In February 2015, I packed up all of my life in Germany and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in the US. I can not believe I have been living here for eight years since I moved here. It has been an exciting ride. I still miss Germany and some of the things I got used to after living there for 14 years. The theme for this year was "chase your professional dreams."
In this blog post, I will reflect on my eight years in the US. This is part of my "Her Relocation" series, where I talk about my experience living in multiple countries over the past 20 years. Check out my previous posts about My Life in the US - Year 1, Year 2&3, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6, and Year 7.
Growing my career
In my 8th year in the US, I experienced tremendous professional success. In the past years, I focused on finding a job that I really enjoy and settling into it. Last year, I did great work, got promoted, and worked with an awesome team. Moving to the US took my career to another level. I had no idea how fast I would grow professionally, and I am very grateful for this journey.
Spending time with our family
Traveling to the UK to see our family seemed like a homecoming for me. Although we didn't get to go back to Germany, being in Europe certainly made me feel at home. We got to introduce our son to our family, build new memories and enjoy the things I missed. Traveling out of the US gave me time to reflect on my journey and more perspective on how things have been going. I am very grateful to be living here with my family at this phase of my life.
Enjoying my life
In the last few years, I have prioritized doing things that I enjoy. We are blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world. Exploring different parts of California has been a highlight. We have been enjoying short day trips and longer vacations in the sun. Looking at pictures makes me very happy that our son gets to experience these beautiful moments.
Not understanding some things about the US
Even after living here for eight years, I still do not understand many things. Living in Germany made me expect basic social services that, unfortunately, are unavailable in the US. The most significant difference that has affected our lives is the insufficient availability of child care. It is difficult to reconcile that getting a quality education for our child will be very expensive as long as we live in the US. I have accepted that healthcare is a privilege that not everyone has.
Getting a taste of Germany right in our backyard
One important thing to us is to pass on our Nigerian and German culture to our son. When we started looking for a daycare for him, we were thrilled to find a bilingual German and English daycare that was only about 20 minutes from our house. That was the start of our connection with some other German families. We have enjoyed some German traditions like going to a Christmas Market and Lantern festival. I have really enjoyed being able to show our son a part of our culture.
Final Thoughts - 10 Lessons I learned
In the eight years of my life in the US, I learned a lot of great lessons, including the following: