It is time for the announcement of our next adventure:  we are moving to Germany!  I have been there once before, on a solo tour of Europe four years ago, but it was a fleeting visit and I only had a small taste of this European country, rich in history and right in the centre of the continent!  Aside from visiting friends in the smaller cities of Rostock and Göttingen, I remember spending one day in Berlin and leaving with just a glimpse of what this exciting city had to offer.

Now, we have booked flights to the capital and will be arriving in the peak of Summer.  I am looking forward exploring Museum Island properly this time, taking a tour of Charlottenburg Palace, dancing the night away in the world-famous clubs, shopping at the Christmas markets and road-tripping all over the country, to find as many castles as possible!

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Brandenburg Gate, Berlin (Photography: pixabay.com)
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Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin – can’t wait to go here! (Photography: pixabay.com)
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Neuschwanstein Castle, another place on my wish list (Photography: pixabay.com)

Of course, we will have to find some work as well.  I will apply for a working holiday visa, which will enable me to work and travel in Germany for a whole year.  Let’s hope there are some great English-teaching positions available, as my German language skills are still very basic!

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Hopefully I can find a cute little school to do some teaching (pixabay.com)

As the last remaining weeks in Australia slip through my fingers, I am full of anticipation, excitement and nerves.  I only started teaching myself German a few months ago, I need to apply for a German visa when I arrive in the country and I have never worked overseas before, let alone with a foreign language. We are still in the process of selling our van and, as we have done quite a lot of travelling in Australia recently, we will be far from millionaires when we arrive in the country.  All that aside, it will be the trip of a lifetime.  With the future unknown, who knows what will become of us?!

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Reichstag, Berlin (Photography: pixabay.com)

If you are also about to embark on a working holiday in a foreign country, here are a few tips for smashing those pre-travel jitters and letting excitement reign!

  1. Be prepared.  Make sure you have a secure and inexpensive place to store your belongings while you are overseas (thanks Mum and Dad!). Be sure you have all the right documents for your working visa application. Check on licence/bank card/passport expiry dates and get them updated if necessary.  Be sure to let your bank know you’ll be overseas or your card may be blocked when you use it from an unfamiliar location.  Make sure this is all done well in advance.
  2. Budget before you go to ensure maximum savings.  Remember, every treat here is worth a more exciting treat overseas.  Would you prefer a cheesy-mite scroll here, or some delicious German bread from a German bakery when you arrive?  Every saving counts.  Look at where you can cut back.  Then, save, save, save!
  3. Research your destination.  Get excited!  Buy the guidebooks, read them from cover to cover, search online for information on the places you wish to visit.  Watch movies set in that particularly country, read books and ask questions of people who have been there before.  Study the maps, look for dream jobs, read about the history.
  4. Learn the local language (if it isn’t English) and try and master the basics before you arrive.  I’m hoping that I will pick up German a lot quicker, now that I know how to say things like “Du bist schön” and other important phrases like that!
  5. Embrace the unknown.  The future is not certain.  Who knows what opportunities will arise when we arrive, or what lies ahead?  But if I’ve learnt anything from life so far, it is that a positive attitude and enthusiasm gets you a long way.  This is the opportunity of a life time – don’t let it go to waste!

Well, without further a-do, it is time to pack our bags, say goodbye to family and friends and get going. Look forward exploring Germany and posting my first article from overseas.

See you in Berlin – Bis bald!

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Image: pixabay.com

31 thoughts

  1. Terrific suggestions! We will miss you, but know that you are going to have a very exciting time! Luckily, overseas communication is much easier these days, so the world is a much smaller place. We are really looking forward to following your adventures through your blog! Safe travels darling girl and have a wonderful time xxx

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I’m very happy about having all this technology – you’re only a Skype call away! We had a lovely time at your place and look forward to more when we get back to Australia 🙂 Lots of love xoxox

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  2. Congrats on moving to Germany! I’ve been to Neuschwanstein, and it’s a beautiful place; kind of high up there (20 min climb up) and kind of hard to get a good photo opp, but worth visiting while in Germany! If you don’t mind me asking, what job will you be doing while abroad? Good luck with everything, and keep us updated!

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    1. Thank you! I didn’t think about how high I would have to climb but definitely still going to go there! I’m hoping to get some teaching work, as I’m a qualified primary teacher – maybe teaching English could be fun too. Whatever I can get I suppose! Any other recommendations for places to go? Lots of blog posts to come!!!

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      1. Awesome! Teaching English in Europe is definitely worth the experience. As for places to go in Germany, I found Munich a pleasant surprise- rich in art museums, beautiful churches, and wonderful architecture. Passau is also worth a visit, as it’s a cute, small town bordering the German/Austrian/Czech border! Wherever you decide to go, I hope you enjoy! 🙂

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      2. Thanks for the great tips! I’m really looking forward to doing some travel around Germany. I’ve never heard of Passau – love smaller places so will definitely check it out, if I can. Have you taught English before?

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      3. I was an English teacher in France this past year; a different experience than I was accustomed to, but I don’t regret it! That was how I was able to travel so much around Europe! I miss it terribly…make the most of it while you’re abroad!

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  3. Hey, Jenny, this is great news! I, myself, am moving to Berlin this weekend and I can feel your excitement! Who knows, maybe I’ll see you around 🙂

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      1. I’ve been working there for the last 11 months, going back and forth (2h one-way) so yeah, Berlin isn’t all new to me but it’s definitely a big change nonetheless. So, yeah I wish you luck! Moving can be really stressful but I’m sure it will be all worth it in the end if it’s something you really want badly. 🙂

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      2. Wow! Sounds like you have been having a real adventure. Are you going to be there for much longer? I’m really looking forward to trying out life in Germany, particularly learning the language. I’m sure there will be a few stressful times, but I have no doubt it will be worth it!

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      3. I’m hoping to stay for like a really long time, if not for good. Berlin is amazing and I believe I can be really happy there. 🙂 How about you? Do you want to stay for good?

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  4. So exciting Jenny!! I hope you love it, I know several people living in Berlin who don’t seem to want to leave. You should come visit us and our little Black Forest/Rhine Valley area down here if you get a chance too. There’s a castle just over the border in France called Haut-Königsburg that I reckon gives Neuschwanstein a run for its money (and is not as crowded/rushed tour-wise) so perhaps it’s are worth a look in too 🙂

    Btw, re. the visa, I’ve heard the immigration offices in Berlin are a nightmare (an arrive before 6am to get your number, then wait for 4 or 5 hours kind of nightmare cos they are so swamped) so I’d either bring a good book when you go, or try a smaller city somewhere else if you are visiting someone/holidaying there (provided the application is not linked to a Berlin address/location). e.g. down here the appointments are bookable online and you get seen really quickly and all the staff have been helpful. Anyway, if you need any tips Visa-wise let me know!

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    1. Ooh I like the sound of the French castle! We will definitely visit you when we come to the area! I can’t wait to see where you guys are living 🙂 And thanks for the visa tips – I’ll keep that in mind when applying for it. Sounds like a smaller area will be a smarter idea, though I’ll see how I go with the address. Only six more sleeps!! Xxx

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  5. What an exciting opportunity! A few years ago, I moved to Germany for a year as a Rotary exchange student. Best experience of my entire life. Take a look, I lived outside of a medium-sized town called Rostock near the Baltic sea . Hit me up if you’re looking for things to see up that way. I’ve seen quite a bit of the country, and much of Europe.

    What I can tell you about the language is that even Germans screw up the grammar, so don’t feel intimidated. I learned most of my basic German from cartoons (may people say that about foreign languages). Also, there are a few sounds in the language that I’ve been told you simply can’t make unless you learned the language from childhood. No worries, you’ll get along just fine. One book I recommend you pick up when you arrive (or order before!) is by Langenscheidt called German Grammar in a Nutshell. Actually, it can be downloaded here : https://www.scribd.com/doc/93957089/Langenscheidt-German-Grammar-in-a-Nutshell-2002 and a handful of other places online.

    Live it up!

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    1. Germany has been going very nicely! I’m feeling at home here, though I’m still coming to grips with the language, which has been a challenge! I hope you make it to Berlin at some stage – it is a great city to live in 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

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