The Chinese German

Basically, I grew up in Germany in a small village where farms and green fields make the village what it is. I went to the same school my grandparents went to. School started at 7:30 and ended around 1 pm, every day. Everything was what you would call a "normal life“.

Then at 12 years old, my dad came up to me and said: "pack your things up into boxes, we are moving to China”.

I thought he was metaphorically saying sort out the things you don't need anymore. So I sorted out all my old shit and put it into boxes.

But 6 months later, I found myself in the middle of the suburbs of Beijing, unpacking boxes with shit I didn't even want while breathing in polluted air with a distinct scent…a mixture of dust and pollution, far away from my clean aired little German town.

I had even continued drinking tap water in Beijing because I was so used to it, but it later caused several days of an insight to what death might feel like as the tap water in China is definitely NOT drinkable... so… that was a huge epic fail to start within a new country.

My transition of moving places was not as smooth as you may think. I basically hated my life. But as 1-2 years passed, I learned to accept what life had given me and my attitude towards the situation changed.

I was forced to think this way since the situation was not going to change for 4-5 years anyway… so as I formed peace with the situation, I started making friends, I fell in love, I fell apart, I realised that life punches you in your face but also surprises you. I took adventures with friends and even alone.

I became aware of this amazing opportunity my parents and environment had given me and from that moment on China started to become my home - a home I loved beyond words.

When the time came and I graduated, I had to move back to Germany quite quickly. I moved back to the same house I left 6 years before… Then only did I realise that my life had changed forever. I was never aware about what kind of horizon this stay in China has given me.

This broad and wide horizon of perspective was gifted to me by living there. I never thought going back to a home that I loved so much before my departure could feel this wrong and strange.

And now… even 6 years later, it still is a struggle. I notice all the time; my way of thinking, behaving and living is completely different to the way of my friends who grew up here.

I now have a never resting wanderlust inside my heart, and I am eager to travel the world and to find out more about myself in many different places.

By Michelle

For more stories follow us on:

our website:

insta: @tckglobal

Recent Posts
Follow Us
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black YouTube Icon