Leaving Germany

and moving to Korea

Before I moved to Korea, I lived in a 68m² apartment in Hamburg, Germany for 18.5 years. The building was built around 1968 and has all the features of a building not refurbished in decades: bad insulation, old pipes and heaters.

The deposit back then was around 500€ and the rent I paid until I moved out was 515€ per month. Located at the outskirts of Hamburg, it took about 30 minutes by car or 45 minutes by public transportation to reach the central station. The apartment is owned by a government company and I had three months to move out, but I sped up the process and left after one. As the apartment had to get refurbished from all the holes and custom installations my dad made, I had to pay the rent for an additional two weeks.

After my dad died, I lived in the apartment by myself for three years. It was way too big for one person, but moving into a smaller apartment would have resulted in the same rent at the same apartment quality, plus all the work of moving furniture. The images below show the apartment days before my departure.

I really liked this bed.

But I sold it and slept like this the days before my flight.

At first the apartment company demanded that I remove the kitchen, but once I was halfway done, they suddenly thought about leaving it in for the next person.

The last few days were intense. Selling furniture on eBay, throwing away literally everything that I would not take to Korea, and removing floors, carpets and wooden ceilings all by myself. It gave me a clear understanding off all the stuff we accumulate in our live, which someone’s else will eventually have to throw away.

A few days before my flight I stored two boxes of basic utensils in my grandma’s basement as an emergency backup plan.

I scheduled my flight to Korea to be the same day that I would hand over the apartment. After a stressful morning of throwing away the last remaining things; mattress, pillows, trash, I handed over the keys while a taxi was waiting outside to take me to the airport. A day later I was already quarantining in a Hotel in central Seoul.

I am glad that I took the step of moving abroad. It made it possible for me to move on from old memories: Troubling school and university years with an unfulfilling relationship to my dad, and me finding him one morning next to his bed. There were many good memories as well, but those ones I will always keep with me, wherever I live.

Regardless, it was time to move on.