“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway
This week will be my last living in Europe. I’ll be moving back to the United States after living in Berlin, Germany for over three years. I’ve spent most of my 20's living abroad and its been one heck of a ride. After enduring an intense Masters degree in London and two explorative years in Seoul, I can safely look back and say living abroad was one of the smartest decisions I ever made. The world was my oyster and I slurped it up.
Like many other expats, I have had a roller coaster lifestyle. Showing up to a new city, knowing only a few people and looking to turn a page in the next big chapter of life. When I first arrived in Berlin, I only had a few acquaintances. They were so kind to let me crash on their couches while I networked my way through the tech startup scene. I repaid my roomies with home cooked dinners and cheap wine. I also remember temporarily moving in with a journalist and her family, taking on a short stint in auparing and remembering how much I loved hanging out with kids. Their energy was infectious and I throughly enjoyed tinkering the ivories while they danced around their Prenzlauerberg apartment. The mother of these two little ones would later write a beautiful story on Berlin Geekettes… thank you Melissa.
I remember falling in love with my partner-in-crime Matthew. We met during our long hours at an early-stage startup and made each other laugh when the going got tough. We’ve had so many beautiful and crazy moments together, music blasting in our apartment, cooking Korean BBQ for friends, hopping on planes and discovering new cities. Berlin, thanks for introducing me to the pea in my pod. Matthew, if you’re reading this, I love you and always will.
I started flicking through my Facebook photo albums last week. Looking back at the pre-parties before Berghain, retracing my footsteps through the Christmas markets, hosting my first radio show at TwenFm. I’ll never forget the friends who helped me build my experience here in Berlin. From the dance parties in tiny kitchens with Ida and Monika to the rooftop parties with Sarah’s banging beats, it’s been awesome. Oh man, and the thrilling trips across Europe that would lead to unforeseen events, internal discovery and endless moments of fun. #wanderlust
When I reflect on the past years, I’d like to think my work had meaning and purpose. Building educational workshops via General Assembly, hosting hackathons for the Berlin Geekettes… I feel that I did something for the greater community and it fills me with joy to know that I have done something rewarding with my time here in Berlin. Thank you, dear Lisa, for the kind words and all your support over the years. I smile when I reflect on all the crazy Geekettes adventures we’ve all had together. Sleepless weekends, karaoking with my buddy and co-founder Denise, interviewing with the BBC on why we wanted to change the current tech landscape. It’s been a wonderful journey that has reshaped my life and redefined the way I look at a career in tech.
When you move to a new part of the world, you never know what to expect. You pray for the best and follow your instincts. I’m glad I did that. Berlin was winning the lottery in so many different ways. My final years abroad are now coming to an end, but I’m not filled with sadness. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m filled with happiness, love and excitement for the future. Thanks to everyone who made my Berlin experience an incredible one. I toast my Club Mate in your honor.
Prost, danke schön und tschüss…… xo