Munich daily photo

Expat of the month
  • Munich daily photo
Published on 2010-08-01 at 00:00
My name is Emily and I'm originally from Dayton, Ohio. I've now lived in Munich, Germany for nearly 4 years. My favorite things about Germany, and Munich in particular, include the high quality of life, biergartens, Christmas markets, public transportation, the constant cultural events + festivals,

My name is Emily and I'm originally from Dayton, Ohio. I've now lived in Munich, Germany for nearly 4 years. 

When and how did you decide to move to Germany ? Is it complicated to settle down in Munich ?

I can't quite pin point the exact point in time when I decided to move to Germany. My husband is German and after dating for one year at the university where we met and then spending two years dating cross Atlantic long distance we got married. I moved to Munich in September 2006, because I thought it was essential that I learn more about his language and culture. 

Settling in Germany isn't very complicated, however there is a lot of bureaucracy to deal with, which can be slightly off putting. Munich is the most expensive city in Germany as well, so people often suffer sticker shock. It took a while for me to stop converting prices to USD anytime I bought anything.

Have you ever lived abroad before?

One of my biggest regrets was not studying abroad in college, although I did travel internationally to visit my friends that did. I was always fascinated with other cultures and would most likely be willing to move anywhere, although Munich is my first stint at being an expat. Being so centrally located and with such fantastic public transportation makes traveling from Munich very easy. My husband and I have visited 35 countries together and are very passionate about enjoying experiences over things. Just last year we did a 4 month trip around the world! Some of the more exotic places we've visited include: The Maldives, Greenland, Nepal, and the Cook Islands.

What do you like the most about Germany ? 

My favorite things about Germany, and Munich in particular, include the high quality of life, biergartens, Christmas markets, public transportation, the constant cultural events + festivals, and the parks and flower gardens. Things here are clean, efficient, and organized. 

How is / was the cultural shock ?

The culture shock for me was mainly centered around the language barrier when I first arrived and people weren't very warm and friendly. It was somewhat surprising to me how rude complete strangers would be to me or others. There seems to be a 'me first' sentiment that still feels foreign to me. Life in Germany is very different from the US in that manner. 

Do you miss anything from your homeland?

I miss the large family events and pot luck parties, the array of foods, and of course family and friends. Inexpensive, yet quality clothing also seems to be nonexistent here. 

Any 'memories of an expat' you would like to share with other expat blog members? 

It really amazed me how impatient the natives would be when I was first getting comfortable with my German. Let's just say many complete strangers were anything but encouraging. I felt it was incredible that I was trying so hard to communicate to people in their own language and then would be treated so poorly. That was disappointing. Looking back I think I was too hard on myself as well. I refused to speak English when in public. Now I can visit the doctor and entirely use German. That feels like an accomplishment. 

Your best souvenir? 

Experiences aside my best souvenir would probably be my very own biergarten. We bought a table and benches at a shop in the city center. My husband insisted there wasn't anywhere to park the car nearby, so we ended up moving it on the subway. It was kind of a nightmare. Each year we purchase a 1/2 litre glass with the annual Oktoberfest motif and random decor so we'll be able to celebrate ourselves even if we don't always live in Munich. We also made a promise to always have good beer at our house.  

When did you start your blog? For what reasons? 

I started a personal blog, Servus München, in 2007 to keep in touch with family and friends without crowding their inboxes with emails and photos. It was a nice place to document my time here. After a while people would tell me they had friends or co-workers coming to visit Munich and ask for tips on things to do here, so I tried to offer help for tourists to see the places I loved that were a bit off the beaten track.

Troy, the creator of Munich Daily Photo, saw my love of exploring the city and we both shared a love of being perpetual tourists in our hometown. He started MDP in January 2008 as a way to really get out and experience everything this city had to offer. I was always inspired by his posts and would even venture out to see things he had written about, so I was happy when he contacted me and we became friends. In July 2010 when he moved back to the US he passed the blog on to me and left some very big shoes to fill. 

I love the idea of MDP and being able to bring a touch of Munich to people all over the world.

Did you make new friends with your blog? 

Making friends through my blog was pretty much my last intention, however it's also been one of the most interesting aspects. I love getting emails from people who are new in town or simply feeling as if I am able to help tourists see what a great city Munich is. I also became a local Munich 'Spotter' with Spotted by Locals, which is a really fun way to help tourists see the parts of the city that aren't in guide books.

When did you register for Expat-blog?

I registered for Expat-blog in 2008. I figured becoming an expat can be a challenging step and if any part of my process would be of help to someone else then it might help to share my personal experiences. 

Which advice would give to people who would like to live in Germany?

It takes a certain type of person to be an expat, because it does tend to be high-highs and low-lows, but it's what you make of it. Learning some German exponentially increases the quality of life here. I've been rather surprised to see how people with no connections to Germany have uprooted their lives and been able to get visas, jobs, and create a life for themselves. It's worth trying if you dream of a life of great beer and pretzels, although those are more unique to Bavaria than the whole of Germany!

Munich daily photo