Hailing from Birmingham, Thomas tells me about studying physics at Oxford University and meeting many Germans there. Crazily, he graduated into the 2008 global recession and started doing student jobs in Germany, including one for an online dating platform!
He has spent 8 years in the country thus far, and describes Hamburg's cosmopolitan vibe: a happy medium between being having all of the amenities of a major city without feeling completely anonymous.
After doing a series of student jobs, he entered the game design industry with InnoGames in 2013. He talks about how the company paid for his relocation and language classes, and offers regular after-work activities - many of which have migrated to the online environment due to the pandemic!
We spend some time dispelling common myths around British "sophistication", and describing our experiences in The Reeperbahn: Hamburg's 'Red Light District'. Thomas also shares the aspect of Hamburg life that has won him over completely!
He details the study methods he used for learning German vocabulary, idioms, etc., and how learning the finer nuances of a language fosters a change in mindset! Further, he describes the concept of 'Kurzarbeit' (Short-Term Working) in Germany before and after the pandemic.
Finally, Thomas expresses how proud he was to do his taxes in German without any assistance and how incredible it is to stand on your own two feet as an expat!