Six months in Berlin! In expat life updates, I’ve been living in Berlin for a whopping 6 months now! It honestly blows my mind as it seems like I arrived only yesterday.
So yeah, a half year has passed since I (once again) gave up life in Canada to come and live in Germany.
Six Months in Berlin
How’s it been? I’d say a mixture of good and bad, with things mostly being good! When I first announced my return to Berlin, I outlined some of my goals for my new/old life here.
Be a Rock Star at Work
As any sane person would, I aimed to do well at my new job. I’m still here so I guess that’s something.
Seriously speaking, I really like my new company and team. We have a lot of fun together, and any job where there is a free beer from time to time suits me just fine.
I’ve even been learning a lot of new things that are outside of my “normal” job description; specifically, I’m taking my HTML and CSS skills out of the ’90s and into modern times. So, yay to no longer being a prehistoric dinosaur in the digital age..
“Live Large” in Berlin
Another plan of mine was to enjoy the hell out of life in Berlin. I give myself an A+ on this front! I may have done too well at this actually …
I’ve experienced things like Berlin’s MyFest, tagged along with friends for motorcycle rides through the city (I now own a helmet!), gone to film screenings, attended restaurant openings, gone out all-night clubbing, spent days lakeside tanning, and even served lunches and dinners at homeless shelters and refugee camps with Vostel.de.
Make Germany My Friend
Other getaway plans over the year include weekends in Hamburg, Rügen and Görlitz.
Of course, and as always, I wanted to travel more. I’ve actually slowed down over recent months – I haven’t been on a plane since March! For a person like me, that’s a really long time.
I still think I did pretty well from a travel perspective. In the past 6 months, I spent weekends in Amsterdam, Sofia and Budapest. I also hung out in Thailand for 10 days. Oh, and there was a day trip to Szczecin for beer and pierogies!
Next weekend, I’m heading to Prague to hang out with Canadian friends, drink all kinds of Czech beer and hopefully get a chance to watch (and photograph!) sunset over the Vltava river.
I’m also planning for a trip home in August to attend my sister’s wedding and to bring my cat Izzy here.
Learn German, Speak German
I wanted to better my German to a B1 level so I could get permanent residency after 21 months (part of the Blue Card deal).
I’ve failed at this rather spectacularly. I attempted an intensive German-language program with Smarter German (who I highly recommend) but could not make the needed commitment required to stay on track.
It’s tough as I work a full-time job, have this blog and am prone to saying yes to drunken nights out with friends, which involve free margaritas and late-night shopping for overpriced underwear (yes, a true story, which involved me purchasing a pair of skulled-imprinted underwear for around €20).
Good news is that, as I’ve only been here 6 months, I still have lots of time to fix things. Plans are to enroll in a German course with my old school Sprachenatalier come fall.
Aside from meeting or not meeting my various goals, here’s some other expat life updates.
Being Plagued with the Plague
From January on, I was plagued with a cold that followed me around like a psychotic ex-boyfriend. Seriously, just when I’d start to feel better and think the restraining order against further illness had taken effect, it’d return with a frightening vengeance.
I missed work, travel conferences and more. My doctor even ordered me to stay at home for an entire week, not working or going out (which as you can tell is a very hard thing for me to do).
I was sick the entire time I was in Thailand too, on a freaking dream-come-true vacation! Do you have any idea how much it sucks to be ill in paradise? I even had to make a trip to the hospital while there (a story in itself).
I also ate or drank something in Thailand that didn’t seem to agree with me. I had, um … “stomach issues” for about 6 weeks after I got home.
Thankfully, May brought me back to good health once again, and I’ve been feeling great ever since!
Yes and no. I miss my friends, former colleagues, and family. I miss my cat especially! Yet for some inexplicable reason, Toronto is not for me anymore (not to say that I won’t ever call the city home again someday). Berlin is where I feel most happy.
So here’s to another six months in Berlin! To review past updates, read 1 Month in Berlin and 2 Months in Berlin. Also, be sure to join me in my travel and expat adventures by following me on Bloglovin or signing up for email updates.