A Foreigner’s Guide to the Best of Germany
Ausländer means foreigner in German. This word can be used in a negative way, a derogatory way, an othering way. I choose to use it differently — a badge of honor, a word reclaimed by those who live with it. It isn’t always easy to reside in Germany as a foreigner (most of the time it is pretty difficult actually); but I have found so much to love about this country. I am proud to be foreigner in Germany, trying my best to fit in here and build a life I love in a country I have come to love.
When I moved to Germany in August 2019 to pursue a masters degree in sustainable tourism management, I had no idea what the next few years would hold in store for me. I moved to Germany with my husband, cats and not much else besides our suitcases. We didn’t know the language, we didn’t know any people here, and we were ready for the adventure ahead.
Finding Familiar in the Foreign
In addition to studying here, my decision to move to Germany was about pursuing the lifelong dream of living abroad. Traveling is one type of experience, full of excitement, adventure and discovery. Living abroad is a totally different experience. It was something that I knew I wanted to try for myself. Being challenged every day, growing from simple interactions, and learning a new language were all parts of the expat experience I wanted to have.
When people ask me about life in Germany, I always say that it feels strangely familiar to my life growing up. I never attributed the significant German influence in Wisconsin as part of my US cultural background, but now that I am in Germany, I can feel it. Obviously I didn’t learn German as a child and most of the people who live in Wisconsin are multi-generational American in their heritage. But the German influence seems to remain. Things like the food, complaining about the weather, quiet humility and the reverence of beer all feel homey to me.
Blogging About Travel in Germany
I have been traveling since I was 11 years old, and blogging about it on my other travel blog, Traverse, for about 9 years. Since my first time abroad in 2000, I became passionate about snapping photos and retelling stories from my journeys. Before the widespread use of blogs, I documented my travels through scrapbooks!
Because Germans tend not to boast much about themselves or their nation, I didn’t know much about traveling within Germany prior to moving here. There are so many surprisingly great places and hidden gems to explore in Germany! The travel opportunities here are awesome, but they remain largely unknown to foreigners.
I have discovered so many things while traveling here, which is why I decided to start a separate Germany travel blog with all my suggestions. There is wealth of discovery awaiting any foreigner who wants to explore Germany, and I am here to share all my tips with you!