Expat Living: Kate Jordan in Frankfurt, Germany
Expat Living: Kate Jordan in Frankfurt, Germany
I’m a serial expat travelling Europe, currently hanging out in Germany. I’m 1 girl who quit her job to travel the world and now want to share my experiences with everyone.
If I can inspire one person to take the leap of faith like I did, well, that’d just be magical!
Where are you from?
Where are you living now and how long have you been there?
I’ve lived in Frankfurt, Germany for almost two years.
Have you lived anywhere else around the world?
Yes. Since leaving England in 2012, I’ve lived in The Netherlands (Cheryl just spent a weekend in Amsterdam), Greece and France before finally coming to Germany.
Do you plan to stay in your current location or move somewhere else in the future?
My husband wants to end up in Australia, but I like the idea of having a bilingual family one day … so that one isn’t totally clear!
We’re both pretty decided on spending a little more time in Germany before making any decisions though. Why fix something that isn’t broken (yet!)?
What’s your personal story? What made you decide to take the big leap and leave home?
I made the decision to leave on a whim when I realised my husband and I couldn’t afford to buy dinner one evening because of how bad our situation in the UK had become (we barely made enough money to pay our bills, let alone pay for food all month).
All it took was one phone call to him and we started making our plans to leave England.
Do you ever miss home? What do you do to cope?
Of course – all of the time. I cope because I actually appreciate all of my friends and family a lot more now and have to cherish the time I spend with them.
That doesn’t mean after a Christmas at home that I’m not itching to get away again.
How do you “blend in” and be accepted by locals?
Fortunately, Frankfurt is a pretty international city which means that we’re most likely not the only English speakers on the street.
We’ve also been very lucky to make a lot of German friends whose mannerisms we’ve quickly picked up when we are out in public. The most important one I have learned so far is “don’t take any shit.”
Germans do not put up with anything they find remotely unacceptable, no matter how rude they come across and I like that.
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?
Neither of us are fluent yet, but Dan and I have both taken German language classes and we have (surprisingly) picked up a lot from our German friends.
We often find ourselves understanding their German and replying in English, which probably doesn’t work out too well for them if they want to talk about us.
What has been the most shocking thing you learned about the local culture?
Seeing as I’m from England, I was already aware that we were quite “prudish” compared to our neighbours but I wasn’t prepared for how comfortable Germans are with being naked.
I’ve lived through two summers now where it’s totally acceptable to be naked in the park, next to some kids playing.
Now that’s something I’ll never get used to!
What is your number one tip about how to live life as an ex-pat?
Never say never. I think as an expat that it’s super important to open yourself to all of the opportunities that come “knocking at your door” because you never know what might come of them.
What do you love most about living abroad?
How much it has taught me about life, myself and the world. I feel like I lived in a bubble before I moved away and being on the outside of that is far more interesting.
Did you make the move solo? Or are you with a spouse or significant other, other members of your family, or friend(s)?
I made the move with my husband (then boyfriend) but we also spent a year of our travels apart.
Now that I’ve done it both ways, I definitely prefer to travel with my partner in crime.
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?
We both started out working whatever travel jobs we could find (au pairs, waiting tables, etc.) and discovered our “dream jobs” as a result.
Dan now works as a kindergarten teacher, after two years of working with children while we travelled. I’m now a web designer and travel blogger.
I feel so fortunate for the options we’ve had since we started travelling and the doors that have been opened to us. It’s been an incredible experience so far and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us!
Expat Living Information
If you dig interviews like this one with Kate Jordan in Frankfurt, Germany, take a look through Expat Living section. For more on life in Berlin, consider this article about why you should not rent an Airbnb in Berlin or the best Berlin meetup groups for meeting new people.