After a long break from regular blogging, I’m excited to share some huge news—as of March 2, I’ll be one-way bound for Hamburg, Germany. I’ve gotten a few questions as to why Deutschland, why now? And my main answer is, why not?
A lot of things happened in 2015. I met some incredible people, I traveled to some incredible places. I fell asleep in a slew of airports, spent long nights working, had deep conversations—and the common theme among all of them was to start saying “yes” to things. Risky things, bold things, things I might have never considered before. Why not carpe some diem and finally do something I’ve been talking about for years? And when the opportunity presented itself, I knew there was no way I was turning it down.
That’s the pie-in-the-sky answer. But the ying to that emotional yang was, of course, logical.
- I’m lucky to know some awesome people in Hamburg. When you move abroad, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is make new friends—so to already have the foundation of a social circle established was pretty persuasive.
- Hamburg is a beautiful city. In many ways, it reminds me of two other important cities in my life—the city I was raised in: Oakland, and the city where I went to college: Boston.
- Advertising is in an interesting place in Germany. From the writers I’ve talked to, in years past it’s been very difficult to get a job at a non-German copywriter in the ad industry. Advertising there was insulated, and there wasn’t a big demand for English copy. Now agencies are starting to look beyond their borders, and the demand for native-English speakers and writers is slowly starting to increase. That created an exciting opportunity for me not just in terms of working abroad, but hopefully getting to push some of these accounts to new places.
- Germany is in an interesting place. It feels, to me, very much on the cusp of something. A new generation is rising, pushing entrepreneurship and embracing start-up culture. The influx of migrants means a culture shift is imminent (for better or worse, only time will tell). I find it refreshing to see a country and political system that is willing to take a few risks and eschew the fear the U.S. has so heartily embraced the past few years.
All that said, I’ll be curious to see how my impressions hold true—what’s tested or negated, as I navigate this new year.