Whenever I say I’m traveling somewhere, people ask: “Who with?“ followed by: “Really? Alone?!“ (Either said in disbelief or pity, or both.) I’ve heard it so many times now that honestly, I’m sick of it. Initially I wasn’t going to talk about this, but a female colleague telling me just last week that she’d rather … More Why I (still) prefer traveling alone
It’s the first morning of being back in Germany this Christmas break. I’m walking through a small town I’m not overly familiar with, trying to find a Café. Since it’s pretty cold outside, I’m wearing a face mask I brought from Japan. Even though I’m aware that it looks weird to people here, I prefer … More I was called a foreigner. In my home country.
The first time I bought a pack of masks in Japan was on day three after moving there. The reason back then was: I was trying to smoke out the mosquitos that had gotten into my apartment (because I foolishly left the balcony door open for 10 minutes) without poisoning myself. (No, it didn’t go … More Why people in Japan wear masks (and I do, too)
Friends and family ’back home‘ keep asking me how much longer I’m going to stay in Japan. I think for them it’s just a well-intentioned and rather logical question. Someone who leaves inevitably needs to come back, right? It’s not that simple. At least not for me. In the past ten years, I moved houses, … More So when are you coming back?
I’m not a mother. I don’t have kids of my own. But – I’m a primary school teacher, so most of the time I feel like I do have kids of my own, and when school is in session I technically spend more waking hours with them than their parents. Those very hours in the … More Are you Ready for Kids?
Recently I read an article that accused white people living abroad of calling themselves ’expats’ instead of ’immigrants’ and thereby emphasizing their superiority over other ethnic groups living abroad (“Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?“ by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, 2015). This issue has been on my mind for years, … More I am an Immigrant.
I’m a primary school teacher, which means that I go to school every day, spending most of my energy not explaining to kids how to do math or where the weather comes from, but trying to explain how to treat each other well. I tell them that everyone is different in a different way and … More And how am I going to explain Trump winning the election to my kids tomorrow?
My kids are blunt and I love them for it. One of the boys in my class once hit the nail on the head by asking: “Why aren’t you married? Couldn’t you find one?!“ It made me laugh, but he had a point. I’ve now been single (or ’very single’ as hip people call it … More My Perspective on Being Single
A wise friend told me the last time we met: “Moving abroad, I’ve always compared to being a fish in a tank when the water gets renewed. In the beginning, there might be too much oxygen in the fresh water, so the fish feels like suffocating. It’s like that when you, as a human, have … More The ‘Fish in the Tank’ Metaphor, Or: My Early Struggles of Living Abroad