I made it. Ich lebe in Berlin!


I did it. I packed up or sold my entire life and moved from Boston to Berlin.

It was terrifying.  And amazing.  I think I got lucky – I moved from one great city to another completely different great city.

The first week and a half was a vacation.  I had friends visiting so it didn’t feel like real life – even while learning to deal with the German government and DHL.    But then I was alone and it was time to settle in.

I live in a great neighborhood – Mitte.  It’s literally the center of Berlin and there is no shortage of things to do and see.     I’m a short walk from several other great neighborhoods and Alexanderplatz (which is key because I can use the TV tower as a navigational beacon from anywhere in the city)  I have a million cafes and shopping spots.  I get to indulge my love of lounging in the European outdoor cafe.

It’s true, most Germans do speak English.  But only if they’re under 50.   I’m the first American non German speaker at my new company.   So far it’s been okay – heavy on the Google Translate and hand gestures, but it’s working.  But I’m also still in learning mode – we’ll see how the first real project goes.  All of my coworkers are surprisingly nice about the disruption and forced English my arrival has caused.

So, it has been fairly easy so far.  We’ll see how that continues.



21 days until the big move

I opened my mail last night and my monthly art postcard from Holstee was here.  A backpack urging me to pick up and go. It’s was the perfect note at the perfect time.  The sign I needed to keep pushing towards the move to Germany in 3 short weeks. Not that I had much of a choice – Berlin is coming.

My house is on the market.  I’m wrapping up my job.  I’m scaling back to the most important things for my life.  I’ve learned very very basic pleasantries and shopping needs in German. Hallo! Wie gehts? Darf ich eine Banane ?

It seems simultaneously real and unreal.  I try to make myself worry (maybe so I can face any worries head on? I don’t know.) but it’s harder than I thought.  It all just feels very right right now.





Moving is way too hard

UGH! Selling a house you’ve lived in for 10 years without another house to move into is INSANELY DIFFICULT.   I not only have to pare everything down for the sales process, I have to pare everything down for the “as small as I can get it” move to Berlin.

I want to tear my hair out.   Even the small “save” piles are still too big.   I’m grateful for this process, I want to simplify (that’s the theme of 2016 right?) but it’s too much.

But then I put on Purple Rain, and Let’s Go Crazy comes on and I start dancing and it’s all okay.   I’m still actively mourning the worlds great loss of Prince, but listening to his music has made this time a whole lot easier. Because if you’re dancing, you can’t be stressed. And if you’re listening to Prince, you’re dancing.


So it begins

Thanks to Timehop, I realized that it was one year ago today I decided to radically change my life somehow.

Today I’m sitting in a pile of stuff I’ve collected over the last 20 years and deciding what is so precious it gets shipped to Berlin with me. 

Moving to Europe makes this process a lot easier than somewhere in the States I think.  There’s just so much I can’t even think of taking because it’s too big or simply won’t work (goodbye everything with a plug)

Even things I can bring I need to pare down – I don’t need 4 winter coats or 3 pair of snow boots.  I will have no use for all of heels and dresses I’ve been wearing to work. 

What are my most favorite photos? That’s a tough one.  And books – I really don’t need any of them I guess. 


Moving to Berlin

I’ve been pretty quiet about my life the last 6 weeks.  It’s because I was working out a fairly big change.  I’m going to pack up my life in Boston and move to Berlin.

I’ve always wanted to live in Europe.  To me it seems like a simpler more focused way of living.  Now I get to see if the dream matches the reality.

Can I live without a car?

Can I live without debt?

Can I work to live rather than live to work?

Can I live more freely and sustainably?

We shall see.

22 Reasons You Need To Move To Berlin Now


Mid life crisis?

For awhile now I’ve been feeling like the mom at work.  I don’t have kids, but I am the oldest person in my department.  Maybe on the floor.  This doesn’t always bother me, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it when I think about what to do next.

It’s obvious I’m too old for tech.   I love it and I’m good at it and I know my business inside and out.  But tech is not welcoming for anyone over 40, especially women.   It’s just the nature of the business these days.   I’ve got some left in me but I’m also thinking that in 5 years I better have a plan for something of my own. 

What of my own? I don’t know.   I never think about starting something in tech – no apps, no digital solutions.  I think about going old school – cooking, craft, brewing, socially responsible, conservation? I have no idea but I want to create offline. Is that just another sign I’m too old for this?

Has every generation feel this way? Did my Dad wake up one day and think about this?  I can’t imagine he did – he worked a traditional job in a traditional industry.  But was there something like this? It’s good to remind myself some times that I’m not inventing this stage – it’s not just my issue. 

I’m mid life crisising arenr I? I’ll tell ya one thing – there won’t be a sports car.  Unless it’s a Tesla. 


A is for April and Adventure

My goal for 2016 is”The Great Simplification or addition by subtraction”  In my quest for that happier, healthier, simpler existence I’ve decided to try a few things for April.

No car unless I absolutely need it.   I gave up my work parking pass and got myself a T pass.  I can only drive to work if I have a) a volunteer gig at night that is right at 5 or off the T map b) I have something large to carry.     I can also only use my car on weekends if I’m doing something outside of Roslindale.

It’s day 4 of this experiment and so far so good! My daily mileage is way up – I walked 7+ miles both days this weekend. In the rain and snow and cold. And I feel so much better for it.   I’m also getting extra podcasts and reading in. BONUS!

Try a wearable.  I’m trying a WEARABLE. (I know, I know. I swore I wouldn’t)  I decided to try the Fitbit Blaze for several reasons. a) it’s half the price of an apple watch b) it has a money back guarantee c)it’s limited to things I actually need (time, exercise, notifications.) d)I’ve always been a wearer of large watches, so this one shouldn’t be a stretch.

I was convinced to try wearing one about the future of wearables discussion I had at the Habit Summit in Palo Alto last week. I was intrigued by the real goal of wearables – to get your face out of your phone.  So, I jumped.  Amazingly,  I was able to leave my phone (Yes, LEAVE MY PHONE) for long stretches of time this weekend without a shred of FOMO.

I’m obsessed with my Fitbit.  It’s everything I need to keep me on track right now.  But I’m always saying that it’s not really USEFUL. The data, it’s a good basic driver, but how is it really helpful?  So I’m trying the extra data-y one to see if I can make it useful.   I learned that my basic walking speed is a good cardio zone. I learned that my smaller Fitbit was way over-counting my steps.   Hopefully I’ll learn some more.

Rediscover the library.  I try to read at LEAST one book a week.   It’s getting expensive.  So, I renewed my library card.   I f’ing LOVE libraries.  The smell, the racks and racks of books.  Just going to the library makes me happy.  I had forgotten what a treat it is to skim through shelves of books to find a few treasures to bring home.