Expat Stories Series - Amy Wilkins 03

Frankfurt Life to the Fullest Part 3: Live Like a Local

This is the third installment of the four-part series “Frankfurt Life to the Fullest” in which contributor Amy Wilkins is sharing reflections on how her family made the most of their two-year expat assignment in Frankfurt.  

PART THREE:  Live Like a Local

Learning German was both fun and challenging for us.   It can be tempting when you have a short-term assignment, especially in such an international city like Frankfurt, to not learn the local language and to try to get by with just a few phrases.

However, learning German was so gratifying and beneficial.  It also provided a deeper understanding into the intricacies of the culture that we interacted with every day.

Some of our other favorite ways to live like locals?

  • Living in the city and relying on public transportation to get around.  
  • Buying second-hand bikes (check Ebay!), which made it easier to go to the park, visit a friend, or find a new dinner spot.  
  • Walking with my shopping cart to Rewe to pick up the groceries we needed.  
  • And making frequent stops for Eis and croissants.

Obviously, there is so much more to German culture and being a Frankfurter than just these things.  But I think the key is that we were looking for parts of German culture that we could learn about and adopt into our everyday life.  This allowed us to soak up even more of this opportunity to live outside of our home country and learn about things that were new and different to us.

And even beyond that, we’ve brought back some of these ideas with us and they are now a part of who we are back in the States.  For example, we loved getting to ride subways again when we visited Boston this summer.  (We had missed it!)  And we made it a priority to buy bikes once we returned, so we could continue bike riding as a family.  Our “local” life in Frankfurt has become a part of our “local” life in the States.  What a beautiful part of life as an expat!

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