I’m now an official resident in Dusseldorf, Deutschland, equipped with a German phone number, home address and bank account to boot. Wooot!
Before leaving the States, my other half and I had an entire year to await this journey.
Although it wasn’t officially signed, sealed and set in stone until weeks before our departure, I did have loads of time to think about how Brit Stueven PR would adapt, expand or stay biz-as-usual.
I had grand plans to go global and find English-speaking companies to consult with in Europe. My eyes were on the UK. I even Skyped with a potential client and started planting seeds via Instagram and Facebook.
During our two-week sneak peek, I was incredibly grateful for the option to keep my business going. Through many conversations, I gathered that U.S. experience in certain industries (insurance, PR, medicine, law, social work, to name a few…) doesn’t easily translate out here for a myriad of reasons.
Overall, it can be a challenge for women and expats to find paid work in Germany, but it’s certainly not impossible.
All that said, I’m also seeing that Germany is an INCREDIBLE place to raise a family, and no matter what a woman’s mix is, living in Dusseldorf is prime real estate for:
- learning + growing: There are tons of language, cooking, dance and music classes, and universities are free for Americans!
- traveling + sightseeing: It’s oh-so-central for hopping in trains, planes and taxis.
- fundraising + volunteering: The American Women’s Club is very well known and ALWAYS up to something charitable.
- meeting people: Just for expats alone, I’ve found SO many resources, meetups and online groups.
- soaking up European culture + history: There are endless museums, galleries, shops, markets and festivals to peruse.
- quality of life: Doctors, dentists, barbers, florists, parks, churches and schools galore, mild climate, VERY safe and clearly accommodating to runners, walkers, cyclists, baby strollers and people of ALL ages. Dusseldorf was ranked No. 6 on Mercer’s 2012 Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings.
Here’s the skinny:
I’ve decided to press pause on Brit Stueven PR.
I thought I had it all planned out, BUT something hit me a FEW WEEKS before we left.
Even though I was in the process of planning an online course on “story pollination” for small businesses (Some of you received those feeler emails!), I’ve since adjusted my sails.
A little voice said, “You won’t be in Germany forever. If you’re going to get anything out of this journey, you need to let go of what’s familiar and open your eyes to every single thing in front of you. Time is fleeting. Go immerse yourself.”
SO, I’m currently exploring opportunities of all shapes and sizes in Germany, from job interviews to language lessons! I have no idea what these next few weeks or years hold, but I do know that letting go, letting God and letting new things in will leave me with no regrets…only good stories and a heightened perspective on life that I’m so excited to share with you.
I hope my musings will inspire you.