Words on Moving & Living Abroad

Moving abroad can be a tricky, wonderful, scary, difficult thing. When I packed a bag in July 2010 and hopped on a plane for an adventure of a … grander sort, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. I had, perhaps, a fraction of an idea of what I was in for. Living in Germany with a dear friend with Europe on my doorstep, hurrah! Yes! Jawohl! But all of the ins and outs – the insurance, the registering, the visa renewal and restrictions, the renting rules and regulations, the TEFL industry – all of that, I was blissfully ignorant of. And as for the sheer emotional roller coaster you merrily board and strap yourself into, you can’t prepare yourself for that, you just have to hold on.

Previous travels had had end-dates, return tickets, known time frames. This one was indefinite. This one was moving somewhere and staying there, not hopping from hotel to hostel. This one had a whole new emotional framework with which to acquaint myself. And just as I had, just as I was starting to feel a little restless once more, ready for something new, I was shuttled into Weiden, a teeny town near the Czech border where I knew no one except the wonderful man I had joined. Six months later, things changed again and I moved back to Sydney to recharge, refuel, get my lust for overseas life back again. And after six months re-fuelling at home (and studying and working) it was back to Germany, but do a different city – Kiel – for six months. (Life seems to have moved in six month allotments for the past 18 months).

Writing has been the best therapy for me, through it all. Writing and wine with friends new and old. Here are the key pieces that came out of the confusion, homesickness, frustration, fear but also the satisfaction and excitement that has been like no other. They start in Münster, progress through Weiden, Sydney and Kiel. Each of the four chapters (thus far).

Boil the kettle and let’s begin.



Why My Possession Define Me


The Thing About Homesickness


I’ve Been to Cities that Never Close Down

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Break on Through


The Snow and I

A Concession

Through The Looking Glass

Most Days


A Change is Gonna Come

Plans vs Choices – A Meditation

Kicking the Dictionary

Choices, Change and Setting Things in Motion


This Limbo Again

Decisions, Decisions


How Are You Settling In?


I Always Cry on the Bridge

The Other Side of the World

Fertile Lands

Context and Clarification

Getting my Lust Back

The Four Stages of Waiting


A Handful of Charms


Kicking it Up & Letting it Fall

A Click, A Morph, A Something

Somewhere in the Middle

Making Dates & Social Therapy

The Language Battle

Never Really Still

The Wind Up

No Room for New Numbers

Eat! It Creates Cultural Understanding

Hold the Button!



  1. hnicolella

    18 June, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I have nominated you for “One Lovely Blog Award”! Here’s the link: http://hnicolella.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/one-lovely-blog-award/
    Congrats! I nominated you because I’m intrigued by your blog!

    1. phb

      23 November, 2016 at 7:10 am

      I totally agree / Liv deserves this / the combination of photos and text and brain and heart / just awesome / really well done, my congrats.

  2. carlyhulls

    10 October, 2012 at 3:30 am

    Thank you for everything here. I can relate to so much having just moved to Vienna after travelling for two years and everything you write gives me a little more hope that its all going to be ok, even if I am missing parts of my life back in Melbourne. Thanks heaps & keep writing!!

    1. Liv

      11 October, 2012 at 11:17 am

      You are so welcome. I am glad you found something in these words, lord knows it helped me to write them!

  3. Part 4Liv Hambrett | Liv Hambrett

    25 February, 2013 at 2:58 am

    […] Words on Moving & Living Abroad […]

  4. mikaela

    8 April, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    This is awesome! I’m planning a similar move to Germany next year and am glad that it’s not all bureaucratic red tape and stop signs. Thank you 🙂

    1. Liv

      8 April, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Hahaha there is enough good to balance out the bureaucracy, I assure you.

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