I’m once (again) bringing my Expat Living interview series out of “hibernation” and would like to introduce you to Jessica from German-way.com.
A fellow Canadian living in my favorite German city outside of Berlin, she came with her hockey player husband and three dogs to settle down in Hamburg (for now anyway). Read all about her amazing and what I think is an interesting expat life …
Jessica from German-way.com.
Not your typical “hockey wife“, Canadian Jessica L. Scott Reid has been living in Europe for over five years with her husband, Brandon Reid of the Hamburg Freezers, and spends her time, writing, studying and exploring her often-changing surroundings with her three dogs.
Where Are You From? (City/Country)
Where Are You Living Now? How Long Have You Been There?
Hamburg, Germany, since late July.
Have You Lived Anywhere Else? Do You Plan to Stay in Your Current Location or Move Somewhere Else in the Future?
I lived in Dusseldorf, Germany for three years and Rapperswil, Switzerland for two. As a hockey-wife, things can change at any moment!
What’s Your Story? What Made You Decide to Take the Big Leap and Leave Home?
I met my now-husband in the spring of 2007, in Canada. He was playing hockey for my hometown team, the Manitoba Moose. By the end of that summer he’d signed a contract with the Dusseldorf Metro Stars and we were off! We’ve been living overseas ever since.
Do You Ever Miss Home? What Do You Do to Cope?
I return to Canada for the offseason each year, about 3 – 4 months each spring, which certainly makes this lifestyle easier. While I’m here in Europe however, I do miss home. I miss the family gatherings and celebrating big moments with my friends. Online tools like Facebook and Skype definitely help.
How Do You Blend in and Be Accepted by Locals?
I do know a bit of German, enough to blend in whilst accomplishing daily tasks like food shopping, dining, or walking the dogs. But if anyone were to bring up say politics or philosophy, I’d be screwed- stick out like sore thumb!
How Do You Stay in Contact with Loved Ones?
I talk with my mom on the phone everyday, as if she lived right down the street, lol. My friends and I use iMessage, Viber, WhatsApp, to chat on a regular basis.
Did You Have to Learn a New Language? If Yes, What? How Did You Go About Learning the Language and How Long Did it Take You to Become Fluent?
Like I said, I know a bit of German. I can chat about simple things like food, wine, hockey, and dogs, but if the conversation evolves into more, I’m pulling the “Sprechen sie English?”
What Has Been the Most Shocking Thing You Learned About the Local Culture?
I am sure if you would have asked me this five years ago, I would have had a few things to say. But now, I have I think I have adjusted so much that nothing really shocks me anymore.
Your Number One Tip About How to Live Life as an Ex-pat.
Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Expect to be embarrassed but don’t worry about it. I still find myself in situations where I have no idea what to do, and whereas that once really bothered me, today I just go with it and enjoy.
What Do You Love Most About Living Abroad?
I see and experience something new and challenging everyday. Even small tasks like walking to the grocery store present fun challenges and new scenery. I often feel like I am really living a very special life here.
What Has Been Your Best Experience to Date in Your New Home?
I spent last year hiking in the Swiss Alps, just me and my little dog, about once each week for six month. I saw incredible things, pushed myself physically further than ever before, and lived in a constant endorphin high.
What Do You Do Work Wise? Did You Have a Job Before You Arrived or Did You Look for Work When You Got There? If You Didn’t Have a Job, How Did (Or Do) You Land Work?
After quitting my job in corporate event planning in Winnipeg, I spent my first hockey-season overseas doing pretty much nothing. I went a bit cuckoo. So the following year I started working on masters degree online. I will graduate this summer with an MA in cultural studies. Last year I also started working as a freelance writer. I now have regular gigs blogging for the expat site German-way.com, a Canadian online magazine Notable.ca, Food Loves Beer magazine, plus others.