Meet Ava, an expat who moved to Germany and loves to try new things and experiences...
27 March 2016| Last updated on 18 October 2017
Living in Schweinfurt, Germany for the past seven months has proven both fun and challenging for expat Ava Meena, who considers herself to be a trailing spouse after both she and her husband were relocated to Germany due to his career.
EW: Tell us a bit about yourself...
AM: My husband and I have been married for a little over two years. I’m from South Carolina and he’s from Illinois. We’re in our mid-twenties and we enjoy traveling; my husband is an absolute fanatic when it comes to roller coasters, so we spend a lot of time visiting amusement parks and seeking out our next adrenaline rush.
EW: Why did you move?
AM: My husband works for a German company and they moved us here so that he could receive specialized training.
EW: Why do you like living here?
AM: It’s a great opportunity to experience European culture and to travel.
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EW: What are the accommodation options like?
AM: We were placed into an extended stay hotel due to lack of housing available in the area.
EW: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
AM: I enjoy walking around our small town and writing about what it’s like to live in Germany on my blog, My Meena Life.
EW: What top tips do you have for anyone considering a move?
AM: Visit at least once before you move – and ask lots of questions about what it will be like to live there. There were many things we just didn’t realize would happen when we moved here and we could have been better prepared.
EW: What do you wish you'd known before you moved?
AM: I wish I had known how hard it is to make friends in Germany.
EW: What's the best thing about being an expat?
AM: It keeps us on our toes - we always want to get the most out of each experience instead of becoming complacent or doing the same things all the time.
EW: How do you keep a little bit of home with you as an expat?
AM: I brought my favorite items abroad with us and I buy American food items whenever I can find them.
EW: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us about your expat experience?
AM: Being a trailing spouse is much harder than I thought it was. I’ve found that the best way to deal with it is to keep trying new things. There are days when I have a meltdown and just really want to book a place ticket home. I always allow myself time to recover and miss home, but then I have to try again to be happy here – because it’s where I am.