Everything was new and felt unreal for me. I didn’t get used to the gloomy rainy days almost every day, plus the freezing temperature. That is to say, a major challenge that I conquered eventually while maintaining a good rhythm. This was my foreign life in Deutschland, aka my life in Germany as a Filipino. Coming from the Philippines, how did it all go in the first 12 months in the country that now I call my second home and new home?
As I was writing this, a terrible headache has been torturing my head. I sat comfortably on the couch while my husband was in the dining area, working from home. I politely asked him to grab a glass of water and a medicine tablet to cure my headache. It must have been a change of season, I thought.
*Note: This was originally posted on my other blog Die Kaisers on a Camper in November 2019. Edited and updated.
- My first ever month of foreign life in Deutschland – November 2019
- Foreign life in Deutschland- homesick
- Foreign life in Deutschland and its challenges
My first ever month of foreign life in Deutschland – November 2019
I arrived on November 2, one day after the All Saints Day in the Philippines, and a bank holiday in Germany which meant everything was closed apparently. ( One unquestionable piece of business I got used to )
Most importantly, it was my very first visit and meeting up with my parents-in-law. I was so nervous because even though they had already liked and seen me over Skype calls, they’d never met me in person. Luckily, they welcomed me with loving wide open arms. I couldn’t be grateful.
December- end of the year 2019
Technically, I wasn’t really in the country. Three weeks after I arrived, we flew to South Africa for our six (6) weeks trip as part of our honeymoon. December was the coldest time of the year, so we made a plan to escape from it as Chris always does.
Actually, if my visa application to South Africa wasn’t approved, we could have also settled in Germany and enjoyed the cold winter nights. Luckily, it went the other way around. It would be a crime for me to decline.
Filipino life in Germany- hellow New Year – January 2020
In the first week of January, we returned to Munich. January was fairly cold, wet, and dark. It was already in my bags of expectation. Yet, my foundation wasn’t good enough.
Chris and I didn’t make concrete plans yet for the year of going out of Europe. Though he wanted me to fully experience, well, yes, the foreign life there is in Deutschland. Especially on its own beautiful offers, and make myself feel at home.
So we went to Switzerland, too, and passed quickly to Austria! To have a glimpse of what neighboring countries looked like.
This was the time that my life in Germany as a Filipino has started to soak in me.
We purchased a new member of our family, and it has been our baby for the meantime. Nope, not a human being. His name is George, our camping car.
A couple of weeks after he landed on our hands, we were already on our way to camping in Prague, Czech Republic. That was also my first time traveling by camping car. Chris had one it multiple times before with his parents when he was younger.
Interestingly, van camping is a common thing in Europe, not only for foreigners living in Germany but for locals as well. And you bet, being a Filipino myself having one, I was so proud of myself!
Germany spoiled me with plenty of choices. Say from incredible well functioning public transportation to its convenience to its peaceful de-stressing nature. So I went out to see nature outside Munich.
However, Munich had plenty of it, too and everyone was welcome to enjoy it. Locals, foreigners, expat, etc.
This time, seemed like I was starting to appreciate even more the foreign life in Deutschland. The summer had waved its first hello, and winter snow had also got its last hoorah that it was relatively melting.
In the second week, we were out camping in Allweglehen despite that it was still freezing cold out there. Also, a trip to Kuchl mountain to have a glimpse of the last mountains of snow.
On the other hand, I remembered that this month was the most time I called home to my mother. I didn’t know the reason why. It’s just plenty of times that I got a call from them or vice versa. She always asked me about the weather and if I was freezing or if summer was coming.
Foreign life in Deutschland- Spring
Summer months were here; I was too excited to the fact that I could finally sunbathe after months of sporting pajamas, sweaters, pullovers, jackets, warm socks, and being fully clothed.
Eventually, It was getting warmer, and the sun was too eager to be shining hot again. Therefore, I began buying and collecting summer plants, both indoor and outdoor.
Life in Germany as a Filipino sometimes meant, missing all the sunshine!
Moreover, April was a special month for us because it was our first wedding anniversary. We opted to celebrate it at home since the coronavirus was then beginning to spread not only in Germany but worldwide.
Foreign life in Deutschland- homesick
My foreign life in Deutschland had been cozy and beautiful. But missing my family in the Philippines was an element I could never ignore. The warmth, the noise, the beautiful chaos. Everything that came with it. Of course, I remained happy as Chris had never ceased to solace me”.
The lockdown in Munich had ceased and opened the thinnest chance to visit my parents-in-law again.
But this time came with a whole lot of different styles. We kept our distance, wore a mask, and instead of sleeping in the bedroom on the second floor of the house, we decided to camp out in their backyard.
Besides, we also made a couple of short trips in and out of Bavaria. We all needed some time off, didn’t we?
June first was already the third day of our 3 weeks trip to Croatia. It was a new country for me in Europe, and since the lockdown happened, fewer tourists were hyped to be back to traveling again. Also, Croatia was one of the first few borders to reopen.
Nonetheless, three weeks in Croatia was noteworthy for me. However, I also couldn’t almost enter Croatia for a reason. It’s probably because I was a Filipino holding a Filipino passport? You can read the full story here.
As we loved Prague to a greater maximum extent, five (5) months later, after our first visit together, we’re back again.
As a foreigner, I love seeing neighboring countries. Made me feel thrilled and overwhelmed.
Most importantly, the city itself had its magic charm, and the local restaurant Kantyna seemed to be a magnet to us. The primary reason why we kept coming back. The bone marrow dish that they serve stuck in my craving. It was absolutely mouth-watering and affordable, too!
During the past months, I was quite stuck at home except when we were on a short trip or traveling. However, in August, that had changed radically when the international school I applied for finally asked me to start the job.
Besides the fact that I was a foreigner, that didn’t stop me to hunt for a nice job for me as well as the school I applied for.
Technically, I was already hired by the school, but due to the coronavirus, all schools were forced to close; thus, I couldn’t officially start with the job.
So delighted I was on my first day, not to mention the fact that I worked with kids, that’s left me floating in joy! Well, yea, foreign life in Deutschland gave me the opportunity for more open doors!
Foreign life in Deutschland and its challenges
On the other hand, one of my biggest concerns of living in Germany as a foreigner was making friends with the locals. Apparently, I found it so hard connecting with them, aside from my husband’s friends, whom he introduced to me.
So I resorted to making one International.
Until the middle of September, I was preoccupied with my new job. I totally loved it despite that I had very little time organizing stuff at our home.
Nevertheless, with my superwoman power, I managed to take care of things exclusively in preparing George for our three weeks trips to Italy. ( Second time this year)
Decorating our apartment was a thing I was really looking forward to despite that Halloween hadn’t ended yet. Being a Filipino in Germany didn’t stop me from migrating the Filipino home tradition when the ber months arrived.
This month of the year I was also occupied at my work in school.
In the International where I work, everyone is an expat or a foreigner like me. Listening to their stories about their foreign life in Deutschland made me feel that I wasn’t alone.
Meanwhile, it’s getting cold and wet again in Germany, which pretty much reminded me of my first days here.
Rain boots and winter coats have been welcomed again.
Although not every day was a birthday cake for me as a foreigner, some days were filled with the cutest memories yet longing to be with my family again, and some days were just contentedly happy next to my husband and not worrying about anything.
November – happy first year anniversary living a foreign life in Deutschland
Exactly one year ago now, all the photos and memories on my Facebook and Instagram reminded me of how time flew so fast. My heart is full.
Meanwhile, it’s the official beginning of lockdown (again) today in entire Germany. This means, there are not loads we can do besides it’s my birth month.
Looking back through the months of my life in Germany as a Filipino, I think it didn’t affect me that much because I am a foreigner to a new country for me. I believe that it’s on how you live your life in the country that you’ve chosen.
Above all, I am forever grateful for everything.
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