I moved to Germany!
“What?! Why?!”, you ask.
For three reasons:
- The family.
- The need.
- The experience.
While I have lived in the United States for approximately all my life, I have been to Germany multiple times throughout my youth.
“When?” You ask. “You were barely born a few days ago.”
That’s an accurate observation, I’ll acknowledge it.
As a youth growing up in this multifaceted world when most children were spending their summers in the local pool with friends or wasting time making lemonade stands hoping to become a young entrepreneur. I was sitting on a plane, talking some hapless passengers ear off about the different elements that go into playing Super Mario. Very in depth and insightful conversations were had. So my summers were mostly spent in the cold & corn full country of Germany. Which brings us to the first reason.
Reason 1: The Family
Pretty much all of my mother’s family lives in Europe. My mother’s family migrated to Europe from Afghanistan in the late 1900’s. So throughout my youth, I was able to visit Holland, Switzerland, & Germany. Now my immediate family lives in a small town in the Lippe district of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Which is where we’ll be headed.
To say I’m absolutely not ecstatic & elated about this adventure to another continent would be a blatant lie. The timing couldn’t be better. I graduated from high school about a year ago, so both my spiritual career and the career that will support my spiritual career is just starting.
I will say, living in the United States of America for my developmental years has certainly had its advantages. I’m very grateful, not only to the community of friends, family, and resources that I was raised around. But also my mother, for raising me with such finesse. I say, or rather type, that jokingly but I mean it with all seriousness. I wasn’t raised in the truth, so before we met Jehovah my mother really had to work hard to keep me on a straight and narrow path. Not THE straight and narrow path, mind you.
CONFESSION TIME: The thought of living close to family is a game-changing thought. Afghans are a very loving and family oriented people. The change in the meaning of “us” has been running through my brain at the wackiest parts of the day. What originally meant two people when saying “us” is changing to 10 people. TEN. Double digits people. And that’s only immediate family. So. Many. QUESTIONS!! Will my mother and I be able to adapt to that change in noise level?! Not to mention, all of those opinions!?! Will they be floating around the room, hovering over our heads, taunting us as if to say, “Wish you stayed in the U.S. don’t you?”
No no, you’re right, you’re right. Ok, freak out over. It’ll probably be fine. Feel free to comment positive thoughts on this topic down below.
Most of my friends family’s, growing up, always consisted of 4 or more people. I was always envious of the loud-everyone-is-involved-in-each-others-business atmosphere. So Experiment Live in a Big Family, here we come!
I will mention none of my family members other than my mother and self, are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Drumroll please, because there’s our intro into reason two!
Reason 2: The Need
The country of Germany is chock full of immigrants, ranging from Syrians to Nigerians. Among those immigrants is a large population of Afghans.
Statistically speaking, Germany receives the largest amount of Afghan refugees. There are approximately 250,000 Afghans in Germany and counting. Yet despite this large number of Afghans, there is still a small number of people who are able to speak to these welcoming people in their mother tongue.
Plainly put, the 3 major subfactors of deciding where or not to move were:
- My mother is Afghan so she would be a wonderful resource when trying to learn Farsi.
- One of my favorite hobbies is to learn languages.
- One of my big spiritual goals is to preach where the need is great.
If you’re interested in learning a new language, or still on the fence and not completely convinced here are 5 of my favorite reasons to learn another language
Reason 3: The experience
As I have mentioned before, I am young. Naturally, my amount of experience is significantly less than those opinions I value most in life. That being said, one of my biggest goals is to really cultivate the ability to help people and to truly understand them.
In my mind’s eye, when you’re able to really understand people, assist and serve them in a meaningful way and get them to either think outside the box or remove them from their bubble to enjoy the fresh air around them, it’s like something of a superpower. Of such high value, I would consider it to be that of something greater than gold.
While I realize I can do that in my community there is something about being inside of my comfort zone, the place I have known all my life, that feels almost like a fence rather than an open door. Recognizing that it’s all a matter of perspective when it comes to how the world influences us, I truly feel like this journey will be an experience that forces me outside of that zone. And into the unknown. Brand new culture. Brand new people. Brand new norm. Brand new perspectives.
Having the challenge of learning 2 languages at once, (German & Farsi), will provide me with a plethora of life experience. As well as an opportunity to get well rounded… Become more of a people person. Germans don’t react the way Americans do the way Afghans do.. if that makes sense… So to grow socially in that sense will push my success as a relatable and a person worthy of conversation to an all-time high.
To say nothing of the fact that having 3.5 languages under my belt would be awesome on a resume for future job interviews… And just in general…
(I say 3.5 because I also know Spanish, about 45% fluency I would say. Read more about my life’s journey here).
While these are my three main reasons for relocating, I’m 100% certain more are to arise. As time ebbs, hopefully, my uncertainty over being in a completely new terrain will as well.
Thanks for reading and best of wishes always!
P.S. Comment down below if you’ve ever had a similar experience of moving to another country or something similar! Also, where are you from? I’m interested to know!
Information on Afghan Refugees in Germany.