5 Reasons We Want to Move to Berlin

why move to berlin

The snow crunched under my feet and I giggled as I made my way around in circles all over the freshly fallen snow. The snowflakes hung delicately in the air as Shaun and I precariously balanced ourselves on the ice as we walked towards our friends house, bottle of wine in tow.

I smiled.

“We totally need to make this work.” I said.
“Yeah we do.” Shaun replied.

And for the first time we agreed on where we can see ourselves living other than Austin. Berlin, you captured our hearts the first time. The second time, you locked them up and threw away the key.

…and these words escaped my lips more than my fair share of times…

Berlin is cooler than Austin.

There it was. The kiss of death (in a good way).

Why move to Berlin? Here are a few reasons:

1. We have friends here. Berlin is becoming a travel blogger mecca and the greatest part about that is that being travel bloggers ourselves, we understand that we leave all the time. It is nice to catch up when someone happens to be in town. It is nice to come to Berlin and know you have a community waiting for you.

why move to berlin

2. We get to experience seasons. In the past year Shaun and I got to experience our first autumn and my first winter here. I had never seen snow fall in a city before (not counting the horrid blizzard we were in while in Iceland and feared for our lives while not leaving the safety of the car). Weather in Austin goes from insanely hot to… mild.

why move to berlin

why move to berlin

3. We fit in. Not to say we didn’t fit in at home but we also fit in here. Everyone has piercings, colored hair, and tattoos. AND we’re not followed around by anti-theft people in stores. It is nice. I even went into this awesome little punk rock club where the rollerderby girls were celebrating after the evening’s bout and they were blasting rockabilly. *swoon*

4. Cheap beer. Yes, even cheaper than Austin. Need I say more?

5. Art. Is. Everywhere. Whether it be the amazing street art, the great galleries, or the loads of live music and bars that are here, there is always something to see or do. I would have a whole new city to explore and that makes me SUPER excited.
With the availability of the “artist visa” and the cheap living that is here, it makes for a viable choice for us to continue our traveling lifestyle. We would love to keep a home base, travel, and have somewhere to come back to. With all of the New Yorkers and Californians moving to Austin and driving up our rent, it just isn’t within our realm of possibility anymore… but Berlin is.

why move to berlin

I have never lived outside of Texas before. I’m a little scared and a little excited. Have you lived abroad before? What advice do you have?

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65 Responses to “5 Reasons We Want to Move to Berlin”

  1. Marta March 15, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    And the rent is cheap here…one of the cheapest cities in Europe! Good luck guys. That means I might bump into you again!:)

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

      Woop woop! Until next time!

  2. Bobbi Lee Hitchon March 15, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    It’s such an incredible city. It captured me as it does you guys. I loved the art scene there. I felt like I was in Paris in the 1920s. I think you guys could definitely make it work there! Can’t wait to follow your move.

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Thanks Bobbi! We still have quite a while before we head to Berlin. Our bank account states we need to work and save up a bit prior. 😛

  3. Jennifer March 15, 2013 at 7:54 am #

    Congrats! I love living abroad (we moved to Italy in 2009). But I must admit that it can be really lonely. Europe is a great base for exploring so much of the world, but if we weren’t on the go so much, I might be singing a different tune. Not sure about Berlin, but it’s hard to make friends in Italy. Thank gawd for other travel bloggers!

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      I don’t know if I would move to a city without any friends first. I’m kinda chicken like that and have the highest respect for you. Like London, we would be coming “home” to a pre-set community.

  4. Sebastian @ Off-The-Path.com March 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    Yes please! Stay here, even move to my neighborhood! 🙂

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      We will try our best?

  5. Adam March 15, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

    Berlin is the place where it’s quite easy to fit in — and it’s a great place to try to figure out that thing called life. Hope you can make it happen if it’s something you’re serious about!

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

      It ultimately comes down to how much money we will be able to save in Australia. Here is to hoping! (It is nice to have a goal.)

  6. Kieu ~ GQ trippin March 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    You too?! I just read a Berlin post from AK and now I’m itching to go – we’ve never been but it sounds totally up our alley! If not for the cheap beer alone. So excited for the both of you, and I can’t wait to hear more about your abroad living. 🙂

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Thanks Kieu! Yeah, this is the second time we’ve been here in 6 months and we wanted to give it more time before jumping to conclusions on whether or not we want to live here. I guess the answer really is yes?

  7. Talon March 15, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    AND once you have a long-term visa for Germany, you can travel, work, and live anywhere in the EU without the Schengen restrictions.

    I’m so happy you’ve found “home.” If Germany didn’t make it practically illegal to homeschool, I’d strongly consider it as an option for us. I especially love that artist/freelancer visa. Le sigh.

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

      ….I never thought about that. HOW FREAKING AWESOME! Although I don’t know if it will allow for work to be honest. I wish you guys could be our neighbors too. 🙁

      • Talon March 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

        You’re right. I don’t think it allows you to work, but the other parts are pretty awesome. Wish we could be neighbors, too!

      • Ali April 4, 2013 at 8:33 am #

        This one caught my eye. Keep in mind it usually takes 5 years to qualify for the visa that allows you to work in other EU countries. That’s what Andy just got and there’s a lot more to it than just living here for 5 years. But totally doable if you know what the requirements are.

  8. Zubi Travel March 16, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Great list of reasons although I think after one or two years you will definitely get bored of that cold Berlin winter :).
    The street art is really amazing indeed.

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      Yeah – we have heard that. Seeing as I love the sun, I’m not sure how long I will be able to handle it.

  9. Mike March 16, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I’m new to your site and look forward to continue following your adventures. I’ve never been to Berlin, but it seems like a pretty cool city. This upcoming fall I’ll be moving abroad for the first time to teach English in Spain and am excited for all the challenges and rewards ahead.

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      Welcome Mike! Thank you for leaving a comment to introduce yourself. Where in Spain are you looking to teach? We were looking at Madrid a few years ago and backed out last minute. How exciting for you!

      • Mike March 18, 2013 at 7:12 am #

        I’ve applied to teach through the Spanish government. They will place me in a region and later a city based on their needs, so as of right now I don’t know where I will be. I listed Andalucia, Pais Vasco as my top preferences, so there’s a chance I will be there, but I could be somewhere else too. I’m just happy to be living out a dream of mine and traveling, living, and teaching abroad!

  10. Andrew March 17, 2013 at 5:46 am #

    It would be neat to see you guys on this side of the pond more. Germany has its own barriers to entry, but Berlin is fairly liberal compared to the rest of the country. Definitely let us know as you work these plans more.

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      YES! And we may actually be able to see you every so often! 😛

  11. Barbara Weibel March 17, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    So jealous that you have finally found your “place.” This is my seventh year of searching but I still haven’t found that perfect place. I hear Berlin is spectacular. Perhaps I should also check it out!

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      I’m not sure that Berlin is “the” place but definitely “a” place – you know? I think we’ve just outgrown Austin and are very lost at that thought.

  12. Maria March 17, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    Right on! I can see you there long term, especially if you find some Derby action. 🙂

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      RIGHT?! That would be so cool if I could connect with the girls.

  13. Pete March 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Nice to finally meet you two. Berlin definitely was a cool city, but honestly I could never see us living there. But, I can’t really see living anywhere, after 4 years we are still complete commitment-phobes and can’t even think of giving up this nomadic lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good things in that city and it wooed us hard but it’s a place that we would love to keep as a place to visit and be able to leave and want to come back. That being said, I hope you can end up there because it sounds like it makes you happy and that is what matters most. Cheers!!

    • Erica March 17, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      YES! I’m so glad that we finally got to run into you and that we will be able to see you in Toronto as well. I don’t think we would settle down in Berlin but it would definitely be a nice place to have a base in between our adventures!

  14. Emily in Chile March 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

    You can live abroad! There are definitely cultural difference to adjust to, but I bet that your travel experience will help with those frustrations. And it sounds like Berlin is somewhere you could really love. Go for it!

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      I know I “can” but right now I need to focus on finding a job where I can save money. We’re broke!

  15. Randy Kalp March 17, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    You sold me! I’m not sure when we are going to get out to Berlin, but I’m really looking forward to it now.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      AHA! No really – you guys would LOVE it. Like, there is so much to photograph and see.

  16. Heather March 18, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    When I first visited Berlin, it gave Sydney a run for the money. I haven’t been back since a 3-day visit in 2007, but it captured my heart too.

    I know you have some other travel plans on the horizon, but if Berlin’s tugging at the heart strings, listen.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      It is but I think we have to head to Australia just for the working aspect of it. There is no money coming in and I don’t want to end up in Berlin with no back up plan and stranded.

  17. Britany March 18, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    An artist visa?? Those exist?? Berlin sounds pretty darn cool.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      I think it is technically a freelance visa but you get the point. I think it is REALLY COOL. What a way to bring people together!

  18. Christy March 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I’ve never really been a fan of Germany, but maybe I should give Berlin a try. Everyone keeps saying how much they love it.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      I make the analogy that Berlin is to Germany as Austin is to Texas. It is a super liberal city full of art an awesomeness.

  19. Stephanie - The Travel Chica March 22, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    I have not been to Austin yet, but I loved Berlin. I would definitely try it out, and it seems like a great city for you guys. Move there, and I will definitely come visit 🙂

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      HAHA! I can only imagine the number of people crashing on our couch the moment we move there. May be nice. 😛

  20. Iain Mallory March 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    Berlin is a fantastic city and certainly a great choice to move to. I’m not a city person but have always enjoyed the city and never tire of visiting. Good luck I hope it works out for you.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      I’m normally not much of a city person but for some reason I am willing to make the exception for Berlin. It really is SO COOL.

  21. Abby March 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    What took you so long lol. Berlin was made for the two of you!!

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      LOL! I’m sorry! We fell in love with it the last time we were there but really wanted to make sure it was “for” us this time around.

  22. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans March 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    I lived in Panama when I was little, but as an adult, I’ve never lived outside of the country. My husband and I have also been considering the expat life for some time now and are just trying to find a way to make it work financially. Glad you guys found a place where you’d feel at home!

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      We’re also trying to figure out how to make it work financially. When we work that one out I think we will make a beeline!

  23. Darren March 26, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I’m moving to Berlin on the 17th of April! reading your blog has made me more excited to go! I am a Musician and I plan on playing in the streets and teaching English as a part-time Job (privately of course :p) and hopefully get a full time Job working in a Bar or something. To my understanding Berlin is a mecca for Musicians the Money I will make from busking will be enough to live on,going by blog entry’s I’ve read about it

    Regards

    Darren.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

      Good luck Darren!

  24. Tara April 1, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    Love how you mention the roller derby girls! That was pretty great! My favorite bar in Berlin!

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      ….and then OMG we could hang out and stuff.

  25. Ali April 4, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    Like Andy said, Berlin is more liberal about visas. You probably wouldn’t be able to get that “artist” one here in Freiburg, but people seem to have good luck with it in Berlin. As far as experiencing the seasons, I will warn you that winter gets OLD fast. I’d say we’ve had a solid 5 months of winter this year, and Berlin gets it worse than Freiburg. But it helps that you’re likely to be traveling a lot too. Plan on a little winter time and escape for the rest. If you do end up in Germany, that would be awesome. I still haven’t been to Berlin, but I’m looking forward to getting there eventually.

    • Erica April 10, 2013 at 4:30 pm #

      I think Berlin tends to be a little more “bohemian” in their approach to visas there. I’m okay with that. 😛 And hurry up! YOU WILL LOVE IT.

  26. Alex April 12, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    It really is a magical feeling when you look around at a place and think, yes, this could be (or maybe already is) my *home*

    Congratulations on finding that place!

    • Shaun July 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

      Our thoughts exactly!! 😀

  27. Sam @ Travellingking.com May 7, 2013 at 12:56 am #

    Wow Berlin is a beautiful place – Its on our Europe stop!

    • Shaun July 16, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

      As it should be! Soooo great!

  28. Shergert July 15, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    So you say New Yorkers and Californians are driving up your rent, and Austin isn’t within your realm of possibility anymore…so what, the answer for you is to come do the same thing to Berliners? Why don’t you stay in your own city and try and fix the gentrification problems there instead of coming to Berlin and pushing people out of their lives and neighborhoods because you think it’s so cool and cheap here. Have some respect.

    • Shaun July 16, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      There is a popular slogan that makes appearances around Austin (usually on t-shirts) whenever we have a massive influx of visitors to our city (like SXSW, Austin City Limits, etc.) saying: “Welcome to Austin! Please don’t move here. We hear Dallas is great.”

      We all get a good chuckle out of the slogan, and that is really our way of dealing with the fact that our hometown is growing faster than almost any other in the country.

      But the reason we want to move to Berlin is more than just the gentrification. It just felt like home to us and we would love a change.

      I don’t want it to seem like we’re running away from things we don’t like, because that’s not the case. In fact, we are much more active in local/political issues than most. It isn’t about a lack of respect, it’s about love for a location. We don’t have any problems with New Yorkers and Californians who love Austin and its culture, but we do have issues with those who move here and complain about everything.

  29. Michele Terry March 9, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    I am happy that you feel great in Berlin! It must be very different for you, as you come from Texas. The seasons must be really an amazing thing for you! 🙂 I dream for summer all year long. May be I have to move to Austin. 🙂 Have a great time in Berlin! Thanks for sharing!

    • Erica March 16, 2016 at 11:46 am #

      Hey Michele! I do nearly have summer all year long (and enjoy it). But the only place on earth that is cooler than Austin is Berlin – and I was seriously considering dealing with the cold weather to experience it.

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