The Black Expat: ‘I Moved To Germany After Falling In Love’
By Parker Diakite
Alexandria met her husband, Marc, after a night in town in Brookline, Massachusetts and the couple has been together since Thanksgiving 2016.
Marc joined the military a year into their relationship and for the first part of his basic training, the couple only communicated by mail.
Once his training was over and Marc was able to use his phone again, there were times that, due to a six-hour time difference, the two didn’t speak at all due to their schedules.
After getting engaged in Barcelona in November of last year, the couple decided that they both needed a relationship without 3,500 miles in between. Alexandria began to plan for both a move and life in Germany. She quit her job on June 22nd and was on a flight to Frankfurt on July 1st.
Travel Noire caught up with the couple to hear more about adjusting to a new life abroad.
Travel Noire: Alexandria, how have you been adjusting?
Alexandria: Living in proximity to a few military bases allows us comforts I know we would not have otherwise. For one, many Germans in the area speak perfect English, and also we already have our go-to take out spots!
So, I had three misconceptions about Germany before coming here: the people were not friendly or kind, the food was not of variety or very good, and it doesn’t offer as much beauty as other countries in Europe.
I cannot stress enough about how completely wrong I was about all three!
German people are amicable, helpful, and respect each other. I have never felt uncomfortable or like an “other” since being here and I have been to the modern Munich and Trier, Germany’s oldest city.
While German cuisine is different, it is simple and hearty which I truly prefer. Schnitzel with pomme frites is an entrée the Germans are known for crafting and it is tasty, especially with a side of jam (I’m serious) and I cannot get enough of the bratwurst.
Another treat about Germany is that it is simply scenic. I am in a pretty rural area privy to hikers and lovers of nature, so I have a very specific experience with Germany’s beauty. After Munich and Trier, I realized Germany offers the best of both worlds when it comes to the preservation of its oldest treasures and integration of the new.
We have also been able to admire and explore more than Germany! We went straight from Oktoberfest to Madrid and it was the perfect decision because we were able to relax to the fullest in the warmest weather. The whole week we were there it was around 80 degrees— not a cloud in sight! Madrid is vibrant, busy, and offered enough croquettes to satisfy our recovery.
Up next for us is Prague!
TN: Is there anything you wish you knew before moving there or anything people should know before they move to a new country?
Alexandria and Marc: To anyone moving to a new country, just make sure you know any technical details that affect your daily life. For example, Germany’s recycling laws are the biggest thing contributing to any culture shock for me because the rules are rigid— ultimately making organizing the trash easier.
About a month in we found a 3-in-1 color-coded trash can to help us more easily separate the trash thanks to another couple we met. Just think about your daily life and research how that translates or does not translate to the country you’re moving to or visiting for an extended period of time.
TN: is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
Alexandria: In general, I just wish I visited Germany earlier. I had the opportunity to visit when I was an exchange student in the UK, but my misconceptions stopped me. Don’t ever let any misconceptions, especially the common ones, stop you from new experiences and adventures!