and they always gave their best every time we met in class. You start realizing how lucky you already are when your native language derives from a latin-script alphabet.

Confidence: if german is not your native language, it will never be perfect and you will have to accept that. Nevertheless, you have to be self-confident enough to use the language despite of this issue because that already says a lot about yourself. Besides learning a new language that with time I have managed to enjoy learning, this journey has left me valuable skills that are transferable to the many stages of life and that now more than ever have shown me all the things I am capable of.

I learn german because…

I like it (I am being honest);

because I want to be able to communicate with Viktor’s family;

because knowing another language will open doors for me in Hamburg

and most importantly because I want to fully integrate into this country.

To be fair with german, the language becomes less ugly as time goes by; there are even words that I am not able to literally translate to Spanish because German can be SO specific and that’s precisely where the beauty of the language lays…

auf wiedersehen =see you next time

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Changing perspective

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Two weeks ago, I found myself jumping in my bed celebrating the fact that after sending 14 job applications, an HR manager had finally found my profile interesting enough to invite me for a phone interview.

The phone interview was set for the Friday of that same week and I believe that even though it was my first phone interview, I had done a good job.The HR Manager told me she would contact me the week after to give me feedback and let me know if I had passed the first test.

The week after our phone interview arrived and I didn’t receive any news. I would have loved to receive feedback about the interview, either positive or negative but not receiving anything broke my heart, to say it in a way.

I decided I would let that feeling go away during the weekend. The Monday after, I decided that instead of being sad I would take control of this unemployed situation and took action.

Weeks before a headhunter had contacted me to talk about my job opportunities in Germany but I had not set a date to talk to him so I finally wrote him back and set up a call for last week’s Wednesday.

We had an interesting call that left me with mixed feelings: the negative side is that I would have to make a huge investment in a new master if I would like to pursue a career in Regulatory Affairs, which is unfortunately, at the moment not an option but the positive side of our call, is that it made me reflect on how  I I was approaching my job search in Germany and will adjust my CV and cover letter accordingly so that I can pursue a career in Logistics, one of the biggest industries here in Hamburg so wish me luck. I will keep you posted on how this goes.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”

-Wayne Dyer

 

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Elections in Germany, a self-reflection

One week ago, elections in Germany happened. I feel that this election made some people freak out (I would even say most of them) but, what’s the issue?

The AFD, Alternative For Germany, is a party that directed its campaign to address immigration by raising hostility against immigrants, refugees and Islam. Being an immigrant myself, their campaign made me sick. I felt just as sick as I felt during the US campaign with Trump. Were we going to experience this ALL OVER AGAIN, really?

Luckily, the AFD was a bit more diplomatisch (insert german accent here). Nevertheless, this made me think and the week before the elections I found myself discussing with Viktor about this issue. What’s wrong with people? Is it really possible that countries such as the US and Germany didn’t learn A THING about their past.

Our conclusion was that people fear what they don’t know when they have not been taken out of their comfort zone. From Viktor’s experience and because he also comes from East Germany, the issue here is that even though the wall was demolished 28 years ago, the wall is still in the mind of the some of the inhabitants of these cities.

When you don’t have the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures, you can’t relate to “foreigners” and realize that deep down, we are all the same. We might have different skin colors, types of hair, believe in a different God and speak other languages but, beneath all of that ,  we are all the same.

We don’t know when things might change and we might need to leave our countries just to survive. Regardless, us as immigrants, need to thrive to always give our best so that opportunities for the next generations keep coming up.

I tell you all of this because something happened this week. I received an order from Amazon and when signing the confirmation of receipt , the postman realized that his name was the same as my last name: Henry. He then asked if he could leave my neighbor’s packages with me, to what I said: “sure”.

The next day, Henry ringed on my doorbell again, with more packages, which I also kept because I know that postmen here are not well paid and they have ton of work. Day three, Henry knocked again and yes, he was planning to leave more packages with me. By then, a neighbor told me she was at home at the time  packages are delivered so I realized,Henry just didn’t stop by and then… I felt disappointed.

This guy, black, like me, and probably with immigrant parents, wants to take advantage of me, an immigrant as well to get me to do his work for him. Hell no Henry!!! You need to do better. We need to do better. Because if we don’t, the AFD will keep throwing their seeds in fertile soil, spreading fear, hate and hostility. The world is taking many turns and we should not forget that we all need each other to do our best.

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Appreciate Everything

One week ago, my husband and I spent a weekend in Berlin. This was the first city in which I lived when I first came to Germany back in 2013; so I was really excited to be his tour guide for the first time in his country of origin. We took time to stroll around the city, try new food and meet with friends. Nevertheless, the thought that stayed on my mind, is how things have  changed since 2013.

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I spent two years away from my fiance, got married and we are now finally together in the same place. I made a pause and couldn’t feel more grateful for being able to spend a weekend in the place where it all began, but this time, with my husband.

Last week had a good start. On Monday, we had to request the extension of my resident permit and everything went fine. I’ll have a resident permit that will be valid for one and a half years. This made me feel relieved, German bureaucracy can be complicated at times, but we managed to sort everything out properly and now it’s done.

Talking to friends, who are also going through similar situations, we came to the same conclusion: these are processes that we have to follow and even though they can be confusing and kind of stressful at times, those are the quirks of being a foreigner in another country.

Despite of this, I didn’t feel positive at all last week, so I decided that the best way to deal with this feeling was writing. I guess that the hurricanes in the Caribbean and the earthquakes in Mexico also took a toll on me emotionally. I give my best to always stay positive and tell you all the nice things that I am experiencing during my new beginning but I also promised I’d tell you the bad & the ugly. I am not going to say this is bad or ugly, I rather say IT’S LIFE.

Life is not easy! but you know that already. I’d rather say  the key here is to keep in mind that these tough moments will shape our character and will help us appreciate the good moments everyday, even when it’s tough to see the sun after the rain. Sometimes I find myself (yes, it will sound cliché) thinking that things happen for a reason. It’s not an easy thing to realise and sometimes it might not be as clear right away but please, I beg of you: believe in yourself and everything will fall into place.

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“Believe in yourself and everything will fall into place”
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New Beginnings

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A little backstory:

Since I was 12, I wanted to study in Germany (My mom can confirm that)

When I was about to finish my bachelor’s degree, the first thing I did was research for scholarships that would allow me to pursue a master’s degree, in Germany, of course!!!

Just one month after I received my bachelor’s diploma, I filled a lot of applications and in December 2012, the news that I had been granted a scholarship for a master’s degree in Logistics came!. I arrived in Germany in May 2013 and completed the master in May 2015. I am quite sure these two years are the best out of the 28 that I’ve been on this planet.

You might wonder, where is she going with this?

Well, now that I have spent a month in Germany, I have realized that even though I spent two of the best years of my life here, I am a newbie in this country all over again.

It’s not the same thing to be a student with a scholarship, than being a grown-up starting a new life in a new country. I guess that’s the reason why at the beginning of this year part of me was freaking out.

New city + new language + new culture…yes, that’s a tough one.

Tough or not, I have to say that I am enjoying the ride. Germany is a great place to live and I am sure that the decision to come back to Hamburg was a good one.

I am also sure it won’t be easy, but I’ll give my best to always see the good side of EVERYTHING in this new experience.

So to wrap it up, in one month:

  • I managed to meet new people;
  • We began to make our home feel cozier;
  • I went back to studying German today; and
  • I began my job hunt & have not been rejected 🙂

Wish me luck in this New Beginning!!!

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Herzlich Wilkommen!!!

Thanks for coming by to #MissHenryinGermany my home online where I will share with you the good, the bad and the ugly of my life in my new home away from home in Hamburg, Germany.
Let’s be honest, changes are SCARY but being scared shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to do. I first came to Germany in May 2013 with a goal in mind: pursuing a master’s degree in Logistics. Don’t you think I was scared?
Of course I was, but I embraced this change with my arms wide open just as this new beginning, as I like to call this second round in Germany.
At the beginning of this year when I knew that the time to leave my comfort zone was arriving I felt anxious and stressed because my life as I knew it was going to change.
Fast forward to August and I couldn’t be more relaxed. I embraced with open arms this new opportunity to start a new chapter of my life in Hamburg and I am already looking forward to sharing my experiences with you in this blog.

With love,

Izmir

 
 
 

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