From SW London to Copenhagen to Munich: A Bavarian Sojourn
My name is Emma, my family and I moved from South West London to Copenhagen in 2009, and then on to Munich at the end of 2011.
1. Why did you move abroad?
We have my husband's job to thank for that, but secretly I don't really mind! We have always loved travelling, and relished the opportunity to experience life in a few countries other than our own...
2. How do you make a living?
I am a professional lady what lunches(!), but I do try and keep boredom at bay with German lessons (not that successfully!), and a bit of freelance writing.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
Every day, whether by Skype or phone, I am incredibly close to my family, and usually end up speaking to someone. whether I am happy about it or not!
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Bavaria ?
Apart from the bier? The countryside is stunning, and we have mountains on our doorstep. And when we get bored of those, we can drive over them and be in another country relatively quickly!
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Bavaria?
Probably the winters. I am beginning to think it's me, as when we first moved to Copenhagen, we experienced the worst winter there for 47 years. This past winter in Bavaria I thought a mini ice age had started.
6. What do you miss most?
See Number 3! My family, and good “history” friends at home (my term for those people who know me the very best!)...
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
Having two young children is a good way to meet other people through the school, and becoming friends with local bloggers through Twitter etc. Stranger things have happened at sea!
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
In Denmark it would have to be the ancient “put a cat in a barrel and whack it with a stick” tradition at Carnival time, which luckily for the cats, no longer involves animals, and the barrel just contains sweets instead! Children also get to hit their parents with sticks around this time too, if I remember correctly - or was that something my children made up? In Bavaria, I guess Krampus is the strangest tradition - at Christmas he accompanies Saint Nicholas on his travels, and woe betide any child that hasn't behaved - he is truly terrifying, and excellent for blackmail purposes (joke!)!...
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
That everyone has terrible hair and wears socks with sandals. They weren't all vikings in Denmark either, although we did meet a few!
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
Coming from London, even we found Copenhagen expensive. Here is much cheaper in comparison.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Learn the language as soon as you possibly can. Even if you are not a natural linguist, you will make good friends with others in your class in no time!
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my first blog A Scandinavian Sojourn shortly after our first move as a way for family and friends to keep track of what we were up to (and as a record for our children who were 4 and 2 when we left the UK). A Bavarian Sojourn (see what I did there?!) was born a few weeks after our arrival here...
Emma's blog, A Bavarian Sojourn
To be considered for an interview (as well as other articles), add your blog to BlogExpat!