Jess: Mustard & Bananas
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Frankfurt, etc.
My name is Jessica Sachson and I moved to Frankfurt six months ago from Charlotte, NC. My husband Kevin took a new position with his company and that is what brought us here for 2 years.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
Prior to moving, I had it in my mind I would start a blog about our travels and life abroad, so family, friends and anyone else who was interested could join along with us.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I have a couple of favorites.
The first is the most personal, it is called Timehop and it tells the story of Kevin and I.
The second entry is four separate stories on things in Germany - our tiny kitchen within our 32sqm flat, an update on a heat rash I experienced 5 times when the temperate was above 25 degrees, why fabric softener is not the best at cleaning clothes and the difference between Germans and Americans (coconuts and peaches).
Tell us about the ways your new life in Frankfurt differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Yes, I absolutely experienced culture shock. Back in the US I had a full-time career and taught yoga part-time, so every second was spoken for and to move here and have my life turned completely upside down - it was a huge change. It took 3 months to feel good about being here and certainly writing a blog has been very therapeutic. I love our life here and this has been a welcomed change in many ways.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Frankfurt? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I think it is hard to prepare for a major change, such as moving to another country. I would not change a thing because I believe everything unfolded the way it was intended. It is important to remember that nothing is forever. So having that perspective helped to shed some light to find the things I love in our new home.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
My husband Kevin moved to Frankfurt 2 months before me and it was during one of our many phone calls that he revealed he was eating dinner. Naturally, I asked him what he was having and I never in a million years would have guessed what would come next. He was eating a mustard and banana sandwich! Little did I know this disgusting dinner would give me the name for our blog (Mustard and Bananas). It made me think of what this experience will bring -unexpected travels, food, memories and new friends. In Kevin's defense, he said it was all he had in the flat and I quickly realized I needed to get to Germany pronto!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Frankfurt?
- The housing market is very competitive, so be patient.
- Everything, with the exception of restaurants, is closed on Sunday - so be sure you take full advantage of Saturday to get everything you need.
- Frankfurt is an international city - so look for expat groups which you can connect with in the community. It will make you feel much less like an outsider.
How is the expat community in Frankfurt? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
It definitely took a few months to meet like-minded people with which we felt connected. The key is to put yourself out there and in no time you will be surprised how many new friends you will meet.
How would you summarize your expat life in Frankfurt in a single, catchy sentence?
The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.