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[0:09] As many of you know, moving to Berlin for me was a rollercoaster. While I don't regret anything, if I could go back in time, I would give myself a little bit of advice or a few tips.
[0:27] Some things that I wish I knew before I moved to Berlin, and I kind of would like to share them with you guys. The first thing that I wish I knew before I moved to Berlin and I really, really held true on, is:
[0:44] No matter how prepared you think you are, you might not be prepared for anything. And that is okay. A lot of moving to a new country, yes, requires a lot of preparation that you do before you get there, but also requires a lot of preparation that you do once you're there as well. So I would just recommend: give yourself some leeway and some understanding that when you get there, you might want to have all the ball rolling. Like I felt that I had everything set, you know. I felt that I had a place to live. I felt like I'd got my finances correctly and stuff like that.And there were still a lot of things that I didn't know I needed, or that were going to take a lot of time, that honestly, like, I could not prepare for before I got there. Some things you just have to do once you're there, and some things you won't even know that you have to do. So just give yourself some compassion and some space for that, because it is very important that you, kind of, you know, have that in mind.
[1:51] The next two tips are going to be really kind of aligned with that first one. The first ... the second one is: Be flexible. It is really important to be flexible and be adaptable. Because tip number three is: Know that some things will take a lot of time, a lot of time, and that will require you to be patient. And that might also require you to change some things, some things that you had planned before you move there might not work out the way that you want them to when you get there. So it's very important to allow yourself to be flexible. It's very important that you adapt with wherever the thing is going. My quote that I've been trying to save for myself is: 'Ride the wave and enjoy the ride.' I think it's really important that you kind of go with the flow, but also enjoy the obstacles, enjoy the challenges. You know, the mountain is nothing without the climb, and there's going to be a lot to learn ... to learn to learn ... to learn about climbing. And you're going to fall sometimes. You are going to fall sometimes. But that does not mean that things are over. It means you just got to adapt. You just got to roll with the punches. You know?
[3:06] If it was all set and easy, that would be great. But most times we don't seem to have that. And even if you do have that, you're still going to be dealing with a lot of different things. I mean, for example, culture shock is such a big thing. That there's so many minute things when it comes to this culture shock that you won't even think about what would be culture shock until you get there. Like: Oh my gosh! Wow! I didn't even notice that there's something different here. You know? So, just be aware, and keep out, and just know that there's a lot of things that are going to just come your way. There are going to be a lot of curveballs, but just roll with the punches and know that that is okay. That is normal. That is very, very, very normal.
[3:49] The next thing that I will say is: If you decide to work in Berlin, if you decide to work for a German company and get paid, like, from Germany, and you're coming especially from America, your income might be a little bit less than what you're used to. And yes, everyone always says," Oh my gosh, like, yeah, the health care," and all that stuff. But when you see that decrease in your bank account, then none of that shit is going to matter. You're going to be like, Ooh, oh shit! Fuck! That's a third of my pay check!
[4:26] But that's just how it is. And yes, it goes to all the taxes and stuff like that that is required. There are a lot of websites that you can use to kind of check what your net income will be, and your net income is going to be what enters into your bank account. Your net income is: after all the taxes and stuff, are, you know, taken out, this is what your income is going to be. So when you are signing your contract or when you are accepting your salary, keep that in mind: that the salary that they present to you won't be the salary that you might get in your bank account. And that's just because, like I said, of taxes and stuff like that. And that is nothing to do with your company. That's just the government and the benefits that you kind of get. So I just kind of wish I had checked that before. Not that it would have changed my decision, or anything like that, but just so I might have been better prepared and might have budgeted myself a little bit more wisely. I did a good job, but I was, like: Oh shit, that is a big difference! So yeah, just be aware of that. Just be prepared for that. This is another thing that was one of those, kind of like, small culture shock things that I didn't realize, but you know how they don't have, like, a Walgreens or, like, a CVS? They have a ... Ah, I always forget how to pronounce this: 'A-poth-e-kee'?
[5:47] I've fucking butchered that! Let's, let's listen to DeepL really quick. Apotheke. Apotheke. Yes. They have Apothekes which are their pharmacies, so it is more or less a Walgreens or CVS.But something that I wish I knew is that you can't necessarily get, let's say, like, cough medicine, or whatnot on the shelf. You have to go up to the pharmacist and request that. So that was very interesting, that you can't get a lot of things like on the shelf and you can't go to, like a grocery store, and get those things as well. You have to go to the Apotheke. And you know, in America, like you go to a Walgreens, you go to a CVS, you can also go to a Target or Walmart, even a fucking Kroger's, and get like medicine, get like pharmaceutical type of stuff. No, you have to go to a Apotheke. Maybe not even a DM. Not even, like, their drugstore. You can't even get, like, yeah, like, cough syrup or stuff like that. You have to go to the pharmacist to request those type of things. I mean, it's not, like, difficult, but that's just something that I, like, was just such like a small thing that I was, like: Oh! Really interesting!
[6:53] Another thing that I am so mad at everybody about for this ... Everyone wanted to call and tell me, "Oh my gosh, like, Berlin, yeah, so easy. Everyone speaks English. They're ... okay."Socially, yes. But government-wise, if you need service, if you're like in the grocery store, or whatnot, if you're at the doctor's, if you're talking to a nurse ...Most of those people do not speak English, or they don't want to try to speak English.And that was such, like, a curveball for me. Like, yes, I understand. I am in Germany, I need to speak German. But, like, it was so hard because, like, I'm also new here, I don't know shit, and I'm just trying to get a doctor's appointment. And, like, I'm like, struggling to, like, get DeepL or, like, Google Translate, or Apple Translate, to work. And I'm just, like, stressed out because I'm like: None of you guys want to even try.
[7:43] It was a very interesting experience, but I just wish that I, once again, just knew that, going into it. So I was just a little bit more prepared. But everyone gave me this perception that everyone speaks English there, and that is not 100% true. And you all know it's not either. It's not 100% true.You can ... there's a lot of people who do speak English, but still, like, the majority of my time, I am surrounded by German-speaking people, which is always kind of good for me, because I kind of get used to the language, or whatnot. But it's just something that you should know and you should be aware about.
[8:19] Another thing that people said was going to be difficult for me, but I didn't really think it was going to be difficult, but I was nervous about, was: Making friends isn't as hard as it might seem, especially if you are willing to put yourself out there. You aren't the only one ever going through whatever you're going through. You're not the first person to move to Berlin. You're not the last either. You're not the first ... anything, you know. So, I think it's really important for you to ...
[8:51] Keep an open mind, keep an open heart, and know that you can make friends, and know that friends are kind of closer than you think they are going to be. And just remain optimistic about that. I hear just so much negativity when it comes to, "Oh my gosh, how do you make friends?" or whatnot.You know, don't be negative about that. Keep an open mind and know that your right people will come to you when the time comes. You know? And just going back to one of my first points: Things take time. Things take a lot longer than you think they're going to be. If you think something's going to take three months, it will take a minimum of six. If you think that things are going to take six months, it might take a minimum of nine. You know, just allow yourself to ... allow yourself the time, and allow the universe to give you ... what you need to ... all the time that it needs to give it to you. You know, don't think it's a reflection of you if you can't find friends really quickly. Don't think that you're never going to find friends, or that you're always going to be alone, or whatnot. That's not true. It's just: things take time. And often it is so worth the time that it takes.
[10:02] It's a game of patience. It is a skill that you have to practice. You have to develop and you have to learn. So, just knowing that you're going to be doing a lot of learning when you move. Another thing that I will say is not everyone is an asshole.
[10:19] A lot of times when you move to new country, you get very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very guarded. At least I did. And, like, especially after a lot of the experiences that I encountered, I felt very, very guarded. But honestly, even in a place like Berlin, there are a lot of sweet people and there are a lot of people ... there are, honestly, more nice people in Berlin than there are assholes. Yes, the assholes are a little bit louder, but that doesn't mean that they rule the city or whatnot. You know, you can find loving, supporting people. You can find people who are all going to look out for you and who are going to care for you, even though they just met you, you know? So don't give up hope on humanity, because humanity hasn't given up hope on you. There are really good people out there. And yeah, I would just, like ... I mean, like I said, I'm really guarded sometimes, but even my wife has told me like, I sometimes ... it's really good... it's better to give people the benefit of the doubt, and, you know, just to keep that open heart as much as you can. Don't let the city close you off. Don't let moving close you off, because you don't deserve that. You don't deserve that.
[11:34] The other thing kind of going along with all the asshole thing is that you shouldn't take things personally..
[11:43] Some things are cultural, and some people are simply who they are, regardless of if you were in their way or not, they are who they are. And that is never a reflection on you.I know a lot of times when I encounter some of the things, I'm like: What did I do wrong? Why does this keep happening to me? Why am I such a bad person? Or what not. Honestly, it is not you. You can't take it personally. You're in a different world, bro. This person ... you are in a different light. You are in a different way of living. You know, a lot of things are just going to be different, and you're not going to fit in to everything. You're not going to understand everything, and you're going to make mistakes. And when you make mistakes, don't take it personal when somebody yells at you or someone gets mad at you. Most people are just having a fucking sad, bitter day, and you were just their scapegoat. But it's no reflection on you. Once again, you are not the issue. You're not the problem. It's really important that, you know, you keep it into heart that you're okay and that things are okay and that, you know, yeah, you're ... you're chilling. You're fucking chilling. You're ... you're awesome.
[13:00] Another thing that I kind of wish I did a lot more diligently, and I would call myself out for this: Prioritize safe, reliable housing as soon as you can, and keep a lookout for it, because it's a bit shocking here.It is a challenge, and you have to really just be on the lookout. Just keep an open mind, and also knowing that you might be moving a lot. You might be moving a couple of times, three, four, five times before you find a place that you can really call your ... call yours. And once again, don't think it's just you. Like, I have talked to so many people who ... it took them years. And some people who are literally from Berlin were, like, "Yeah, I still don't have a place that I can call mine."Housing in Berlin is chaotic and it is just crazy. And everyone says that, and then you get here, like: Okay, I really do get what everybody was talking about.
[14:10] It's wild. It is wild. And I think you guys just need to keep an open mind that things might not happen in a way that you want them to. Going back to one of my points earlier: Be flexible. Be adaptable. Know that things are going to take time.Also, another thing just that you should know, is: People are always going to say they just got lucky. And honestly, when people say they just got lucky, it means that they, like, got, like, a connection - or sometimes they just got lucky. But yeah, so I learned that a lot of people, when they find a good housing, they will just say the words, "Oh yeah, I just got lucky."And then they'll say, "Yeah, I was talking to somebody," or whatnot. So that's also a thing to know too, like: A lot of great housing does come from word of mouth. So, just make sure that you're not burning any bridges, keeping in contact with people, and just maybe having those conversations because you never know who can help you get the flat that you really want. And also, if anyone has a really cool flat that they want to give to me, I am available. Hit me up, please.
[15:12] Another thing that goes along with those words of, like, don't take things personal, is: everyone struggles. Everyone struggles. It's not just you.
[15:24] I have a tendency to be the main character. So I'm like: Oh my gosh, everything is so wrong. What is going on?
[15:35] But it's not just me, and it's not just you. Shit happens for everybody. Shit is not biased. It's not exclusive. Everybody has to deal with shit, you know? And a lot of the struggles that you go through, you might be surprised when someone says, "Oh, I experienced the same thing." Or, "Oh, I'm experiencing that thing right now."You're always never alone, because ...
[16:08] ... a lot of the challenges that you go through are just the challenges that you just go through whenever you move to a new place, a new city, a new town, regardless of if it's Berlin, a place in America, a place in the UK, or whatnot, you know, something that is universal struggles. So once again, know that you are not alone. Know that some of these struggles most people just go through. A big warning I would give to everybody that I wish I knew, is they fucking love their cash. Berlin, especially, is a cash number ... a cash priority city. They prioritize their cash. If you're going out to clubs, if you're going to a restaurant, make sure that you always have cash on you.I always use my card when I can, just so I can keep the cash for whenever there are places where they take cash only. But it is very important to keep cash on you. And if you are trying to look for, like, a debit card or credit card, or whatnot, make sure that they do give you a generous amount of free ATM withdrawals, because it can be a bitch to try and, like have to take out cash every week, or whatnot, because you ran out, or whatnot. So just keep in mind that you will be needing cash a lot. And don't be surprised when a lot of places don't take cash.
[17:32] I would also like to add that it's not a bad idea to visit the place a few times before deciding to move there. I only visited Berlin once, and one thing that I wish I kind of would have done differently is: If I had visited a few times to really get the feel of the place, really understand if this was a place for me, if I really liked it, or if I was just living on the high of just visiting for the first time..
[18:05] It's okay to visit a couple of times and to really try to see if this is a good place for you. It's also okay to keep your options open and try different places and visit different places, and see which one is your place. A lot of times, yes, you might fall in love with the place, but like I said, sometimes you're just going off of that high of that first experience. But visiting a place and moving to a place are two different things. So you want to make sure that you are comfortable with the place before you decide that you permanently want to live there and go through all the stress that you go through when moving to a new place.
[18:41] The other thing that I will say is, at the end of the day ...
[18:48] Don't give up when shit gets hard. There were so many times when I wanted to go home - and that would actually lead to my last tip. But I didn't, because I really wanted to try to just say that I did it and, like, push through and just work through whatever I was going through. You know, if you are really passionate about the place that you want to live and you really want to live there, but signs aren't pointing there and you're struggling, once again, don't take it personal and don't think that it's a reflection on you. Don't think that you've done something wrong. Don't think that there's been an issue that you, like, kind of done some things. Once again, take time, and some things might take years sometimes, but I would recommend: don't give up. However, my last tip would be: know that it's okay if you need to leave. Know that it's okay if you realize that this place isn't for you. It is okay to realize: You know what? I will feel more comfortable in a different place. You know what? This place actually wasn't what I thought it was going to be. And I am stressed out more than I am happy here. You are not a failure. You're not a loser. You are not missing out. You did not ...
[20:16] ... fail. I'll just say that. It is okay if that place ... you find out that place is not for you. It is okay if you would prefer to try something else. It is okay to keep your options open. It is okay to leave. It is okay to go back home. It is okay to rethink things. It is okay to start from scratch again. It is okay! I don't know how many times I have to say that, but I need to emphasize that it is okay. Don't put that much pressure on you if you don't feel it is serving you.
[20:58] Sometimes some people feel like it is serving them and they just need to get through it. But other people ...If you know that's not for you, if you know that you are spending more time stressed out, more times crying, more times frustrated, more times just feeling you're not happy, your happiness matters most. Your happiness ... your happiness matters the most. And that is so, so, so important to remember: that you're not a failure, and it's okay to let go. Oftentimes letting go is what allows the universe to give you what you truly want. We're all figuring shit out, and sometimes you don't know what you want when you first decide things, and that is okay. Even if you have spent so much time going through everything, it's okay to let go. You did not fail. You did not waste any of your time. You are experiencing life and all that it provides to you. Everything is an experience, everything is for your own growth, and everything happens for a reason.
[22:06] You are not a failure. You're not wasting your time.
[22:11] You are just doing what you need to, for you. So at the end of the day, I will always say: Look after yourself and take care of yourself. That is the most, most, most important thing.