The Fear

With just over three weeks remaining until I up sticks and move to Berlin, it’s fair to say that THE FEAR has me firmly in its clutches. I’d estimate that around 5% of me is excited, while the other 95% wants to get under my duvet and hide. In fact, if I hadn’t announced publicly that I was leaving, there’s a pretty good chance that I would have quietly chickened out of the whole thing by now. 

For just €90, you too can move in style

For just €90, you too can move in style

Of course, it would be the easiest thing in the world for me to stay. I’ve worked hard over the last couple of years, building up my company and my reputation. Even when it seemed like my reputation was circling the drain, with people telling me I’d never work in this town again, somehow things turned around and I got more work rather than less. People here know me – a blessing and a curse – and most of them like me and trust me. Staying would be the logical thing to do. 

But, I know in my heart that I do not want to stay in Latvia long-term. While I’ve had some good times, there’s just too much about this country that annoys or saddens me. And while ‘blog me’ is happy to have plenty of ranting material, ‘real me’ has been struggling for some time now. Believe it or not, I don’t actually want to be angry or sad. Plus, I have to leave before this ever seems like a good fashion choice. 

This 'gift' was sent to me by Jānis and his lovely wife. It's the gift that just keeps giving...

This was sent to me by Jānis and his lovely wife. It’s the ‘gift’ that just keeps giving…

So, I’m off to Germany. You might be wondering about THE FEAR – after all, it’s not my first time moving country. It is, however, the first time I’ve moved like this. When I moved to Poland, and later to Latvia, I had a job lined up. The schools even provided apartments – I guess they need extra incentives to persuade people to move to this part of the world. I got picked up at the airport, dropped off at my new home, and had a job to go to a few days later. My move to Germany is a bit more like jumping off a cliff, and hoping my good looks, in-depth knowledge of all things leopard print, and a bit of luck of the Irish save me from being smashed to pieces. 

Hello baby. I'm coming for you...

Hello baby. I’m coming for you…

Naturally, I’ve been diligently firing off CVs to every language school in Berlin, but the few that have got back to me want to wait until I’m actually in Berlin to have an interview. So, I guess the plan, if you can call it a plan, is to keep my Latvian company open for a few months until I can set up a German company. Then I start pestering every school in person, hoping someone takes pity on me and gives me some freelance work to get me started. Then I just need to find somewhere to live… Easy, right!? 

There really is no plan B, so a few months from now, you’ll either be reading about how fabulous my new life in Berlin is, or reading about how this Irish expat fell flat on her face.

I guess it will probably be entertaining either way. 

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About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Expat, Humor, Humour, Latvia, Travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

156 Responses to The Fear

  1. barbedwords says:

    Good luck in Berlin! Looking forward to hearing all about it.

  2. You’ll be fine, and now I’m back from Asia! Any info you need, you know how to contact me. I can’t remember if I sent you the expat FB page where people are always looking for room-mates, flat shares, buying and selling, etc. Here’s the link: http://www.facebook.com/groups/berlinexpats/
    Re work: Irish charm always helps and so does keeping the old company for a while, until you’re established.
    See you in Berlin!!

  3. wasd says:

    I wish you the best with your settling in Germany. Id say that fear is good and usualy for the best. With the attitude and energy like yours you could get your business going anywhere you like 🙂 All the best from me!

  4. Pekebun says:

    I wish you all the best but I just want to let you know that you remind me of the working me. 🙂 And I love your writing style and sense of humor. It’s good exercise for my jaw, cheeks & mouth area. 😀

  5. Everything will be fine!! In Germany everything works, everything is organized. Berlin is a cheap city, way cheaper than Munich, and accommodation won’t be a problem! And Im sure you will find a great job 😀 fingers crossed for you!

    • Expat Eye says:

      My mam was reading through the comments last night and sent me a text to say isn’t it wonderful how lovely and supportive everyone is! And I must say – it is! I feel 100 times better about the whole thing now! Thanks! 🙂

  6. Cindi says:

    I think your new life is going to be fabulous … and I sure hope your blogging friends are given a peek into your world to join you vicariously on the journey!

  7. NancyTex says:

    Wait a minute. You don’t even have a place to stay after you arrive in 3 weeks??? What in the… ??
    I’m all for adventure and taking risks, but shouldn’t you at least know where you’re going to sleep?…

  8. Daina says:

    Change is scary. That’s what it boils down to, nothing more than that! And I’m sure you’ll find plenty to rant about in Germany… After the small town feel of Riga, you’ll definitely enjoy Berlin!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Yeah, I think I’ll miss that actually! I like how compact Riga is – and that I can walk (almost) everywhere! But at times, it also feels too small so I won’t miss that! 😉

    • Diana says:

      I agree with this too….bigger cities have SO MUCH MORE opportunity – – and many more options for everything…housing, jobs, organizations, etc… You are going to kick some major @#$!!!

      And any kind of change is scary…..but stimulating too. No living the zombie life. You know??? The autopilot life? Ugg…that scares me more than change. Gosh…if you can succeed as you did in Latvia??? Think of all the cool stuff you will be able to accomplish in Berlin!

  9. I have the utmost confidence! Besides, you could always set the new leopard-print wearing fad in Deutschland!

  10. Juune says:

    Good luck with your move!
    Btw, why did you come to Latvia? I’ve never really visited Poland, but their economy being in a better condition than ours one would expect it being a better place to live/work?

    • Expat Eye says:

      I didn’t like the place I was living – or the school! I had to get out after a year or I would have gone mad. After that, I just wanted to go to a capital city anywhere and the school here had a lot of perks!

  11. Jude says:

    Oh, you’ll be just grand! A big change just requires motivation, optimism and resourcefulness which you have heaps of!

  12. Heather says:

    These things have a way of falling into place. When I decided to move to NYC years ago, I quit my job and terminated my lease before securing both in the Big Apple. I didn’t really like either my first job or apartment, but they were just stepping stones to get me where I wanted to be. Just remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect from the get-go, nothing is permanent. And it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind!

    • Expat Eye says:

      So true! Yeah, I’m expecting a rocky road in the beginning, but hoping it gets easier over time! I’m not afraid of hard work – or slumming it for a bit – so let’s hope it all works out! 😉

  13. bevchen says:

    Good luck with the job hunt! I’m guessing you’ve already applied to Wall Street English?

    If all else fails, you can try offering Nachhilfe (that’s basically after school lessons for kids who are failing certain subjects – in your case you’d obviously be giving Nachhilfe for English).

  14. You’ll be great! I had my biz for 30 years Linda. When it comes to hiring, I can spot a winner a mile off. (Two of my sales agents were Allison Tolman and Lily Taylor. They’ve done okay. ) You’re just one of those people. You’ll be fine!!!

    I’d you get spooked, just tell yourself “there’s no time like the present!”. Once you meet mr. Right, and have kids etc, your priorities will change. All you have to worry about is you right now. Enjoy that!

    Sorry for sounding like a mom. Bit it’s my prerogative for having lived this long. 😉

  15. Sharn says:

    Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith to save your own sanity!

    And Berlin, I’m sure, will surprise you.

    Here’s to hoping you land on your feet 🙂

  16. Mrs. Bingles says:

    Berlin is a magical place to live, you’ll find your way, your place, yur job and lots more. I miss Berlin!!! Good luck with your move and think positive, always!

  17. I think it’s totally normal to be anxious about the unknown and what comes next. Moving to a new place is always daunting :/

    One thing that was really difficult about moving to Madrid was finding an apartment. I tried looking online before I arrived, but I literally had NO idea what neighborhoods and prices were like, let alone the delicate art of negotiating. The first apartment I went to see was a dump–no light in the (disgusting) bathroom, some crumbling doors, a dog that wasn’t cleaned up after…and the roommates actually sat me down and INTERVIEWED me. A full-on interview about what I could bring to the place. ACK! That was a shock, but luckily after that there was no where to go but up.

    Ok, that was a bit rambling. But ANYWAY, all of that to say–there are so many things that you can’t really deal with or grasp until you arrive. If nothing else, you come out with a great story for the ‘ole blog 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! That first place sounded like a nightmare! Did you tell them you could bring a pooper-scooper? 😉 I think it’s going to be an adventure alright – watch this space 😉
      PS. I’ll answer your questions today or tomorrow!

      • Haha, if only I had known the word for pooper-scooper in Spanish… Ah, if only I had realized the price was too good to be true :/ You were really lucky to have help finding a place in Riga!

        And–no rush with the questions! Just whenever you have time 🙂

      • Expat Eye says:

        Cool 🙂 Yeah, it was the decider in coming here – I was thinking of going to Budapest but everything was set up for me here. Took a lot of the hassle out of moving!

  18. My hat is off to you. It’s not easy moving period. Throw in a different country and language and it’s downright scary. But I know you’ll do great. It’s quite an adventure, and a really exciting one at that.
    Do you have to set up a new company if you get hired by a school to teach English? Do you work for several different schools simultaneously?

    • Expat Eye says:

      I don’t have to set up a company but I have a few clients from here that I can take with me – proofreading and writing for blogs, etc. Hoping to do the same in Germany – in time! I need some way I can invoice people.
      The freelance teaching will be separate to this. Something to get me out of the house – if I can find a house 😉

  19. Karolyn Cooper says:

    You’re not jumping off a cliff. You are on a trampoline, and a leap to Berlin might take you higher….em…maybe I should have thought this out more…imagine a series of trampolines…anyway it’s not a cliff…there will be no disasters.

  20. Embrace the new adventure! I think you’ll be happy. 🙂

  21. 1WriteWay says:

    I don’t believe you will fall flat on your face. You might at times feel like you’re headed that way, but you’ll catch yourself (or be caught) in time. You’re too smart to fail. Too resourceful. You’ll find a way to make it work if you really want it to work, and I believe you really want it to work 🙂 The simple idea of moving back to Latvia should be motivation enough 😉 Keep that photo of the lady decked out in animal print near you at all times! Whenever you feel like hanging it up and heading back to Latvia, take it out and ask yourself, do you want that in your face every day for the rest of your life? I’m confident that alone will spur you on to success in Germany 🙂

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! That’s an excellent idea! No, going back to Latvia will never be an option. I’d go back to Ireland for a while and save up before moving somewhere else if it all went horribly wrong.
      Must buy a frame 😉

  22. Emmi says:

    all will be good. Germans love to practice their English and you ll make lots of friends.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Thanks, Emmi! Hoping they’re helpful when it comes to helping foreigners with their German as well 🙂 I think I’m going to need a lot of that 😉

  23. freebutfun says:

    Come on, you know you’ll charm the city, and someone will pity you enough to let you crash on their sofa if the flat turns out to be hard to find. And you’ll love it! And I’ll love reading about it.

  24. Ilzele says:

    From what I hear from my native English speaking friends a teaching job won’t be hard to find. And as for apartments – in this country most seem to be found a week before the actual move. You really have nothing to worry about! In the worst case you can always temporarily sublet a “WG Zimmer” by convincing some German student that their stuff will be in good hands while they’re having some semester break fun 😉

  25. By the way, “that”:) is good style in the UK and America, too. I always remember about you when see this print on ladies everywhere. Don’t know about Germany, but better avoid these countries for sure.

  26. Those who don’t risk never drink champagne. 😉 You have the grip. So I am sure that you’ll succeed. 🙂 But anyway don’t burn them bridges. There are people in this country who would be happy to see you coming back or at least visiting from time to time. And I am sure that you can call those folks to help you if things become desperate. By the way your humble servant is one of them. 😉

  27. MrJohnson says:

    I have a feeling you will be fine. Sounds like it is all part of the adventure. Plus you are a woman you can always resort to prostitution.

  28. This has made me feel ridiculous about my dragging out the move to Madrid 😉

    It’ll work out. And if it doesn’t, come join me in Spain. Plenty of work for you there.

  29. Anna says:

    You will do great. It’s Germany I am a little worried about 😉

  30. lizard100 says:

    I reckon you’ll be fine. (Not that be ever risked leaving here) I guess you could pretend it’s like an extended trip…. And only stay if it works out?

  31. Best wishes on your move. I’m sure there isn’t much leopard print in Berlin.

  32. Starting something new without a backup plan is commendable. Fear of going hungry is a heck of a motivator to succeed. I predict you will do well.

  33. Mr Kev says:

    Ah, well, I know how you feel on this one, to some extent. I do have a job lined up in Portugal, but my missus doesn’t and there is that similar sense of “are we doing the right thing at all?” going around our heads from time to time.
    It would be so easy to stick with what you know – hell I even like the place where I live, to a large extent. But when I really think about it and think about the elements that don’t work, for either of us, I know it’s the right thing.
    It might be a rough ride for you, to start off with, but I’m sure that all the things you mentioned above and that whole “being good at your job” bit will see you through. Then I can come visit and drink beer out of silly giant glasses and eat curry wurst! 😀

  34. Hello says:

    Stay! As we say, it’s better to be the first man in your village than nobody in a city. There are way tooooo many expats in Berlin, way toooo many people looking for jobs and apartments, you won’t be special over there, but you are in Latvia 😀

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