My actual plan was to relocate from London to Berlin, so I ended up in Frankfurt. For those who aren’t aware, a friend once said that Berlin is like the Shoreditch, London of Germany and Frankfurt is more like Canary Wharf. And you know what, I totally agree. I would have rather gone to Shoreditch any day.
So what the hell am I doing in Frankfurt?
Well, an opportunity came up and I just went with it. Life is short. In hindsight, I definitely could have given such a huge decision more thought, but I was excited for something new and had absolutely nothing to lose. Luckily for me, it all worked out.
“Do you love Frankfurt?”
Expats will know that people often ask if they are happy with their ‘new life’, if they like their new city and if it’s better than what they were doing before. When asked If I love Frankfurt and plan to stay here for the unforeseeable future, I reply with “Hmm, not really,” and then feel obliged to give an explanation as to why that answer doesn’t truly reflect my feelings at all.
You win some you lose some
Frankfurt is a business city and people come here to work. It’s not #1 on people’s ‘places to go’ list and it’s certainly not rammed with tourists. I relocated from London to Frankfurt and I honestly feel that Frankfurt doesn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor, but as I mentioned in ‘Moving from London to Frankfurt’, it certainly has its aspects that make living here worthwhile.
So I relocated to a city that I didn’t really know, and although I don’t actually love Frankfurt itself, I do love life here.
1. You can be so in love with a city in itself, but living somewhere is different to being on holiday, and everyday life satisfaction is what defines true happiness (at least to me).
2. A high standard of living makes a serious difference to your everyday life.
3. No matter where you are, it’s the people you’re surrounded by who can make life either pretty amazing or simply horrendous. I’ve been lucky to meet some nice ones 🙂
4. People aren’t trees and you have the rest of your life to live in other places too – no rush!
5. Your home city isn’t just the city itself, it’s your life-long friends, your childhood memories and your family. When comparing, you simply won’t find that anywhere else.
So if you’re ever feeling concerned about how much you love the city you’ve relocated to or if you’ve made the right choice, remember it’s not just about the place, rather the life you build for yourself whilst you’re there.
It’s not Berlin, but it’s not as though Frankfurt lacks things to do. There are an enormous number of museums with frequently changing and very good exhibits, and lots of music and culture. It’s relatively easy to live here for a foreigner compared to some German cities, and especially easy to get away, with excellent transportation connections. I would probably never tell a tourist to add Frankfurt to their list of must-see European destinations, but it’s not a bad place to live if you’re going to be in Germany. Berlin surely has some serious downsides that you’re perhaps unaware of.
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I’ve been visiting Frankfurt throughout the last year with work, and will be back over in a week or so. At some point I’ll be clever enough to book an extra day, so I can explore a bit more – all I have really seen so far is various bars and restaurants at night – and usually while too tired or stressed to really enjoy them
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Hi Jonathan, it would be great to book an extra day so that you can relax and see more of the city that you spend so much time in. Enjoy!