Since announcing on instagram, twitter and facebook that I would be moving to Berlin after 10 months travelling around the world, the question I have been asked again and again (and again and again and again) is why Berlin? Well I’ve finally arrived, moved into my new apartment, successfully completed my first grocery shop, and have some answers for you…
1. Why not?
First and foremost I’ve gotta be completely honest and say that I didn’t really give it TOO much thought. It wasn’t a big life changing decision for me to move to a foreign city, given my globetrotting lifestyle travelling the world as a career. For so long I have been living out of a suitcase that honestly ANYWHERE would seem like a good idea. The truth is that I could honestly see myself living anywhere in the world as I will be treating my new city as a home base to stay in between campaigns and trips around the world… so I guess the purest answer I can give you to “Why Berlin!?” is, well… why not?
Thinking more logically here, a big influencing factor on which city to live in was the location. My requirements were pretty simple: Northern Hemisphere (because so much of my work is here) and central for explorations. I figured I would opt for Europe over North America because I love exploring the region and just love the idea of hopping on a train and being in a different country within hours. Berlin is located in central Europe so it seemed like an obvious choice. Note: I also considered Budapest, Prague and even Belgrade!
3. Price of Berlin vs. Other European Capitals
Out of the above choices, Berlin is in fact the most expensive city. But in comparison with the likes of London and Paris, Berlin is relatively cheap. Sure, prices have been on the rise in recent years… but relatively speaking, Berlin is pretty damn affordable – particularly for an Australian citizen (WHY IS AUSTRALIA SO DAMN EXPENSIVE TO LIVE!?!??!).
My rent prices aren’t exactly the best indication given I am paying a lot more than the average to have a fully furnished one bedroom apartment in central Berlin… but I chose this option because it suited me best. As a writer, I really value my own space and quiet time to work, so living with housemates wasn’t really an option for my needs. I chose a fully furnished apartment because I am still working ’round the clock and to allocate a week to moving into a new apartment just isn’t possible at present! Finally, I chose a central location because I want to ENJOY my neighbourhood, walk around each day and explore, discover new eateries, etc. etc.
So because I had all of these requirements, I really couldn’t afford to live in Paris or London in a one bedroom apartment smack bang in the middle of town or a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower (unless I had $2,000 per week to allocate on rent). Whereas in Berlin, I pay around that much per month for rent – you do the math.
*I want to give an indication for informative purposes but have found that speaking on money matters in the past leads to severe criticism (cringe) – hence not being completely overt about how much $ I pay to fund my lifestyle.
4. StartUp Culture
Another reason I chose Berlin is because of the nature of my work… and the future for World of Wanderlust. Berlin has a great startup culture with startups like Sound Cloud and Better Place centred in Berlin. There’s also some really great initiatives for creative work spaces like Betahaus – so for me, it just makes perfect sense to position myself here in Berlin during such a transitional phase for WOW (keep an eye out for updates on how we’re growing + changing!!).
5. The Lifestyle (music, nightlife, restaurants, events)
If you haven’t been to Berlin yet, COME VISIT US! Berlin has one of the world’s most incredible music + nightlife scenes, if not the best. Eating out is ridiculously affordable and somewhat of a tradition for catching up with friends and colleagues, and the city hosts some great international events. I know I’m somewhat bias now, but Berlin really is the cultural capital of the world (if you ask me, bias and all).
6. The History
I’ve admitted to this once or twice before – but incase you weren’t aware, I’m a complete history buff. After studying Modern World history and Russian history throughout my years at university, I’m slightly verging on obsessed with the history of Europe. Berlin played such a key role in shaping world history as we know it today, so I’m looking forward to exploring more of that history here in Germany, Poland, Russia, and elsewhere (the list is truly endless).
7. Learning German!
Finally – Ich werde lernen , Deutsch zu sprechen! After studying German in school many years ago (okay not that many), I have managed to completely lose my language skills after not practising the language for quite some time. Thus, I’m on a mission to learn to speak Deutsch fluently!
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