Fitting in! Let’s talk about it!

I’m sure many of you have seen me lay my entire life out on instagram.  Well that is, if you follow me on my personal instagram account, @kellyekardt I’ve been very open about my struggles here in Frankfurt. My struggles with learning the language and adjusting to a German environment. Yeah, ok at times I was probably just being a big old baby and a bit self-conscience, but some of these things seemed very big to me at the time. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that has felt or is still feeling this way.

Moving to a new country is hard. It’s exciting, but hard.  Learning a new language is hard.  Empowering but hard. Making new friends is hard. Fun but hard. And as you get older all this becomes even more difficult (ah the joys of being young and naive). With this in mind, if you moved to Frankfurt with your family you’re not just having to deal with your own struggles but your kids too. Double hard!  Now let me just clarify here, it’s not just in Germany, moving to a foreign country when you are the foreigner is hard. Of course I can only talk from my own experiences.

I moved to London when I was 28 years old. That was difficult too and I even spoke the same language. It was more a cultural thing, I think. I wasn’t British. The British pride themselves on being British. Now here I am 39 years old living in Frankfurt, Germany. And I’m now trying to wrap my mind around how Germans act and more importantly how they communicate.  Learning the language is probably a good first step to take if you want to communicate and try fitting in. hahaha just saying.

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is this, does speaking the language make you feel more apart or more accepted within the German society?  Or do you still feel like an outsider?  Each society has its own way of communicating within itself, and as an expat or a non-german can you understand the inner workings of German communication? Personally, I think what it comes down to is forming a community around you. Yes it’s very important to learn the language for communication sake, but it’s about finding people you can connect with regardless of who they are.

When I put out on instagram that I was struggling to find my place here, people were quite shocked. I get it.  The Frankfurt Edit has given Janice and I so many amazing opportunities to explore the real Frankfurt as English speaking women. Undoubtedly we have been very lucky!  However I think perhaps we’ve been catered too because we have this website. But what about for others just trying to navigate their way through this city without any help. Hopefully that’s what we are here for.  Importantly just know, I feel you.  It’s ok to not feel apart, it’s ok not to feel grounded and it’s ok to feel a little lost. Unfortunately it’s all part of the journey my friends.

When I have days that all I want to do is cry, I remind myself that I am on a big adventure and even on big exciting adventures you have your off days. Let it happen and then remember, you got this.

What are some ways to help cope with the loneliness and fitting in as an expat or non-german?

  • Take a language course, you should meet some nice people. I did!
  • There are several Facebook groups catering to expats and their interests, join one that you feel is right for you.
  • Come to an English Yoga Meet Up session with Solveig. After the yoga class Solveig has a nice tea and biscuit time so you can have a chat and meet people.
  • Join the Frankfurt Newcomers Network. They have several events you can come to.
  • If it weren’t for this bloody pandemic, I would say let’s all meet up at a Bam Bam Session, but at the moment that is not happening.
  • I would highly encourage you to find an English speaking therapist, this does help. (We are hoping to put a list together soon)
  • If you are looking for an unconventional therapist please check out Stefanie Wegmann. She does do sessions in English as well. I would just email her and request an English session.

If you’ve been struggling with your new adventure, just know we get you, we feel you, but we also know it’s a process and it just takes time. It will get better, easier and then one day you’ll wake up and feel right at home. Also, if you have any suggestions or businesses you feel benefit with this topic please get in touch, we will share them.

To summarise, fitting in is not straight forward and perhaps it’s not even the goal!  All we can truly hope for is finding those who support and colour our beautiful life journey!

Finally, now that we’re allowed to start meeting up a bit, we hope to form a little group where we can all build a community together. Let’s meet up soon.

lots of love,


Fitting In
Fitting In
Fitting In
Fitting In