Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Kiel, Life in Weiden, Travel + Life Abroad, Travel: Germany

To the Sea

We’re moving again. The Bavarian chapter is coming to a close, and we’re heading back up north. We don’t know exactly when, but it will be soon after returning from Australia, and just over two years since we moved here in 2012. How was 2012 two years ago? Isn’t it still 2012? How old am I?

Wie die Zeit vergeht. 

Bavaria, particularly the little pocket of it we have inhabited, has played a really important part in all of this, this being the German Adventure (for lack of a better, catchier name). To be perfectly frank, it hasn’t been somewhere we have adored living, indeed it was a transition the both of us found very difficult, culturally, socially, personally. But we drew a lot from our time here, of that I am certain. I feel that, had I not been given the chance to live here, my perceptions of this country and its people would be, naturally, narrower. I certainly wouldn’t know as much about bloody dialects and beer as I do now. As it stands, Weiden in der Oberpfalz offered an entirely different experience to the one I had in Münster, and was on the other end of the comparison scale when it came to life up in Kiel. If I had stuck to the north and the ‘mid-west’ of Germany, I wouldn’t have learnt as much as I have about the country I live in. I would likely have a different understanding of Germany as a whole (which is a very difficult picture to get a hold of, this country is so proudly regional, its people so very much connected to their patches of home).

And, of course, I have also learnt an awful lot about myself, living here. The places we set up camp in, for however long, reveal things about us, about our needs and wants. I will always remember someone telling me each place you live in, peels away a layer, shows you something different about yourself. What you can do, and indeed what you can’t. What you want from a home, what you don’t. What you need in life, in order to find your balance and purpose. As I move through this life, I’m finding the relationships with places are like the ones we have with people. Weiden hasn’t been perfect, at times it has been downright difficult, but it has been important. I will always believe that.

For me, Kiel feels like home here in Germany. I get Kiel and it gets me. It has been like that from the beginning, when I first caught a train up there to meet SG’s home town and Kiel and I connected in the freezing Baltic air. I feel right there, I feel good. I like the northerners, their openness and directness. I like the summers of beaches and strawberries stands everywhere you look. There is a freshness to Kiel, an openness – there’s that word again. I don’t feel contained, hemmed in, like I do down here. As I have learnt, I am not one for landlocked towns, for mountains and hills and lakes. I am one for the sea, and there I have it. Where I have the sea, everything is okay.

We have a magnet on our fridge:20140116_145303

Shall do.


  1. Hemborgwife

    16 January, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Good luck with the move! We have moved from southern Sweden where my husband is from to Northern and you are so right how much you learn about a country by living in different parts. I am really partial the north now and not sure I would ever move back down South!

    1. Liv

      16 January, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      The regional differences are really quite big, and I am grateful that I have lived in three such different places, because it means I can make the sort of decision as to where I want to live, in a much more informed way. MUST get to Sweden, have only ever been to Goteburg. Being back up north, it’s not so far away!

      1. Hemborgwife

        19 January, 2014 at 11:55 am

        O yes in the summer you always see tons of Germans in camper vans in the smaller Swedish towns!

  2. Brittany Ruth

    16 January, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    My husband has his hockey practices in Wieden! (He plays on an amateur German team) I go there to watch some of his games! I love it here in Bavaria!

    1. Liv

      16 January, 2014 at 4:11 pm

      Ha, how cute! Are you here with the US military? I have enjoyed living in Bavaria too, and really getting to know the state and the regions and their people. The Oberpfälzer people have been so friendly. But ultimately, I simply feel more connected to the north. That being said, am very glad we got the chance to live here and see what it’s about.

  3. Lutz Mowinski

    16 January, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    That sounds like awesome news, you seemed much happier in Kiel than in Weiden, though i’m not saying that you were in constant misery 😉

    1. Liv

      16 January, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Defffinitely feel better as a person when I am up there, more things fall into place – professionally and personally. I have taken a lot from our time here in Bayern, but I am ready to move on!

  4. Alice

    16 January, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Ah cool! I do find the northern Germans way friendlier (and easier to understand).

    Maybe I’ll finally visit Kiel sometime and we could go for a Kaffee und Kuchen?

    1. Liv

      17 January, 2014 at 10:34 am

      That would be lovely! And I am totally with you on the friendlier and easier to understand thing. The Bavarians are friendly too, they say hi in the street, and like having a chat. But the northerners are friendly in their own way – and have wicked senses of humour.

  5. Susan

    18 January, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Where did you get your magnet?

    1. Liv

      18 January, 2014 at 9:51 am

      I think my friend got it from the Kiel shop, the one you pass on the way to the Kiel Linie.

  6. vegasmike433

    19 January, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    As always, I enjoy your posts as much as I can ever remember enjoying anything I have ever read, I mean this sincerely, because your style is so easy and unpretentious, it is like a conversation with someone I have known forever. You manage to share important content, while never being obtrusive, Your audience feels comfortable with you and affectionate for you. A beautiful literary skill, which comes from your heart.

    I wish all of the best on your vacation, have a blast in summer. And I know you will do well in your new place. You guys are a great team.

    Via Con Dios,


  7. John

    20 January, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    I just found your blog, which was featured on and I have to say, so much of your content is hilarious and quite true about my experiences with Germany too.

    The oberpfalz or the Upper Palatinate is an interesting area to live. Best of luck on your move.

  8. aristokitten

    23 January, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Yay, I need that fridge magnet…
    Glad you like our little Fischkopptown the best, I will make sure to proudly mention it when I go other places…. If I happen to run into you somewhere, maybe at the Seebar or Holtenauer or Falkensteiner Stand, I’ll say hello 🙂
    welcome back!

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