Goodbye Germany
Career, Perspectives, Travel

Tschüß, Deutschland

24.07.2023 This is the last post I’m writing …

from Germany. The next one will be coming to you from the UK. Yes. You read that correctly. After 15 incredibly difficult and painful years, I am breaking away and leaving the Fatherland. And I am saying Tschüß (goodbye) and not Auf Wiedersehen (until we meet again) because I need distance and right now, I cannot see myself returning to Germany for a while. Never say never though, right?

 I thought about writing this post as a break up letter,

“it’s not you, it’s me.

We’re just heading in different directions. We want different things.

It’s not working out”

but I thought it might be a bit cheesy and downplay the seriousness and weight of this huge decision I have made. I’m not a young outdoorsy backpacker going off on a gap year travelling nor am I an influencer jetting off to the next country in glamour. So much emotion and pain is saturated in my scarred tissue. I don’t have the words to be light and funny. My feelings are too heavy, raw and bitter.

I need to get out or I will die here. I need to break out of this hell. That is how I feel about Germany. Everything keeps going wrong. I have invested half of my life in this country and the dividends are below measly.

I’ve sold, gifted or discarded most of my things. I have packed only the bare essentials like a runaway kit and I have my bunnies in their urn. My passports are lying next to me ready. I’m leaving. Getting out of Dodge. Slamming the door shut and am not looking back.

You might love Germany and many people do. There are some amazing places here and I would love a holiday here. I’ve lived and worked here but have never been able to actually afford a vacation. I’ll miss the healthcare, the large roomy flats with balconies and terraces, the efficient paperwork at the council and government offices.

But it hasn’t worked out for me. I sometimes refer to myself as a nomad because I don’t know where home is but I haven’t travelled to many countries. I don’t do camping and I haven’t holidayed. I’ve just moved jobs and apartments a lot, visited 50+ cities here mostly for work or visiting the ex’s family and moved countries twice. I’m too high maintenance and like my familiar home comforts too much to be a wanderer in the nomad sense. But Germany is not for me anymore. I have come to the end of this road and it’s time to take another path.

There have been many signs leading me up to this

It wasn’t just an overnight decision. Although, I let my boss think that. Keep your plans and goals to yourself or you might find people try to derail you.

When my divorce came through in 2019 I thought about returning home. I was sick a lot that year and had ear infections, lost my hearing for 6 weeks and it took 6 months to regain my hearing to 100% again. I was lucky. It was a 50/50 chance and with music therapy and a lot of work I regained my hearing. I was left though with tinnitus in both ears. I’ll take that over not being able to hear at all. I wasn’t allowed to fly anywhere due to the air pressure, and I needed a couple of months to just process everything that had happened with the divorce, relocation to West Germany and being alone. I thought about making plans to move in 2020. But then the pandemic hit and from February 2020 we found ourselves in lockdown and we all lost 3 years of our lives to that. I was stuck. I couldn’t leave.

The pandemic taught and showed me a lot about people and politics and mostly the negative sides to them, and I started to question where my life was heading. What did I want to do?

Since Snoopy died I have been alone. I have been doing some soul-searching. I have always landed and taken jobs out of survival. None of them were my career choices. I needed to make money, put a roof over my head and food on the table without draining social welfare of resources. I’m a hard grafter. You learn more about business and life by working all manner of jobs, starting from the bottom up, than just cashing in a welfare check once a month.

It was the wrong way to go about it, though. Taking any job just to survive won’t bring happiness.

I’ve been surrounding myself with motivational speakers, podcasts, reading books, and watching YouTube videos and they all say to make your passion your work. Do that what brings you joy. Ditch the rest. Take the leap of faith.

Seeing as so far nothing really has made me happy, I guess trying this way—I have nothing to lose.

My future on the horizon

Alongside discovering my ancestors, visiting Aachen at Easter (that is another post to come) and trying to pinpoint what I actually like, what I think I would like to do and who I am, I am being drawn to gemstones and jewellery.

I have been learning about my ancestors and how one side of the family were from the Midlands, The Carringtons of Birmingham, and were gold- and silversmiths and involved very much in the jewellery trade, the other side were from Cornwall and Devon and involved in shipping and trading. Perhaps they handled gemstones or metals, too?

I’ve bought a couple of books on gemstones, started researching and found out there is a thing called gemmology and took some free classes at the Swiss Gemmological Institute to test my curiosity. I passed the tests with flying colours—to my amazement. I didn’t think I was a science-y person.

And the more I started reading about stones, the more I feel energized and happy. And so many random coincidences have been occurring as if my ancestors are calling me back into this profession. I feel the universe is guiding me and for the first time I am listening to my heart and soul. I am going with the flow, no concrete plan and letting doors open up as I go along. My path is being illuminated one step at a time and I am not trying to force it. And things are shifting, changing and it’s all aligning and going right.

It is taking huge restraint on my part and testing my patience as I am someone who likes control, likes to make things happen and quickly, I want results now, but it is paying off and all I can do is trust this process. This energy. Follow the signs.

So I sat down in December when Snoopy was deteriorating and did the maths. I checked if and when I could realistically move. This would be my 14th move to date and my 3rd international move. All at my own expense and as cheaply as possible with no savings and living paycheck to paycheck. I had already started researching during the pandemic but didn’t have a concrete time frame.

Manifesting my goals and dreams into fruition

When Snoopy passed away in January, I wrote my resignation. I didn’t send it though. I needed to wait until I got my annual bonus. If I sent it too soon, my company would have refused to give it to me. But it was my way of manifesting the ball to start rolling. I was telling the universe I am ready to go so please help me make this happen.

It’s been a stressful progression up to this move. There have been huge dramas at work, I have had to declutter and get rid of all the furniture, redecorate my flat (so I can get my deposit money back) and pack everything. And all of that alone. And how I was going to move didn’t get finalised until a couple of weeks ago. My amazing Army Veteran brother is driving out in a hire van to come and bring me and some of my personal belongings back. My hero! <3

My friends and colleagues though have all taken me out to dinners over the last 2 weeks I have left here in Germany and they have given me little gifts and mementos and it has been a tearful and emotional goodbye. Thank goodness for social media, we can still keep in contact and I will be back to visit once I am settled and have a job in the UK. I will need time to readjust to UK life first and process closing this huge chapter. My entire 20s and almost all of my 30s were in Germany. A time of hardship and struggle, loss and survival when I should have been having fun and living life to the full.

There isn’t anything holding me now to Germany. I have no family here and no bunnies anymore and before I see another big round birthday in this country where I am still too broke to be able to celebrate it, it is time I head back to the UK. I have two years to get myself on my feet on a new path and then I can say hello to my 40s and make it a new era full of happiness, good health, financial security, success and maybe, possibly, hopefully, love.

My goal is to head towards gemmology via jewellery retail and see what paths open up along the way. I’ve already researched all the courses I can do, the funding I could get and how many years of studying I will need to dedicate myself to alongside working full time. I am excited to see if this is my career and how I feel in it. The CV is ready to go, the cover letter is written and I’ve been networking and stalking jewellers, gemmologists and fashion reporters across three continents online to get up to speed in the industry as quickly as possible. The hard work and late nights hopefully will be rewarded and I am armed with a whole barrel of positive mindset, determination, paper manifestation notes all over my boxes and daily mantras and meditations to make this work.

I don’t know how I will feel in the UK. I am nervous. I will have so much to sort out and do. I don’t know if I will fit in or feel at home. I didn’t before which is why I left. But this time I have a goal in mind, a direction and several nieces and a nephew to get to know. I want to spend time with family and friends and then I will let fate and good ole’ Destino guide me the rest of the way. I am done with anxiety, being OCD and trying to control everything. This time I am trying a different strategy and being more open to signs and following my curiosity. Letting the universe lead the way.

Until next time,

Tschüß Deutschland.