Always look on the bright side of relocation

Expat partner Emmanuel Rey is a global citizen and polyglot, who has lived all over the world. He explains why he always tries to enjoy the process of relocating and adapting to a new culture.

A learning experience

“Whenever I arrive in a new city and country, I always have my eyes and senses open. Relocating creates opportunities to learn new things and meet new people. So I don’t see it as a challenge. I see it as a pleasure,” says Emmanuel, a French entrepreneur and musician who has lived in Cameroon, Tunisia, Côte D’Ivoire, Portugal, the UK, the Netherlands, the US and Australia.

Vive la différence!

“Now we’re settling into Hamburg. It is a beautiful place with wonderful architecture. So on one hand, it’s easy for me to appreciate the city and feel happy that I’m here. But I even pay attention to the little things. Honestly, whenever I move to a new country, I even like going to the supermarket and seeing what’s different on the shelves!”

One significant change

“For the first time I am following my wife to support her career. That means I don’t have an office or colleagues here. So it’s a different vibe for me this time around but I’m okay with that. I know that there are ways to meet like-minded people. I’m a keen practitioner of yoga, so I will join a local studio. I will also arrange to meet some of my wife’s colleagues who share my interest in live music and food.”

The downside of relocation

But is there anything that Emmanuel does  find frustrating when adapting to new environments? “Bureaucracy! That is always the most painful part, and in Germany I must admit there’s been quite a lot of paperwork to be processed. Also, sometimes I wonder why we can’t just keep the same phone number when we move internationally!” says Emmanuel, the founder and CEO of a beauty care business that he launched in the US and will run remotely from Hamburg. “I’m also a musician and currently working on a rock opera. So I have plenty of projects to keep me occupied at home. I also enjoy learning languages so I’m looking forward to studying German. When you relocate to a new country, I believe the worst thing you can do is sleepwalk. I always try to feed off the energy that a new city gives me.”

Photo: Emmanuel and his wife

Stay up to date

Sign up for our newsletter and always stay up-to-date on the latest articles.

Sign up for the newsletter