Finding Your Team Abroad

To keep the celebratory train rolling for my one year of living in Germany, today I thought I’d share how I found my new “team.” No, this isn’t like Team Sonja from the Real Housewives of New York, I don’t have three unpaid interns fighting over Mac computers. I mean more like a hair stylists, doctor, dermatologist, dry cleaners, the people who keep you healthy and looking superb.

moving abroad

Admittedly, I was most nervous about finding a new hairstylist in Germany. I had just found someone I loved in Michigan who knew my hair, colored it perfectly and had a heavy hand when it came to wine pouring. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about! Your hairstylist becomes your best friend, and probably someone you tell your deepest darkest secrets.

When we landed, we were lucky enough to meet another expat couple who lived here info 4.5 years and knew a lot. I asked her girl where she got her hair cut and she gave me a recommendation. Come to find out, it’s an Aveda salon, the stylist speaks great English and I love sipping on cappuccinos while I get my hair colored. It all worked out thanks to asking someone I knew! I guess that’s not new and can be done in any new location, but when you don’t know that many people and have a language barrier, it’s really nice to get a referral.

As for a doctor, this one is definitely the hardest. I asked my doctor before moving if she knew of any doctors in Germany, knowing that she wouldn’t know anyone. But she gave me some really good advice to go to the U.S. Consulates’ website because they list English-speaking and vetted doctors in the area. I found my doctor this way, who is excellent, and Vinn found an internist on the website, too.

A good ol’ fashioned Google search does the trick for lots of other things. I found a dermatologist through Yelp and Google. One positive about Germany is that you don’t have to go through the hassle of seeing if your doctor is in network or not. Doctors either take private insurance, which is what we have, or the public insurance. I’m going to do a whole post on how we pay for healthcare as an expat because it’s super interesting, but I’ve been able to go to any doctor I want because of it.

And, of course, walking around is a great tool, too. Just walking around our new city, I found some cute flower shops, new coffee shops, a nail salon and our local pharmacy. It’s a great way to explore and get acquainted with your new home.

I suppose this isn’t riveting knowledge, but I think it’s interesting. When you are looking for something new, how do you find it?
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