Berlin expat life through the eyes of British fitness trainer, Faye
Welcome to a new type of article on Berlin & Around! In starting this blog, I didn’t only want to share my own Berlin impressions, but also those of fellow expats. So, on top of day trips from Berlin and activities in the city, I’ll be publishing short interviews with new Berliners on what it’s like to be an expat in Germany, what’s to love about the city, and what isn’t. I was so excited to get Faye Morley on board for the first post. Faye is a fitness trainer at my favourite spin studio, BECYCLE. Let’s dive into her Berlin expat life!
Berlin & Around: Tell us about yourself
Faye: I am a fitness trainer from the Essex/Suffolk border, an hour away from London. I specialise in Barre and dance fitness and have been living in Berlin for almost 3 years. I am a Barre instructor at BECYCLE and teach online for multiple fitness platforms.
Berlin & Around: Why did you move to Berlin? What made you stay?
Faye: I moved to Berlin with my boyfriend (now husband) as I was in need of change. Living and working in London was fantastic but a bit too fast-paced and expensive. I had never lived abroad before and Berlin felt like a very exciting opportunity.
I have stayed because I still love exploring the city. And also wanted to be part of the diverse fitness community here.
Berlin & Around: What do you love about Berlin?
Faye: I love that every neighbourhood in Berlin could be an individual city with so many different things to do and places to explore. I enjoy escaping to the lakes and parks outside of town, but my absolute favourite time is when the sun shines and the city really comes to life.
A big thing about Berlin is that you do not need to use public transport, I can either walk or jump on my bike and move around the city freely, after living in London this is a real change! There are also always lots of cool events popping up around the city. Disco Bite is one of my favourite events: good food, music and sunshine!
Berlin & Around: What do you NOT love about Berlin expat life?
Faye: I don’t love the Supermarkets. Firstly due to the lack of peanut butter options! And also not being able to buy marmite and other things I miss from England, like crumpets!
Secondly because of the aggressive fast-paced packing you have to be prepared for. (My first week in Berlin I was not prepared for this!)
Oh, I could also definitely do without the Berlin winters and trips to the Bürgeramt.
Berlin & Around: Do you have any Berlin tips for newcomers?
Faye: Take your time exploring the different neighbourhoods before you decide where to live. We started out with a “spotahome” which is fully furnished and used this as a transitional apartment before we decided on where to find a long-term rental.
If you can, take a trip abroad in January/February to escape, the city can be very grey in the winter.
Berlin & Around: What’s your favourite cafe or restaurant?
Faye: Ok, what Berlin lacks in supermarkets, it totally makes up for in cafes and restaurants. I have cheated because it’s impossible to choose just one:
- Breakfast – Two planets – for the best toast
- Coffee – Röststätte
- Lunch – Banh mi - For a Vietnamese Tofu baguette. (They also do crunchy pork.)
- Dinner – Feel Seoul Good - Vegan Korean
- Sweet Treat- Brammibals – Vegan donuts, the best donuts ever!!
Berlin & Around: Where’s your favourite neighbourhood – or even better, favourite street – and why?
Faye: When we first moved to Berlin we lived in Friedrichshain and I have so many fond memories of Revaler Strasse, it was so exciting to be in this new city with so much happening, music, flea markets, endless brunch options and a swimming pool (Haubentaucher)!
I saw one of my favourite British Indie Rock bands in a small venue just a 10-minute walk from our apartment. In England, there would have been 5000 people at the gig, but instead, there were about 10 people, and we were the only ones who knew all the songs!
I also love Oderberger Strasse with the pastel buildings in Prenzlauer Berg, it’s probably what made me really fall in love with Berlin and want to live here long term.
Berlin & Around: Do you have a funny story about Berlin expat life?
Faye: There have definitely been lots of general translation issues and I really need to improve upon my German. The funniest story was probably when I thought I had hired a removal company to move apartments, but instead a small man with a very small van turned up, my husband was not impressed!
Berlin & Around: How can people get in touch with you?
Faye: Check out @movewithmorley for live workouts, online coaching and daily motivation!
I’m always on the lookout for funny, inspirational, everyday stories from other new Berliners! If you’d like to share your own take on Berlin expat life, fill out this form!