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New beginnings abroad: “I was well provided for materially, but I wasn’t happy”

New beginnings abroad: “I was well provided for materially, but I wasn’t happy”

Starting over can be scary. Babette Goldbach dared to do it anyway. After a breakup, she got together with her current boyfriend and left her life in Germany behind.

It almost sounds like a typical Hollywood tearjerker: A woman, a man – they’ve known each other for around ten years, but somehow it never worked out. They stay in loose contact until they finally become a couple. But no screenwriters in the distant glamor world came up with this story; it is the love story of 32-year-old Babette Goldbach.

“On paper, I had everything in Germany: a beautiful old apartment close to the city and yet in the countryside, my family around the corner and a secure job as a school psychologist. I could even have become a civil servant. Materially speaking, I was well provided for and was able to buy nice things – but I wasn’t happy. I was in a relationship that wasn’t good for me. After the breakup, I finally got together with the love of my life.

I have known my boyfriend for around ten years. We always kept in touch, but always missed the right time to get together. And now we were both single – maybe we were secretly waiting for this moment. My boyfriend has been living in Copenhagen since completing his master’s degree, and when we got together we decided relatively quickly that we also wanted to start a family. And I would move to Denmark with him. I gave birth to our daughter in Germany. During my parental leave, I traveled back and forth a lot between Germany and Denmark. I have been in Copenhagen permanently since June 2023 and have never regretted this step. Even though I never thought I would end up in Denmark. I could always imagine living abroad, but I was never a big fan of Scandinavia. But the longer I’m here, the better I like it. The Danes are looser and more relaxed than the Germans. Here everyone is on first name terms – even when I call the tax office. I really like the Hygge philosophy of life: in the uncomfortable weather, just make yourself comfortable at home with a cup of tea or discover the beautiful cafés in Copenhagen. In summer you are rewarded for having endured the winter. The quality of life is then simply super high, you can go swimming everywhere and there is a great atmosphere in the city.

I took a risk by emigrating to Copenhagen. But for me it felt like a step towards my great happiness. I just realized that freedom is much more important to me than security. Some people might call my decision to go to Copenhagen naive. I think I’m a bit naive, but maybe that’s part of venturing into the unknown: raising my child alone with my boyfriend with no family nearby. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity for us as a couple – to know that we are a team and can do it as a couple. We also have a network of friends in Denmark in case of an emergency. Of course it’s different than having your grandma there.

At the beginning I sometimes felt very lonely in Copenhagen. I thought back to my life in Germany and asked myself how I could finance myself in Denmark. But little by little I got used to it really well and work as a freelance psychologist. It gave me a lot of strength to see that I can cope with such a big change in my life through this new beginning. And it can definitely be positive when your own life changes significantly. When I emigrated, it helped me to think that if necessary I could go back to Germany and build a life there again.

For the future in Denmark, I would like to learn the language even better. When I’m in Germany, I notice that I enjoy being able to speak in my native language and incorporate things that I couldn’t express in Danish. Because it’s both a blessing and a curse that it works very well in Copenhagen if I only speak English, and our family language is also English. But I would like to understand more and also have more contact with Danes. So far I’ve found it rather difficult to make Danish friends – but I have the feeling that when people open up here, they are very warm.”

Source: Stern

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