1. Jen
    February 28, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    Americans do think living in Europe is romantic. You travel every weekend, right !? 😉

    We are a military family, so only here for three years or so. And I think our friends and families forget that life is still the same, for the most part. Yes, we can see and do pretty awesome stuff, but like you said, we still have chores and errands. Oh, and it’s not cheap here!

    • Andrew
      March 7, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

      I don’t think of Germany as being must different cost-wise than where I was from in the US. Some things are cheaper, others more expensive. If you try to live a life that is very American in tone then it will be much more expensive. If you can adapt more to the local way (I expect mostly true no matter where), it will be cheaper.

      Especially if you are here for a short time, it is important to make that balance work and see stuff. Enjoy the experience and tell your friends at home.

  2. Jennifer
    February 27, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

    It’s tough, but not completely un-doable. Tim and I both work full time jobs. Unfortunately, his involves having a long commute to and from work everyday and basically being on call 24/7. I work from home, so it does make things like laundry during the week easier.

    It’s just about finding a balance. Sure, our household still needs to run and errands still need to get done, but we try our best to get those things done during the week so we can have our weekends to enjoy.

    I’m not sure about Germany, but we wouldn’t get much accomplished in the way of errands on the weekend anyway. Everything closes up by mid-day on Saturday and doesn’t re-open until after 2pm Monday afternoon.

    • Andrew
      March 7, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

      Sunday is closed here too. In smaller villages, it is similar to Italy that stores are not open much past 2pm on Saturday. Thankfully Saturday is nearly a normal day here, though 10x as crowded as everyone tries to get their stuff done.

      My point is mostly that living abroad is still living. It isn’t the same as traveling and vacationing abroad. The errands and realities of the local area are still realities, be it closed on Sunday or siesta or “what is this you call cheese?”.

  3. Jeremy Branham
    February 27, 2013 @ 7:38 pm

    Even the life of an expat isn’t always glamorous. I guess that’s a good reminder for the days when I am struggling with my own direction (like now).

    • Andrew
      February 27, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

      I am glad it helps. Sorry to hear you are struggling. Take a deep breath.

  4. Kristi Fuoco
    February 26, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    Great post and I totally and utterly agree! Yes, on the one hand it is wonderful and exotic to live abroad, but on the other hand it IS real life and even harder and more lonely than normal life. But as I always say, in expat life, the highs are always higher and the lows are always lower. It’s a matter of having a life changing experience that will give you the adventure and challenges you seek.

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2013 @ 11:13 pm

      I don’t really think of Germany as so exotic, but it definitely is a wonderful thing to do.
      The extremes are more extreme. That is true of the non-exciting bits too perhaps. They are extremely not exciting.
      The adventures have to be of your own making to an extent. The challenges though seem to come on their own.

      Glad to hear that this resonates with other expats. Thanks.

  5. Erik
    February 26, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

    Great points, Andy.

    I’m sure a lot of people romanticize the life of expats in their own minds. Thanks for telling it like it is, with the good, the bad & the mundane.

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

      Thanks and you are welcome. Sometimes these things just come out of my head. I try to force life to be what I want it to be. Sometimes it works and other times not.

  6. Gigi
    February 26, 2013 @ 12:11 pm

    Well said, friend. And thanks for the link!

    • Andrew
      February 26, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

      Thanks. I really liked your post as well. This post is in lieu of a comment on yours.

      • Gigi
        February 27, 2013 @ 1:43 am

        I’m flattered. 🙂