Moving to Munich proved to be one of the biggest challenges - and rewards - of my life. I have moved cities, and countries before, but always to tropical places; always by the ocean, and always where they drive on the left side of the road.
How living in a city changed my life
The simplest tasks were suddenly huge challenges - jumping into, instead of out of the way of bikes, finding something in a supermarket, making reservations in broken German. And teaching at various places around the city itself on my bike was also always longer than google maps would say, so I was late and lost many times!
II thought I would never learn how to communicate, or feel at home in this strange, cold, landlocked city.
But 3.5 years later I can say: Munich is definitely home!
How did I go from lost to found? By not giving up.
I kept on showing up and teaching empty (or nearly empty) studio classes, I learned my cycling routes and put together a mental picture of the city in my mind.
I kept replying to grumpy shopkeepers with a smile and more broken German, until they smiled and tried to help me. And most of all, I tried to help anyone who was also struggling, and learn from those who had wisdom to offer. I reached out to international groups on social media, I kept visiting established yoga studios and talking with owners, and I kept putting myself out there.
Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but like all progress it ultimately kept going forwards.
I started teaching at studios and my classes received great feedback. I met new people and they showed me different sides to Munich.
And I started going to the mountains and appreciating their grounding energy. Yoga was always the bond that helped me to connect and gave me the strength to believe in myself. Especially at days where I had the feeling Munich will never become my home – yoga was my home on which I could rely on!
It has not been easy, but I am proud to say that I can hold a conversation in (still broken but better) German, I am a successful full time yoga teacher.
I can cycle through this city and know where I am, and I have many wonderful friends and colleagues
My advice to anyone starting out and struggling -
keep going. Don't give up. Celebrate the small wins, and reach out to others. We have all either been there or are there right now, and the more we build each other up, the more we all rise.