18 Things I Appreciate About Germany After 18 Months Abroad

With recent events, it’s so easy to forget that Germany is a pretty great country in some regards. Coming back here after 18 months has showed me that there is so much to appreciate!

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#1 Punctuality: If a German person tells you they’ll be there at 6 pm, they’ll most likely be there by 5.55 pm – just how I like it.

#2 Sidewalks: In Germany, it’s super safe to walk on the side of the road, you can walk almost anywhere! Try doing the same in Thailand and you’re considered suicidal.

#3 Road signs: There’s a sign for everything. E V E R Y T H I N G.

#4 The bread: Obviously. You won’t get this selection of amazing breads anywhere else. Whole-grain is actually whole-grain and not that weird kind of soggy, syrup-coloured brown toast that you get in the US.

#5 People know how to drive: Since driving school is mandatory in Germany if you want to get your license, everyone knows how to drive. It’s pretty safe on German roads in general despite the zones with no speed limits (yes, I do love the Autobahn, of course).

#6 People get things done: You want something? You’ll get it.

#7 You can drink alcohol in the park: Or anywhere, really. I am not talking about getting drunk, but having a glass of wine or a cold beer by the lake and it’s even legal, how perfect is that?

#8 Affordable food: Veggies are actually pretty affordable compared to other countries, who would’ve thought! You can also go out for a meal and as long as you avoid the really fancy places, it won’t break the bank.

#9 Public transport: While we love to complain about our trains being late – there’s a train or at least a bus to e v e r y w h e r e, and in my city they run 24/7.

#10 Being naked is totally acceptable: jk, but no, seriously, in NZ you had to go to the sauna with a swim suit – I don’t get it, it’s disgusting. In Germany you even have to go nude in most places.

#11 Late opening hours: Pubs and restaurants and bars are open until late, some even all night – I have missed that so much.

#12 Phone plans are cheap: Seriously, I pay 7 euros/month while in Canada I paid three times as much and didn’t even have half of the stuff included that I do now.

#13 Education is free: Well, mostly, at least there are no high tuition fees.

#14 The villages are beautiful: Especially after seeing country life in NZ and Thailand, I was amazed by how neat and beautiful German villages are – I never appreciated that.

#15 Roadtrips are so easy because everything is so close: Honestly – while in Canada, it sometimes took us three days to drive where we wanted to go, here you can’t even drive for three days without hitting water, except for the East towards Russia etc.

#16 Tall people everywhere: Idon’t consider myself extremely tall, for a woman in Germany I’m pretty average, but on my travels I felt so tall sometimes that I couldn’t imagine myself wearing heels.

#17 Great coffee: The worst coffee I ever had was in New Zealand, and it really was hit or miss there – same in Thailand. Other countries just have huge pots of coffee but they don’t appreciate fresh, well-brewed coffee – I do!

#18 People leave you alone in stores: What I absolutely hate in stores is when there’s someone following me around the whole time even after I said that I don’t need help and that I’m just browsing. Won’t happen in Germany because it’s considered rude.

I will try to come back here and read this list when I’m annoyed by life in Germany because all in all, I like the country, I love the culture, and I love a lot of Germans. Not all of them, but well, who does?

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24 thoughts on “18 Things I Appreciate About Germany After 18 Months Abroad

  1. I’ve not yet made it to Germany, but this certainly makes me want to! Such a civilised place in the world – nice and punctual with good bread 🙂

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  2. ooohhh! It’s true! I lived in Berlin for a short period due to work and I loved all the #18 elements you pinpoint! As a worker from Catalunya, I particularly loved #1, #6 and #9. It was so easy to live and work there. Now I’m liuving in Italy and I sometimes think on how different were things in Berlin hehe Best!
    E

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    1. Funnily enough, I just wrote about getting reverse culture shock when I go back to Germany a week ago. I think it’s natural no matter where you’re from, if you’ve been living in a different culture for a while, going back home will always be weird haha

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  3. Home sweet home, right? You make Germany sound like a lovely place to live. After spending decade in the developing world, the idea of folks actually being early to an appointment or a party is amazing to me.

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    1. Thank you! I haven’t seen a single place in the world where people are as punctual as in Germany and I am the most punctual person in the world, so it’s the thing that I am most easily annoyed by in other countries

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  4. Haha, as a German this is so funny to me. Many things are so natural to me (driving, bread etc.) but I am not sure about the size of the Germans- well, the German are maybe tall but most migrants like me are not, haha. Love the reasons🙂

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  5. I’ve never been to Germany but isn’t it great how travel can make you appreciate home (and other countries) even more? I’m sure over time you will find even more things to love. PS come to Seattle for good coffee 🙂

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  6. It’s always interesting returning to a country after so long abroad – whether it’s your home country or not! I’m so surprised you didn’t like the coffee in NZ though – I’ve not yet had a cup in Europe that I liked more than NZ coffee – but that’s just different tastes for you I suppose 😉

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    1. Really? How interesting! But yes, it’s obviously just my point of view – I mean, there’s people in the US who think filter coffee is the best kind of coffee and who am I to tell them it’s not, haha

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  7. …erst seit gut zwei Monaten weg und immer noch in Europa, aber ich kann so viel davon unterschreiben.
    Wahrscheinlich werde ich nach 3 Tagen Deutschland wieder genervt sein, dann schaue ich mir diese Liste auf jeden Fall nochmal an 😀

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