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  • susanemildenberger

10 years an Expat

Aktualisiert: 9. Apr 2020

Having lived in 5 countries, I believe that I can tell, what expat life means. I want to take your fears, that you might have, planing a relocation to a new country. Relocation can mean a lot of stress and organization but it also means amazing adventures, interesting cultures, new friendships, funny languages and so much more.

Our first destination in our 10 years long expat journey was Beijing, China. Moving with two little kids was a challenge, but after a little settling in time, we were ready and happy to have this opportunity to explore Chinas culture, history and culinary. One of the most valuable things for me during our expat life, was meeting all the amazing people around the globe, of which so many have become great friend and part of my family.

Our next stop on the expat journey was Helsinki, Finland. Yes, that is quite a bit different to China, in fact it couldn't be more different. Despite people keeping distance, being rather quiet and the weather very, very cold, the biggest change on the positive side was the clean air in Finland. While in Beijing, we had to wear masks occasionally, we have thoroughly enjoyed our activities outside. With more than 170.000 lakes and a beautiful coastline, Finlands nature is stunning.

Dubai, UAE - wow, what can be said about living in a place that is so surreal. My kids still say, for them it felt like being on vacation all the time, just the school was disturbing. I enjoyed the beaches, the fancy hotels and the fancy expat brunches. The heat was unbearable, but nobody can change the weather, right?!

Last but not least and always thinking of it with a bit of a heavy heart, was our time in London. It took me quite a while to get used to strangers calling me love or darling, the buses never being on time - for a German person that's almost unforgivable - but that vibrant city, the beautiful old victorian houses, the lovely, friendly people, the cuisine of the whole world at one place - all that and much more will always remain in my heart.


If I could give an advise to all expats, it would be: make the most out of your time abroad, learn the language of your host country, explore it, talk to people, ask your neighbor if you are unsure about something, I am certain that people will help you, just approach them.

Oh and one tip for your kids from mine, after 5 different schools and 3 different systems: be confident and positive on your first day at school, its gonna be cool!


Returning home to an exciting place like Munich wasn't hard. We picked up where we left off, felt welcomed by our old friends and neighbors and revived our old habits very quickly. Strolling through Viktualienmarkt, having a quick meal and a drink at one of the beautiful Biergartens, hiking in the mountains, lying on the Langwieder See or Isarauen... all that will never change in this fast forward moving city.




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