Today it’s been 6 years since I moved to Europe, and 3 since I started a platform to share my thoughts on living abroad: this blog.
Six whole years. That’s 2 football world cups that I’ve experienced here. Or, in academic terms, that’s the full duration of a Master’s plus a PhD (so, trust me, a very long time).
My fellow colleagues from graduate school, with whom I’ve been sharing this European journey since day one, and I are finishing our doctorates this year. So, for us, this 6th Euroversary is the end of an era, the closing of a cycle.
I try to close my eyes and picture my 6-year-younger self arriving here. I remember being beyond excited, extremely grateful and surprisingly fearless. But did I think, back then, that I would still be living here after all this time? Or, better said, that I would still want to?
I did have an open-minded, “let’s-see-what-happens” attitude, but with a slight tendency of guessing that I would want to go back to my home country eventually, after my studies.
But my Master’s and PhD have gone by, and I’m still here. Fortunately, by choice. Even my most adventurous side from the past could not have predicted that my intentions at the present point in time would be so clear. I have defined that Berlin is the place I want to be at the moment.
I’ve had the opportunity to live in and visit different cities in Europe during the past 6 years, and I’ve found a home in Germany – specifically, its capital. It’s no news that Berlin is an exciting, affordable, everything-but-boring city that spoils the prospect of living anywhere else. And it has indeed won me over.
Does this mean that life here is nothing but blue skies and butterflies? No way. Do I sometimes feel like cursing a few Germans in Portuguese? Absolutely. But every location in the world has its disadvantages, so what matters in the end is that the pros outweigh the cons. And I can’t think of any reason to leave Berlin or of any other city where I would be happier living in.
At least for now. The saying “never say never” is just as valid today as it was 6 years ago. When I was growing up in Brazil, I had no idea I would one day build a whole new world (~Aladdin feelings~) for myself in Germany. So it’s pointless to pretend I have a clue about what the future will bring.
All I know is that, 6 years later, I’m still here – more grateful and pleased than ever.
Reflective posts of the same series:
2017 – 5 years in Europe
2016 – 4 years in Europe
2015 – 3 years in Europe