When I stayed in Germany for two weeks in 2004, I was unemployed, had cash in the bank, and had no attachments that required my immediate return to Canada.

Also at that time, I was also going through a long, drawn out, dramatic end to a relationship, which acutely brought my homesickness and need for a little familiarity and comfort to bear.

So I went home.

When I went to Sweden this summer, my host in 2004 (Mats) asked me if I ever thought about staying longer, finding a job, living in Germany. At the time I didn’t have those things in mind.. but since then, I have definitely looked back and wondered, had things been different, what would have been?

Fast forward to the wedding two weeks ago, we discussed the subject again. Mats is now in a position where he could possibly offer me a position in Germany – his company has a branch office in Hamburg. I want to investigate this further, however my situation is quite different than before. I have a job, house, and wife that need to be factored into the investigation.

There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed before I go:

  • Can this job offer really happen?
  • Who takes care of my house while I’m gone?
  • How do I ensure I can return to my job in Canada?
  • Can my dog come to Germany? Should he come along?
  • How can I pay for both a mortgage in Canada and rent in Hamburg?
  • Will we be comfortable returning to living in shared accommodations?
  • What is the working visa process? How long can I stay? Can I leverage the fact I have relatives who immigrated from Germany?
  • What sort of visa or passport extension will Joanne need to stay the duration with me?
  • What will Joanne do in Germany? How will she adjust?
  • What in our plans will we have to put off to accommodate this change in our lives?
  • When would be a good time to move?
  • What will the required language skill level be? What will we need to do to bring our skills up and prove our proficiency?
  • Who will be able to come and visit? (thereby staving off that inevitable home sickness)

Thankfully I have time and good contacts to discuss these things with. Not to mention this is just a possibility, not a certainty.

Joanne’s friend recently said that we’ll never regret the decision to go, but we would probably always be left wondering about what could have been, in the event we don’t go. My boss added how I view the trip will most likely flavor the experience. I can tell you, I find it exciting.