Kerstin: My Manly Blog
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Australia, etc.
I am not a typical German. I am vegetarian, I think 15 degrees is pretty cold and I am not a big beer fan. Oh, and I also quit my job and all my “German security” that I had built over the last few years and left Berlin in November 2013 to come back to Australia, the country I fell in love with when I did a year of work and travel in 2010. I got really lucky finding a job in my industry and getting a sponsored visa as well as finding the perfect flatmates and friends for life in my new and chosen home Manly.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
After living abroad for 6 months, I felt the urge to write down all my experiences and adventures, not just to show people back home what I get up to here, but also for myself and for everyone who is in love with the Northern Beaches as much as I am.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Because I love traveling, planning my next trips and thinking about where I want to go, it would probably be this one.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Australia differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I knew Australia before I moved here, so I had an idea of what to expect. Everything has turned out pretty well for me and I did not have any trouble or any regrets ever of making the move away from Germany. I feel that I am where I need to be.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Australia? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
When I moved over, I had a 6 month contract so I did not know what would happen after that. When I got sponsored, I started realizing that I will not go back home, probably ever again. I had my parents to take care of my apartment, friends to look for a new tenant and furniture to be moved around from one end of Germany to the other. Now I think I should not have kept that “backup” plan (that was pretty “German”) but just sorted out everything before I left – because you will always find a way in Australia!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Australia?
- Check out Meetup. You will find like-minded people and a lot of Expats with the same hobbies and interests.
- Make yourself familiar with Australian habits, food and maybe some slang (you should know what it means to bring an Esky as well as what it means to meet up for brekkie).
- Bring winter clothes! Depending on where in Australia you are, you will actually get some freezing cold winter days!
How is the expat community in Australia? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I found it very easy to find friends and like-minded people. As long as you are open and a social person, Australia is making it easy for you to feel home. I signed up to Meetup and joined a Manly Activity Group, which is where I met a lot of Expats. We are now (and outside of Meetup) a group of 15-20 people from 14 different countries.
How would you summarize your expat life in Australia in a single, catchy sentence?
Less ordinary, more fun!