Making the Move: Logistics and learnings

I’ve moved about a dozen times in my life. Most of those moves were from one apartment to another in the same city, a few were across cities, and one was across the United States. I figured I had the moving thing down reasonably well.

Then we started on our move to Germany, and I learned what a real move is like, which I’m sharing here. This won’t be a comprehensive guide (there are plenty of those), but rather a few of our specific experiences and learnings from the start of our trek across the world.

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Making the move: Selling (almost) everything

While we probably could have brought the entire contents of our Seattle apartment, we expected our Berlin apartment would be smaller and rather lacking in closet space (we were right), so a great house-cleaning was in order. Over the course of hectic two months, we gave away or sold about half of our possessions, most of our furniture, and our much-loved Mazda 3.

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First impressions of Berlin

We just hit week three into our Berlin adventure, so I thought I’d share some first impressions. This is a fairly random assortment of thoughts, sightings, and impressions of life in Germany’s capital city. Over the next couple months, I’ll share more in-depth posts about the logistics of moving overseas and setting up in a new country.

Until then, here’s a few things that shaped our initial impressions of Berlin.

The Food

If you like good food, you’re going to like Berlin. And if you prefer your food cheap and diverse, then you’ll love Berlin. From our corner bakery (where they’ve been churning out fresh bread for more than 100 years), to newly launched Thai-German-French-etc. fusion restaurants, to the ubiquitous doner kebab, there’s easily something for everyone. And, I’d wager, the food is cheaper than any major city in Europe, and definitely cheaper than Seattle. Almost everything here costs less and tastes better, whether it is a delectable €5 bottle of Italian wine, a heavenly €2.5 glass of German beer, or a €2 block of French cheese that would easily set you back $15 at Whole Foods.

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We’re moving to Berlin

I’m currently writing this 37,038 feet above the Eastern edge of Greenland. My wife is sitting next to me and snoozing quietly at my feet are our pets, Moro and Sasha. We’re on our way to Berlin, where we will start the next big chapter of our journey. Back in Seattle, we’ve left behind family, friends, wonderful memories, and most of the furniture from our cozy two-bedroom apartment.

These past few days are the culmination of months of research, planning, job interviews, plenty of stress, and a dream to live abroad. Over the next few weeks, months, and years, I plan to share our expat experience, mostly for our family and friends, but also to inspire (and maybe caution) the random people who happen across my blog. I expect some of these posts will be more contemplative, while others will focus on the day-to-day practicalities.

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Why move?

So why did we decide to upend our lives and move five thousand miles away to a new country? Well, many reasons. I suppose the best way to break it down is where we started, namely Seattle, and our destination, Berlin.

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