Do you live to work or work to live? This is a question Margo Eggeling finds herself asking more frequently after her experience of living in Heidelberg Germany. Her time away has provided her and her husband with fantastic memories, great photos and an ever expanding group of friends in all parts of the world – but the question of what she wants to do with her life is now foremost in her mind.
A child of the American university system who has to date followed the corporate line Margo has recently returned from her expat experience looking for new adventures. With her husband, a former accountant with KPMG, they are now ready to embark on the next stage of life’s adventures – a one way ticket to Bali is already booked with no clear cut plans of where they will head to next.
We spoke with Margo about her experiences of Germany, how cheap and easy travel is around Europe when you’re based there, the true experiences of Heidelberg beyond the tourist regions and how her experiences have changed her priorities in life.
If you’re keen to find out more you can contact Margo through her blog http://www.theoverseasescape.com
What I learned from speaking with Margo:
- As a non-American it comes as something of a surprise to understand that not only do Americans only get two weeks holiday per year, they are frowned upon if they take it! The concept of a gap year for young people which is so common in Australasia and Europe is largely unknown to young Americans. Although Margo’s German friends are encouraging of her plans to get a one way ticket to Bali it is greeted with a little astonishment by those she talks to state side.
- European air travel is so cheap! One way flights from Frankfurt to Ireland, a two hour journey, for $US30?? You’ve got to be kidding me! It’s worth basing yourself in Europe just to enjoy that!!
- Travel can change you. Margo freely admitted that without their experience in Germany they would never have contemplated their upcoming journey to Asia.
- Germany, and particularly Heidelberg as a tourist town, is cheaper to live in than I had thought. Margo’s apartment was almost double the size of what she had in Washington for the same money, eating out is affordable, and groceries cost far less than in the US. Some other costs were higher but had they moved outside of Heidelberg there would have been cheaper options again. Overall they were able to live to the same standard for less than what it had cost them stateside.