Going Abroad – My adventures in Germany, the US and China

Going abroad… Well, I actually did that about three years ago… I am originally from Germany, but I moved to San Diego in August 2007 to continue my studies. I have already spent quite some time abroad during my life and I still can’t get enough… I think it is like a virus and once you’ve been infected, you just can’t stop to conquer the world.

Going Abroad – From Germany to Louisiana to San Diego to Beijing and Back to San Diego

I had my first outbreak of this disease in 1999, when I decided to move to the “Deep South”, Louisiana, to be precisely (don’t even bother trying to find the so-called “town” of Bachelor on the map…) After spending 10 months in the middle of the swamps I graduated from High School and went back home to Germany to finish my education there. The problem was that I’ve fallen in love with the US and pledged to come back one day. Well, it took me quite some time, but here I am, at last… And I even got an upgrade this time: From swamps to beaches, how different can one country be? Sort of like “Pimp my travel”… Sorry y’all, I love y’all!

The last years were just incredible. I met many new people, experienced awesome things and lived my dream. This time I didn’t have a host family to help me with all the little hurdles in life, this time it was all DIY… Of course it was hard, frustrating and nerve wrecking at times, but after having managed to find an apartment, buy a car, find a job, start my studies, and certainly made a fool of myself several times, I’ve never felt prouder of myself. I felt grown up, mature, almost invincible.

This is probably the reason why I had the great idea to go to China to do an internship in Beijing. America was too easy, the cultures are too similar, I need more adventure in my life… But this is not the only reason. I went to China in December 2007 for a study tour offered at my university. Even though we only spent roughly two weeks there, I was totally amazed by the culture, the people, the pace of transition that this country experiences. After returning home, I had to write a paper about China and I read many books about China, the Chinese business culture and the history of this fascinating country. But the only thing I really learned was that you cannot understand a country or a society by reading books. The more books I’ve read the more questions I had. The books keep on talking about “Guanxi” and “losing face” and I certainly understand the principle of them, but I want to know more, I want to know: “Why?” and “How?” Well, keep on reading my blog if you are interested, too. I promise I will take the wraps off as soon as I find out.

Going abroad while being abroad. This fact is actually more confusing than I thought. Where is home??? No, my home is in Germany and it will always be that way. While I lived in China, it was more than confusing for most people, when they asked my where I am from. It was always like: “Do you have 5 minutes?” I always tried to explain that I am originally from Germany but lived in the US before I moved to China. I tried to explain this to my Chinese colleagues several times, but did not get it. Every time we talked about that, they asked me, whether I was looking forward to living with my family in Germany again…

However, right now there are still too many countries I haven’t seen and too many disgusting foods I haven’t tried. Come on, world, bring it on!!!

To give you a little bit of the insight scoop of my experiences in China, I would like to share my adventure with you. Join my RSS-feed now, so you dont miss an episode of My Experience in China Mini Series. Just click on the orange button on the top right!

Tomorrow I will let you know, how it all started! See you then!

Want to read what happened next?

My China Experience 1

My China Experience 2-11

My China Experience 12-21

My China Experience 21-31