The State of Germerica

Lately, I haven’t really been using this blog to tell you guys what is going on in my life – and there is a lot going on! So, I am going to do that today in the first ever… State of Germerica Address! Just like the president’s annual State of the Union address, I will move through this post by topic, providing update on all of the progress I have made in my life throughout the past few months. Who knows, maybe this will even become an annual or biannual thing. Only time will tell. Now let’s see what topics Continue Reading

How Moving to Germany Affected My Carbon Footprint

It is a fact that Germany releases much less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per capita than the United States. This is due to a mixture of factors that include large investments in renewable energy and an overall environmental consciousness among German citizens. This got me thinking: Has moving to Germany helped my carbon footprint to shrink? First, let’s look at some numbers:Tons of CO₂ Produced Per Capita in 1990USA: 19Germany: 15.2 Tons of CO₂ Produced Per Capita in 2010USA: 19Germany: 12.3Information received from Carbon Footprint of Nations.This means Germany has actually improved its carbon emissions by nearly 3 tons Continue Reading

Voting from Abroad: My Voting History

I have a confession to make. A confession that I am not proud about. A confession that many people may criticize me for. However, I am making this confession to you now because it is something that I am finally going to do something about. I have never voted. But this will change in 2016. I turned 18 in 2008, the year that Obama was first running for presidential office. It was also the year I started college. During those first couple months on campus, it was impossible to go anywhere without seeing a table or booth encouraging students to Continue Reading

Learning to Drive Stick Shift, Part 2

Back in September 2013, my German fiancé gave me my first stick shift driving lesson. We went from driving circles in the parking lot to driving around a traffic-filled roundabout in about 15 minutes, which was too much too fast. I was terrified the entire time, and I never got back into the driver’s seat of a manual transmission car for the next 2.5 years. Over Easter this year, Marco and I drove 800 km (500 mi) south to spend the week at his childhood home in Ravensburg. As usual, Marco drove the entire way, as I fed and watered Continue Reading

Getting Married in Germany: The Required Documents

If you didn’t already know, I am getting married! Since I am marrying a German in Germany, however, this process is much more bureaucratic than romantic (at least for now). The German fiance and I scheduled our first appointment at the local Standesamt (registry office) for Monday, February 15th at 10:00 a.m. This made for a very exciting Valentine’s Day, as we were anticipating what would happen on the following day. What documents do we need to get married in Germany? Will I need to go to the American embassy? How much money will it all cost? Can we set Continue Reading

German Christmas Card Fail

This an apology to my family. I tried my best, but nobody will be receiving Christmas cards this year. Don’t blame me, blame the strict German postal service (see below). I was so good this year. I bought a pack of Christmas cards just days after Thanksgiving. They were even the kind where part of the profits go to charity. I addressed the envelopes to all of my friends and family in the U.S. I wrote personal messages in each of the Christmas cards. I even drove (well, Marco drove) to the post office just a few days into December Continue Reading

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers

Much like chain emails back in the early 2000’s, some bloggers like to send around “awards” to each other that come with a set of questions for their nominees to answer. I have never taken part in one of these awards yet, but after being nominated a handful of times, I figured it was time to participate 🙂 This particular award is called the “Sisterhood of the World Bloggers.” I was nominated by American Faultier, Confuzzledom, and Ami in Schwabenland. Each of them created ten questions, but since I am lazy, and 30 questions seem like it would be a lot for Continue Reading

USA Haul #2

I came back from my two-week trip from the U.S. on Friday. So, naturally, I have another haul to share! Before I left, I shared my American shopping list, which mentioned some of things I had planned to pick up during my trip. Well, I got all those things and then some. Most importantly, I got clothes. As a graduate student that did her Bachelor’s in the U.S., I do not have very much money. So, I very rarely go shopping for new clothes. I actually cannot remember the last time I bought any new clothing in Germany. Since clothes Continue Reading

My USA Shopping List

Anyone that lives outside of their home country knows that trips back home means shopping for all of the things that you have missed and/or are not available in your country of residence. Here is [part of] my U.S. shopping list for my trip to Chicago next week: Crest Whitestrips Whitening products are extremely rare in Germany, and Crest Whitestrips in particular are nonexistent. So, these are always a must-buy whenever Marco and I travel to the U.S. Carrot Cake Mix As a kid, my birthday cakes were always carrot. I never actually missed carrot cake since I have been Continue Reading

Renewing My German Student Visa

When I was first accepted to graduate school in Germany, I went straight to the Ausländerbehörde (foreigner’s office) to get my German student visa. However, I was a little disappointed when, instead of receiving a visa for the entirety of my two-year program, I was only issued a one-year visa. So, I always knew that I would have to renew my residence permit before it expired on September 30, 2015. This is not only annoying because I had to go back to the soul-draining Ausländerbehörde, but a German student visa also costs around 70-120€ (it seems to be a different amount every Continue Reading