Moving abroad is hard.

Whenever someone hears about my plans to move, they are usually taken back as to how quickly I can suddenly ‘make’ a decision.  The reality here is that I don’t tend to make quick decisions.  I tend to do a lot of background research into my options so that when the time arrives to make a decision, I am able to finalize a decision in what seems to be at ‘lightning speed’.

Right now, I am moving to Berlin.  I was talking about the maximum amount of suitcases that I need to pack.  Then the overall comment was that moving was as simple as packing a suitcase.  Not so.  Anyone who has ever seriously moved on their own, especially to a country where English/their own main language is not the main language for that country.

The other issue that irks me is the continued assumption that because English is a language that is widely used and adopted in professional and personal circles, that it’s the default and defacto standard in modern cities like Berlin.  Not so fast.  German is the default and defacto language used.  Sure if you are lost in Berlin and you need to find the nearest train station, then you’ll find someone who can help you.  But when you are poring over tenancy contracts, government websites, and so on, you will realize that English is merely just the guest language.  In this case, I’m looking forward to learning German in my time and stay in Germany.

Last but not least, the one thing that I’ve learnt so far is that moving is hard overall.  Even if you are moving to countries like the UK, Canada, the US, Ireland and so on there are still a lot of major and minor differences and nuances that you need to learn first.  I remember going to an event in Vancouver and someone made an offhand remark as to how Australia and Canada are the same and that because of this, moving is not that difficult.  I used to think the same – that moving to Canada was on the easy level.  But, not so.