The days of the second return

  • Marta 

the days of the second return

Why I lfet Germany second time

The Harbour of the Departure



What could be so special on these super cold days of February? These are the days I ask myself why I left Germany again.

Leaving a dream job and new home behind me again. I run this analyses like a mind set script in my head, waiting for the modus of the moment of now, the modus of peace arriving very soon. To put some story board of your past on paper helps to bring clarity for your future.  Here is the reason why I quited one cool dream job.

It’s already a whole week that I have double feelings. In February 2018, I gave my life new meaning, left behind my new dream job,  ready set up life once again, it makes me extremely sad but in the next second, I need to smile. I am returning to Belgium the second time in my life and there is a meaning. Sometimes, when you do actions, the real purpose why you do it crystalize themselves only some months later. Your place is here. Bam. Your mission. Your life. 
In January 2009, I left Germany first time to follow a dream – to work for the European Commission. A lot of people already asked back then, why did you left Germany? Some warned me: don’t do that. Do not move to Brussels.  I wanted to drive Peugeot, was my most funny answer – as I escaped the real reason. Well hidden, I kept it for the today’s blog post – it is not cool, when you say – you left a home country just for the job. Because you are not always alone. Back then my daughter has been 13 and we left a lovely nest from chill out Beach at Timmendorfer Strand to the crazy suburbs of the city of Brussels with all his high crime no go zones. Brussels reminds me on New York. We left the cosy life of my child behind. Her circle of very good friends, nice Gymnasium at the beach. I left my home office at the beach, from which I programmed fully remotely for years already web services for the coolest company in the world.
But yes, a mom wanted to work for EU. It felt like a mission. EU is calling. A new adventure.
A dream come true for me like for some IT people would be to work for Google or Adobe, which are the best employers in the IT world. Modern, cool and open for future. I wanted to work for EU – that was my dream. I wanted to see how it is behind that closed walls. Once I managed this – the desire left me. TO come to work for EU is a dream. Your hotel and travel costs are fully paid. You have no worries. The moving is covered, one get expat status and also all kind of specials as business car come in a nice salary package. I ruled the business car for a train card later, even it cost me some tax benefits – but as you can not drive very efficiently in Belgium, I prefer also mainly for ecological reasons, the slow Belgian train.

The Harbour
of the Arrival


Brussels welcomed me with cool expat network. The business of the city was compensated by professionality at work and the EU network. It felt like at home to be surrounded by people which knew where my home city Bratislava was. Cool events back then as the Geek Girls has been on my agenda. But I was not feeling well in the city. I missed a nice huge place where I could recharge after a week full of work. Parks in the cities are little and loud, forests around Brussels are noisy with nearby highways. On one rainy cold winter day, I discovered a new beach near De Haan. As an adventure geek – I could sense it. The little wooden board covered in the sand revealed itself. Psst, this is the place to be. This is your place. VIP beach club. That was the sign. I turned around, nothing was to see, no club at the beach, only the surf house. The wind formed little dunes at the beach – it was so cold that we crossed the huge dune back quite fast to get out of the wind. But I promised myself to discover this place in spring. And then in spring, I came back. The little wooden sign VIP Surf Club – was not covered in the sand anymore. Around the sign was a lovely busy chill out the tribe. I arrived home. This place reminded me on my old home in Germany.
So I find my tribe, love and family.
But one day, exactly one year ago – Germany called me back. A place where I have been living since I was 18 years old. Germany treated me always with big respect and fairness. My IT career from 1999 was crawling up the timeline of the internet success all years through. It was an amazing, cool and progressive time. Germany made a call in summer 2017. I started to work for a well known IT company, which I knew already for 20 years. We know each other in the IT sector in Germany. From Adobe MAX conferences or IT Bootcamps. Life is fun when you are motivated in Germany. I packed my 2 little children, a bit stuff and my hubby brought us in little van to Munich. Within a week, an au pair came from China, a 2 kindergarten place has been found in a Pickler / Montesorri Kindergarden. But not all has been gold. Yes, the grass is greener in Munich, the city is the most coolest on earth, my office and bosses has been a dream. I knew it will all be very difficult as Munich is a hard place to settle down as a newcomer. Not that you are not welcomed, there is just not enough living spaces.  And my husband was still in Belgium working as an advocate. To run 2 homes without the benefits of expat status – not possible. We tried to run 2 households and could not hold it anymore. Munich is the most desired city in Germany but the real estate market is broken. I had a working contract in my hand in summer 2017 and found over the expansive apartment to live in only in Dez 2017. The storm started to gain speed.
Abruptly, like a sailor of a yacht on a stormy sea, together with my husband we made the decision to navigate the van back to the home harbour of Belgium. Sometimes, you need to make these decisions, when you notice – the direction which you picked up is wrong and all the signs of your destinations just showed you an error.
Then, exactly a year ago – I came back to Belgium a second time and  I left Germany second time.
With this practice – I found a way to deal with it. Then you could think I am not grounded. Yes, the question, where is my home has been all the time returning while I lived in Belgium. As life in Belgium is not such a warm cocoon for me as life in Slovakia or South of Germany. The climate is not really my home. I miss the bohemian lifestyle of Slovakia and progressivity of Germany.
With this practice, sailing back the harbour, I experienced already a lot of times the borderless feeling of Eu. There are no borders for me in Europe. Brussels is 1-hour train drive from London, Köln or Lille. We crossed these middle EU countries so many times already – that it became to me one huge EU country connected by train rails.
It is a pure practice the feeling you can develop – to feel so confident as a European citizen:
Go on trips to EU countries, discover the beauty of your neighbouring EU countries.. you will find in every EU country similarity and little regional differences. Europe is a country of Regions.
Europe is our home.

And what about all the cool dream jobs out there? 
Well, more and more companies offer remote working possibilities.
The job travelling will be part of the past. The world will be more local, remote and connected. 

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