Community: A Lifeline for Expats #reverb10

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

When I was planning (or as much as you can plan in a month) and when I made the move to Germany, I joined the fantastic community of English speaking expats living in Germany.  I connected with this community through various platforms, but it was the ones that I meet on Twitter who have provided so much information and assistance that I would literally be up shit creak without a paddle without them.  If you are an expat living in Germany, get yourself onto Twitter! It’s the best piece of advice I could ever offer.

With my recent visa snafu and my company’s lawyer leaving me to my own devices in organising my health insurance, it was the Twitter based expats that came to my rescue. Within minutes of tweeting about my plight, these amazing people sent messages full of advice and stories of being in the same situation. At the end of the day, I had the phone number of a representative of a public health insurance that spoke English and the membership forms I needed to fill out.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done if this wonderful community didn’t come to my rescue.

I have met some of the Hamburg based ones (@codebeaker & @C1aire_ – you guys are amazing!) and there are some I still have to meet (@lirontocker – we must get together for coffee and @namatovu – let me know when you’re next in Hamburg).  Then there are the ones spread out throughout Germany (@Residentonearth, @HeisseScheisse, @zurika, @sergejmueller, @taiwanreporter, @elmadaeu, @groundedtravlr and many more).  All of them wonderful people.

In 2011, I want to start giving back to the expat community to repay them for all their advice and assistance.  I also want to connect with the local GLBT community here in Hamburg – a German girlfriend would be wonderful, but also I miss having GLBT friends who are local and that I can do things with that my straight friends wouldn’t be interested in.

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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14 Responses to Community: A Lifeline for Expats #reverb10

  1. Roxanne says:

    As a perpetual expat, I was delighted to stumble into this post. Expat communities are y life-line. From Couchsurfing to language tables and shared Thanksgiving meals, I feel nothing but fortunate in the company of fellow wanderlusters.

  2. San says:

    Hi I am reverse-expat (German living in the US!) and I am thrilled to have found your blog through reverb10!

  3. Barbara says:

    I am a French expat living in the UK, and actually, I did the exact opposite of you: when I moved here 10 years ago I went as far as possible from the French community! I just really wanted to become part of my new country, and 10 years on, I now have the British nationality. Isn’t weird how expatriation is to different from one person to the next??! Either way I hope you enjoy Germany as much as I love the UK. x

    • Riayn says:

      Once I get over the language barrier, I hope to form a mixture of expat and German friends. However, until I am able to converse in German, my social circle is mainly expats and those lovely kind-hearted German who don’t mind speaking English.

  4. Lee says:

    Meg, its @codebeaker (like, from the muppets (long story!)) – but I’m glad we can be of service, like I said today, it was a gargantuan task for us to begin to integrate here, and we are EU citizens, so we have a clue what it’s like, and we in turn had huge help from the expat networks when we arrived!

    • Riayn says:

      I am going to have to get that story from you one day. Fixed the error, you are now @codebeaker and I will learn not to blog complicated things like people’s usernames when I’m tired.

  5. Has I person who has relocated in the past your post really touched home for me. Its great to see that Twitter and social media is changing the way we integrate into new cultures!

  6. Jen says:

    Awww, thanks for the mention! I know I couldn’t live without the expats here and the great information on Twitter. Glad to hear you got some info today.

  7. Mandi says:

    Thanks for the shout out. It such a relief to be connected to other expat who know exactly what you’re going there, especially when it’s related to (German) bureaucracy!

  8. Mandi says:

    P.S. Will hopefully be coming back to Hamburg more regularly relatively soon, and will definitely drop you a line!

    • Riayn says:

      I know you aren’t able to travel much due to your knee, but when you are back up and mobile again and able to get to Hamburg, we will definitely have to catch up.

  9. Andrea says:

    I completely agree! Even though te language and culture in Australia are not exotic for me, I still really only got to know fellow expats here in Melbourne. My expat network has been invaluable.

    • Riayn says:

      I think it is very hard for expats regardless of culture and language differences to integrate with the local population unless you happen to find an ‘in’.

  10. Hi! Found you through reverb10. Would be great to connect…

    Rebecca in Switzerland

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