Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Münster, Travel + Life Abroad

A (Big) Life Veränderung

As a writer, I am constantly looking for things to write about. And I can do what I do, anywhere in the world. As a person, I love to travel. Bear with me, this is going somewhere.

When I returned from my first summer in Santorini, in 2008, I was a quarter of the way through my Masters degree, and I made a promise to myself that when I finished studying I would move overseas. Not just out of home, but across oceans. Not just into another suburb, but into another culture, another way of life. I wanted the experience, the system shock, the change. I chose Germany because I had fallen in love with the country and its people during the couple of months I spent there in 2007 and had the welcoming arms of my beautiful German family wide open, ready for me to jump into any time. I told my German friends I’d see them when I graduated, warned my parents I would be on a plane as soon as I could, once I’d donned the cap and gown and (with the MA final project handed in and my sanity partially restored) started saving. 

I left on July 1st, this year. Flew to Shanghai for a few days, then to London for a  week, then to Santorini to see some friends, catch some sun, do some writing and chill for a few weeks. I stayed for two months, working in a bar and succumbing to the mercurial fizz that is an island summer. A season in Santorini is like standing on your head then spinning in circles. It’s letting go of any concept of time, logic and structure as you know it. Mornings go on forever, weeks mean nothing, days have no name. You chase the sun, sleep when you feel like it, eat when your stomach rumbles and swim when it’s too hot to move. You meet people from everywhere. Anything goes. Everything is talked about by everyone. You form bonds with people because you’re all being driven mad by the volcano and need each other’s understanding because no one else knows exactly what you’re banging on about.

I left the island last week (I think, I’m not going to lie, my grip on days of the week is still slippery) and spent a few days in Athens, acclimatising to relative normality and then, finally, as was the Big Plan, got on a plane to Germany.

Which is where I am now. Muenster, Germany. My new home. Oh Lordy. I need to find a job, an apartment, learn the language (properly, seriously, well). I need to accept it will rain, a lot, and I will be cold, a lot. I need to soak up everything this experience will give me as a person and as a writer. And that’s where this blog comes in.

Travel is making the unfamiliar, become familiar. Words, letters, foods, sounds, smells. It is new showers and strange beds made your own. Bathrooms stocked with shampoos, the backs of which you can’t understand. Shelves stacked with clothes collected from various cities. Navigating supermarkets. It is new mannerisms, habits, patterns. Routines born of the remarkable human ability to adapt. And that’s what A Big Life will be about. That’s what my Big Life will be consumed by, for the next little while. Plenty will be lost in translation. There will be tears, terror, tantrums. Delirium, delights and disasters. Hilarity. Triumphs, big and small. And it will – because I have a new resolve to be a better blogger, to be a disciplined blogger – all be chronicled here. Welcome to my (Big) Life Veränderung. Let’s get started.

 Veränderung = change


  1. Belinda

    10 September, 2010 at 12:02 am

    This sounds amazing Liv…I will just live through you for a while, hey? I am really enjoying these posts; I am yet to get to Europe (going there when I was 6 doesn’t count!) so I am hungrily eating up all the information you write on this blog! Take care and keep us well informed 🙂

  2. Sy

    10 September, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Ah! There! Enjoy your new life in Germany. Reading this reminded me of what I did in 1990, as a 17 yo gal leaving her native island of Madagascar for Belgium (for studying, then later on, working) and what I did 15 years later, in 2005, to return to Madagascar for another new life. And I did the first move at 17, meaning, I entered a post high-school life, learning to live on my own (first time I left the nestle) in another culture, country.
    Plus, Belgium is quite special ! Not really a country-a culture. It’s different cultures, languages they try to melt in one territory…

  3. SocialAnswers

    10 September, 2010 at 6:19 am

    How very true. But you should be so very proud of you for making the decision of jumping into your big life, of exiting your comfort zone, of exploring the world that exists outside the familiar, the safe, the “home.” Greece provides you with the warmth of the known, the family, the traditions, the sun. Germany does too with the cosmolopitan Berlin and the sophisticated Hannover. But in spite of your travels, your experiences, your fears, hopes, achievements, never forget who you are, your roots, your beginnings and the things that are closest to you.
    If you need a friend, throughout it all, even if it’s just a virtual one, let me know. It’ll be a true pleasure.

    ps. Got to love those hotel shampoos…

  4. livhambrett

    10 September, 2010 at 6:40 am

    THANKS GUYS. I’m raising my tea cup to the future and all that it holds … and being VERY well behaved in terms of complaining about the weather …

  5. Lisa Fjordtun

    10 September, 2010 at 7:40 am

    I must say I love your blog! I like the way you write

  6. kaitica83

    10 September, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I love your blog! Good luck with living it large in Germany – its so great to see people embrace change! (ps, am also thrilled you love my country)

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