Hallo, Germany!

In 2015 I was working as a journalist at a commercial radio station in Oxford, England. I enjoyed my job the average amount – I didn’t loathe it but I didn’t love it either. The problem was, I was based in one of the country’s most beautiful cities but from 10am until 6.30pm every day all I saw were the four walls of a tiny newsroom with no windows and barely a human in sight. For some, this might be a fantastic working environment but for me, it was a disaster. I crave socialisation and genuinely believe sunlight to be the source of all things good in this world. So I left.

This decision just so happened to coincide with the arrival of a particularly yummy visitor who, little did I know, would flip my life upside down. ‘The German’, as he is fondly known, walked into my world with a beard, a grin and an obsession with dogs that had me hooked from the get-go so it was a no-brainer for me when the idea of coming to Germany for ‘a visit’ cropped up one day.

I packed a backpack, booked a flight and spent the Autumn of 2015 picking plums, harvesting veggies and feeding pigs and sheep at his mum’s mini-farm set in the countryside of Germany. Bliss!

But then reality came a-knocking and we had a decision to make. The German wanted to finish his studies and hang back in his homeland for a while after having been travelling around Canada for the past 14 months. It was an understandable decision and, having always wanted to live abroad for a while, one that wasn’t too hard for me to go along with. Suddenly it all seemed very real though and I was overwhelmed with sorting documentation, attempting to meet people and the unbelievably fast and impossible language barrier and I panicked.

I stayed until January 2016 but after months of struggling to find my place in the world here, I jumped at a chance to keep up my radio skills (and some familiarity) back in the UK and flew off for some freelance work.

Three short (but terribly long feeling) months later, I decided to give it another go and The German drove to England, we packed up way more than a backpack’s worth of my stuff and drove 10 hours back to Wiesbaden. In April 2016 I officially moved to Germany – and I’m so glad I did. I’m not saying it’s easy to move abroad (we’ll get to that) but I wouldn’t change the experience for anything.

So now it’s a year on, I’ve just finished a 10-month Integration Course and will shortly take my B1 German exam and I’m finally getting around to focusing fully on my future here. A lot of that revolves around getting a dog but, for the most part, it’s about getting into teaching.

I’ve always thought about teaching and almost studied it at university before opting for journalism, thinking it would ‘give me more options’. However, I’m realising now that teaching opens just as many doors (I’ll go into that later) and will satisfy all my desires for a career; interactive, contributing to society, helping others, varying environments, the chance to meet lots of people and sharing my skills. I have this fantasy of people going home after a lesson with me and saying to their families, “Guess what I learned from Amber today?”. (There are other fantasies of mugs with “Fab teacher” written on them and apples on my desk, but they don’t fuel me quite the same)

I’ve made the decision now and it’s happening, I’ve even enrolled to do a TEFL course in Barcelona this summer so there is no going back now. Stick with me and let’s see where the adventure takes us!

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