Reflections on Leaving Germany (part. I) – A Short Essay

In a few short weeks, my family and I are leaving Germany. We moved to Germany in 2016, so that I could work on an international project (more later on this). We left Toronto in the Spring of 2016. It was a difficult decision to leave Toronto, which was highly motivated by financial reasons. We had built a very nice network of friends and colleagues in Toronto, and we were very hesitant to leave. Since we encountered some issues securing an Ontario Nursing license for my partner, we had to make a decision. We opted to take a job offer in Germany. Financial reasons were our first reason to depart to Germany, and the second reason was that we wanted to give our son the gift of bilingualism.These past few weeks of packing and preparing for another international move has provided occasion to ruminate on what I have liked most about living abroad. I am very happy that my son has had the chance to grow up bilingual. Of course, we could have enrolled our son in French school in Toronto, but we were financially at risk in Toronto. Since the job offer in Germany resolved our financial issues, we were able to transition to Germany where our son has become fluent in German. Even now, as I type this, I hear him chatting with his friends in a Hochdeutsch accent and in fluent German. He will likely loose some proficiency when we move back to the US, but I hope he grows to appreciate his linguistic skills and fosters them further with foreign language courses in the US. We’ve joked that if he were to sign up for German courses in the US, he has an easy A course with a not-so-easy language!

Of course living abroad has separated our son from his grandparents. We use Skype and FaceTime, but we are eager to reunite with family and catch up! I cherish my memories with grandparents, and I am eager to provide occasion for our son to spend some time with his grandparents.

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