From Germany to the USA: German in America
Hi, I am Natalie from Germany, living in the United States now. My home base is Arizona, but I travel a lot and I am just spending my fourth season up in Alaska.
1. Why did you move abroad?
Business and Love! I met my (now) husband in Zimbabwe and finally followed him to the States (he is American) as we decided to start our own adventure overlanding company running trips from Las Vegas all the way up to Alaska in a converted school bus.
2. How do you make a living?
I already mentioned my own business called Infinite Adventures (www.infiniteadv.com). We run trips in Alaska, Canada and the Western USA in a converted school bus doing all kinds of fun stuff: hiking, kayaking, camping and trying to find as many animals as possible: nothing better than seeing grizzlies, wolves, breaching orcas and all that good stuff while you are working!
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
I try to call home as often as possible. When I am running trips it’s not so easy as internet connections are not always available and I have limited time, but I usually use skype.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in the USA?
It’s such a big country with so many opportunities: you can move wherever you like: 300 days of sunshine in Arizona or glaciers and snow in Alaska!
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in the USA?
Not having a good social security system – I am used to a great health care and retirement system from Germany.
6. What do you miss most?
German bread and sausages!
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I really like platforms like meetup – an easy way to meet likeminded people joining a hiking group or a girl’s night out group.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
Eating fast-food far more often than I ever would do at home… having carpets (we love hardwood floors and laminat!). And I do not like gun laws in this country at all!
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
That it is the land of freedom. In Germany we always think about the wild west and you can do whatever you want: it’s not quite like that anymore – there are lot more rules out here than I thought…
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?
Where I live right now in Arizona, living costs are higher. It is hard to adapt and accept that bills are just adding up a lot quicker. You just have to work harder;)
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Be open minded every day!
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I have been running a blog for quite a while just to tell some stories from the road and to keep in touch with friends. I renewed my blog just a few months ago and want to blog more consistently at www.germaninamerica.com.
Natalie's Blog, German in America
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