Moving to a new country can be challenging, no matter where in the world it is. Even if you pack up and jet off to a Caribbean paradise, certain realities can quickly set in that make you miss home. This became extremely obvious to me when I set out to move to Europe. 

Traveling as a digital nomad has allowed me to to explore the corners of the world I never imagined I would have the chance to visit. I travelled to Germany a few years ago and instantly decided it was where I wanted to settle down. 

My experiences in Germany have been amazing, but there have definitely been challenges along the way. Read about what I learned living in Germany as a foreigner from the United States.  

You’ll definitely feel out of place at times

After years of bopping around from continent to continent, I thought I would adopt to settling down in a new country right away. But I forgot one thing. No longer am I considered a “traveller” since I’m not continually on the move. Nor am I considered German – I haven’t lived here long enough to earn that title. 

This feeling of being neither a traveller nor a native can make you feel out of place rather easily. I often feel like I’m stuck in some sort of limbo between two worlds. Once you have established your social circles things become much easier, but at first it can feel strange at first. 

It is essential to join an expat community in Germany 

This goes along with what I just talked about. As a way to feel less like you’re caught in between two worlds, try to reach out to other people like you. Now with so many resources available to connect with people, even strangers, it would be silly not to utilize them.  I strongly recommend. joining a few expat community groups on Facebook. 

Finding a health insurance provider that you trust is a must

Maybe you’ve been using World Nomads or another big name travel insurance to keep you covered during your adventures. Well I’ve learned that World Nomads doesn’t do the trick when moving to a new country permanently. 

Germany has some of the best healthcare in the world, so as soon as I became eligible I looked into private health insurance. They have some great options, even for expat community members. Consider your health goals and circumstances, like whether you need family health insurance coverage in Germany before you choose a plan and provider. 

Effectively learning German can seem like an impossible task

One perk of moving to Germany is the fact that tons of Germans speak flawless English. As a native English speaker, this makes life a lot easier. The only drawback is that actually learning German has started to feel impossible. 

Every time I try to have a conversation with one of my German friends or colleagues, the response is always in English.  For this reason, I strongly recommend signing up for a few German speaking classes if you’re planning on settling there.