Meet the blogger Kathrin Kilburn

By Sunday, May 24, 2015 0 No tags Permalink 0

You could say Kathrin was born curious. A german girl, raised in Bavaria eventually moved to Vienna, Austria to persue her master’s degree in communication. After graduation she came to the courageous decision to move to her future husband Matt in Vancouver and she founded her blog the ‘curious pretzel’.

Her diverse writing inspirations range from her everyday life adventures as a foreigner living in Vancouver to her favourite festivities in town and travelling inspiration reports on cities like Budapest. I honestly admire her bravery in many of her decisions including taking her life to the other side of the world. I mean that takes a lot of guts to do that. But at the end of the day it’s her winning personality and her brains that got her that far.

Anyway, I caught up with my friend and asked her things about her blog and spectacular journey from Europe to Canada! Hit it! By the way you’ll find all the pictures on her blog – you guys need to check it out, it’s ‘thecuriouspretzel.wordpress.com‘.    

Why did you decide to create a blog?

My personal blog started as a school project. My first pitch was to create a personal blog that shows life as an expat. I first thought I would use the blog as my portfolio after finishing the course but now  I really enjoy having an outlet for the stories and discoveries I come across and it seems like there is people reading it too.. The blog helped me look at my expat life with fresh excitement, when paperwork and immigration stress were slowly taking over the fun part of it.

What is a curious pretzel?

I was searching for a blog name that referenced my heritage as well as my love for exploring new places, meeting new people and trying new things. As all these things are topics of my blog posts. I love pretzels by the way, nothing tastes more like home than a fresh pretzel with butter for breakfast.

 

Can anybody be a curious pretzel?

I don’t know about the Pretzel-part but I definitely recommend staying curious. Curiosity will make your life richer, more exciting and fun. Don’t take things for granted, ask when you don’t know and go where you haven’t been. I have always loved travel, reading, listening to interviews and podcasts, photography, art, fashion  – and if I had to break down why that is, it comes down to being curious and wanting to get glimpses into other walks of life.    

 

Has your perspective on life changed since you had moved to another place?

I wouldn’t say my perspective of life changed, but I started missing the weirdest things (like a well balanced newspaper or news show) and things I took for granted have become special. Like seeing my friends and family regularly. Or holding a work permit.    

 

What’s your favourite quote?

There is a lot of quotes that speak to me, but I am really bad at re-quoting. One of my favourites is “I’d rather have a life of ‘oh wells’ than a life of ‘what ifs’.” This quote really speaks to me as it is my motto behind decisions. You don’t know what will happen if you only dream about things. Instead of being indecisive for days, months or years, I’d  rather take a chance and deal with the consequence than worrying for days and wondering what would have happened if…

Do you have a motto that you try to live your life after?

I believe in following my heart. I decide things pretty impulsive, which is not always the easiest route but looking back on my decisions I am very happy with (most of)  them.

 

What’s the biggest misconception of Germans that you’ve experienced so far?

Pretty much the usual: That everyone has seen “The Sound of Music”, loves Sauerkraut and speaks with a harsh accent. Vancouver is a big immigrant hub, there are many Germans out here, so generally you don’t get confronted with too many cliches. People are used to accents and fermented foods is actually a big trend right now.  

 

At some point in your life you came to the decision to move from Austria to Canada. How can one imagine that, to leave everything you were familiar with behind you and start all over again?

I was at a crossroad in my life so I can’t say it took me very long to make this decision. The perks of being impulsive! My husband and I were dating long-distance for a few months when we went travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia and decided to make our relationship “official”. A few days later we discussed  whether I could imagine moving to Canada in the near future and I said yes. After that quick response I had to figure out how to make this idea come true. The flexibility I gained with my degree coming to an end and a thesis on the horizon worked in our favour.

 

Did you make a plan or how did you come from just the idea about moving your life to somewhere else and still living in Vienna by that time to waking up in Vancouver everyday?

Moving outside of Europe requires a bit more planning due to Visa, work permit  and insurance restrictions. After first visits and a 5 months study stay, I eventually applied for a working holiday visa and moved for good. Meanwhile I have applied for permanent residency and I hold  a work permit that allows me to live here until the PR goes through. This “test” phase was great to get a gauge of what my life abroad will be like but  there really was never any doubt.

What were the biggest adversities you’ve had to face over that moving process and how did you overcome them?

The immigration paperwork was definitely one of the hardest challenges we faced, both emotionally and strategically. After speaking to an immigration consultant who charged us for wrong information (CIP) we were already thinking I wouldn’t be able to leave the country for the next 2 years due to my pending application…Talking to an actual immigration lawyer and working through questions was our best bet. We managed the paperwork by ourselves but there is a lot of grey zones and unknown entities after handing in your files. A scary place to be in, but I think we are through the rough parts now.

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