One Month In Berlin
It’s hard to believe that just last month, I was at home in Toronto preparing for my overseas move to Berlin. I’m exhausted when I think about all of the details that I somehow managed to take care of while working a full-time job that involved a four-hour daily commute (yes, really). I’m not superwoman but I’m sure my kick-ass project management skills certainly helped. As did some very kind friends to whom I will be forever grateful!
On the Canadian end of things, I had to pack, change my address, make final appointments with my doctor and dentist, sell or give away most of my possessions, store and ship things, find a foster home for my cat Izzy, say goodbye to friends … the list seemed to go on and on.
On the German side, there was finalizing my employment contract and visa application, finding a place to live, signing up for health insurance, booking a one-way flight, etc.
Somehow, I made it through and found myself in Berlin once more.
One Month In Berlin
I made my way to my temporary accommodation (coincidentally or perhaps serendipitously on my old street!), took a shower and immediately went out to visit a friend. Before I knew it, I was settled into my favourite bar with a glass of wine in my hand and feeling at home in the familiar setting.
It was like I’d never left Berlin.
The next day I visited my new office, registered with local authorities (the bürgeramt) and received my worker’s permit at the foreigner’s office (ausländerbehörde). They granted me a three year visa! With that taken care of, I was all set. I had a three day weekend ahead of me before I started work on Monday.
I admittedly partied a little too hard (coming home one morning at 8:00 a.m.) but it was a nice weekend, despite losing a day to sleeping in and nursing one hell of a hangover.
Recommended reading – if you are looking for work here, check out my guide about how to find a job in Berlin.
I spent the month getting to know my team and learning more about our product. I also started to think of ways to grow my career and made plans to get some new certifications and integrate myself into the local start-up scene.
I also travelled and spent a weekend in Amsterdam. It was my second visit to the city, after having spent the better part of a week there 3 years ago. Amsterdam involved a lot of food and drink as I went on an Eating Amsterdam food tour and had High Wine at the Dylan Hotel. I also met up with fellow travel bloggers – the lovely Keith from Velvet Escape and Agness from eTramping.
After 2 weeks, I moved into my new flat (I’m subletting). And well, I love it. Not only is it beautiful, it’s a seven minute walk from work! I then started having friends over for drinks and even dinners. It’s been great to play the “hostess with the mostess.”
Best of all, is the feeling of being back in Berlin.
This past month has been incredible. Despite some minor setbacks (difficulty in getting an account set up with the local bank, misunderstanding how my phone plan worked and confusion surrounding my working visa), life here so far is great.
That’s a wrap on one month in Berlin. I look forward to see what life in Berlin brings in 2015. All the best to you and yours. See you next year!