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Written by Jacky Chou

Why Moving to Berlin was the Best Thing That has Happened to Me – November 2014

There’s nothing better than jumping head first into the unknown.


While you may be comfortable living where you grew up or your post-secondary city, sometimes you need to ask yourself if you’re taking advantage of your youth — especially while you’re in your 20s. I always say the comfort zone is where motivation and ambition goes to die.

People reject the foreign and it stops them from taking chances – there is literally nothing that can stop you from just leaving. I tried to figure out what city should I live in by checking multilingual jobs, and I decided to move to either Berlin or Malta, but after checking jobs in Malta and Berlin, I packed my things, took care of all the logistics, and left Vancouver for Berlin in a week; this was the best decision I have ever made.

Here are some highlights:

Making new friends who are completely different from your old friends

A foreign city(especially Berlin) opens up a diverse mix of people and cultures, especially the locals who have vastly different perspectives and experiences to yours. When I first moved to Germany, I worked with a company that sold Kpop merch. It was great because I could provide my thoughts on Asian culture to a company based in Germany.

You’ll be introduced to new and exciting ways to have fun

You likely have a social pattern with your old friends back home: Routine Friday dinners in a select cycle of restaraunts, drinks at your favorite bar, weekend ‘trips’ to somewhere close, the list goes on. These routines can be enjoyable and nostalgic, and I would be lying if I say I don’t think about it from time to time but you simply aren’t doing anything ‘special’.

Your friends in a new city will introduce you to diverse local events, adventures off some awful beaten path and new ways to have fun.


You have a lot less influences that may waver your decisions. You can go to cafes, bars and clubs alone and leave whenever you like or stay for however long you please. You’ll end up getting way too drunk to compensate for all of the awkwardness.

Leaving the place where I grew up, I realised(real eyes realise real lies)how dynamic the world is (having dual passports with an EU citizenship helps) and how various cultures have the small but critical differences.

Before you know it, you’ll be able to initiate small talk, get a laugh, ask the right questions and politely excuse yourself from conversations with ease. Social anxiety will be a thing of the past(personally still developing).

You’ll have the chance to reinvent yourself

You can literally be anyone you want. This was something I used to boost my confidence and social skills – lying about what I do. I have ‘been’ a CEO, Pilot, Lawyer, Doctor and an Angel Investor and you would be surprised of how confident I sound when I talk about myself.

You’ll grow and develop as a person

Perhaps one of the best takeaways from moving cities is the self-discovery you’ll have. The more you travel and live abroad, the more your priorities will shift and you won’t be able to help but learn about yourself along the way. Growing up with Taiwanese parents they alway had a set way of doing things. I even considered getting an English teaching job in Taiwan.

The choice to go out on a limb and take responsibility for your own life is an incredibly powerful experience. Taking your destiny into your own hands allows you to rediscover your dreams, desires and to shape the path in front of you.

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