It’s been two months (!!) since we moved to Berlin and I thought I’d share an update on how it’s been. We’re slowly settling in and getting to know the city. So far so good! But I thought I’d share with you some adjustments we had to face when we first arrived.
No complaints in being this city since I’m now really enjoying it. However, I want to share some realities with you in case you’re thinking of moving here or to some other city in Europe as some bits may be applicable. Just to avoid a teeny bit of shock and hopefully, help you adjust faster. 😉
In case you’re a personal friend, a relative, or if you’ve been following me on social media, you may have noticed that we’ve moved posts. Yes, my treatment of this personal space of mine online has been quite appalling the past few… Err… Weeks? Months? But between packing, tying loose ends (freelance work wise), saying goodbye to dear friends, and moving from one continent to another, there just wasn’t enough time to actually sit down and pen something down.
When it comes to year ender posts, this has got to be one of the last that will come out. However, I still wanted to do it for reasons that are quite sentimental.
The past year was indeed something a lot of people would like to forget. I admit that there were some things that did leave me feel gutted despite being physically (and somehow even figuratively) detached from them. Like the deaths of Carrie Fisher and Alan Rickman as well as news of violence all over the world and of course, there’s politics – but I wouldn’t go into that anymore.
Despite all of those things, 2016 ended up being good year for me personally. It was a year that brought me a lot of good things. From my career to my relationships, it’s been pretty great and I’m nothing short of thankful.
Last October, I got the fright of my life – just in time for breast cancer awareness month. I imagine it would be nicer to say that I’m only writing about it now because it took me a while to get over it. It sounds more dramatic, doesn’t it? In reality, I just didn’t have the time to do so. I’ve never been the dramatic type – well, at least in public.
It’s always a lot harder to do this when you’re older, no? But let me back track a little.
When I first moved to KL with my husband, I would have to admit that while I was looking forward to our new adventure, I found myself feeling sad during the first few months. This is probably the first time I am ever talking about this. But I guess, it’s time.
I was in a different country with no friends, no job to keep me occupied, and nothing to do for the first few months except scour the internet for interior design inspirations and trying to nail down a ‘look’ for our new home. A job that I was even sharing with my husband who also has a passion for interior design and homeware. (A post on this later, I promise)
A post shared by Carol Ramoran Hamilton-Malasig (@carolific) on
I won’t say I was homesick as I have always been very capable of adapting to a new place. I didn’t get the urge to hop on a plane back to Manila and I was hell bent on making it through whatever it was that I was feeling.
It’s the first few weeks or months where you have nothing to keep you busy that are the hardest. I was on my phone a lot – a lot more than usual – bugging my closest friends from home and egging them on to tell me about what’s been happening back home. I was in the mall a lot during office hours, window shopping by myself and thinking to myself – for the first time ever – that it would be nice to have a friend around.
Four things: Lots of research, careful planning, friends and family who love us dearly, and a teeny tiny bit of luck
When my husband proposed on February 2013, we got into planning our wedding right away. We had a theme, a budget in mind, and 8 months to get everything in place. Sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? But truth be told, wedding planning isn’t as bad and excruciating as some people might think. It was actually a breeze for the both of us. (I didn’t turn into a bridezilla at any point in the planning and even on the wedding day!)
With a husband who gets a kick out of planning along with friends and family who were ever so supportive, we got what we always wanted. A very classy (if I may say so myself) and intimate wedding with just our closest family and friends where we were able to talk, laugh, and mingle with everyone which made everything just oh-so special.
Plus, we were also able to go on a honeymoon in Singapore and Bali within the wedding budget! How much did everything cost? Php 250,000 (Conversion rates: MYR1=Php11.04, EUR1=Php51.92, USD1=Php45.69)! Which is basically unheard of in the Manila wedding circuit these days.
In fact, someone who writes for a wedding magazine found out about our wedding, saw the photos, and was eager to write about it for a feature on intimate weddings. However, when I told him how we did everything by ourselves and how much money we saved by not going through planners and all the people in the wedding business, he told me he couldn’t write about it anymore. Why? Because the magazine will lose advertisers. 😛
So I won’t go into detail about everything as this is not a timely wedding guide anymore since it was two years ago. But I hope what you read here will be great advice to anyone who’s in the planning stage! 🙂