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From Distance to Vicinity – »After the Happy End« with Jaclyn

After the successful launch of our new series »After the Happy End« in sisterMAG 51, we are now entering the next round: we introduce you to Jaclyn and Daniel who now live together in Berlin and are newly married. Jaclyn is a Canadian and moved to Germany for love. You can find out here in sisterMAG how the two met, about their wedding and how Jaclyn gets to know German culture.

From Distance to Vicinity

»After the Happy End«

A real-life look behind the scenes of cross-cultural couples

After the successful launch of our new series »After the Happy End« in sisterMAG No. 51 we directly continue with an exciting interview in our September issue. For this we interviewed Jaclyn, a Canadian living in Germany. Her love for Daniel made her move to Germany and was crowned with a Canadian-Bavarian wedding this year. Learn more about the two, how they met and how Jaclyn’s start in the new country went.

DANIEL & JACLYN

live in BERLIN, Germany

What countries are you both from?

D: I’m from Germany.

J: I’m from Canada.

How did you get to know each other? What’s your love story?

D: We met in Toronto at a house party of a mutual friend while I was living there for a year in 2011. We only met about two months before I had to leave Canada, unfortunately. We really hit it off immediately but we both agreed that neither one of us was interested in a long-distance relationship, so we thought it was really great, but that’s it. But then we kept talking over Skype etc. pretty much every day and we just got along so incredibly well. Before we knew it, J booked a ticket to come visit me in Germany over New Years. She arrived and we drove from Munich (where I was living at the time) to Berlin to celebrate with friends. The whole experience was so fantastic and we realised we were falling in love, so obviously our plan of not doing long distance didn’t quite work out and we started visiting each other as often as we could. We always said that we will continue only as long as it feels right for both of us but suddenly five years had passed, and J decided to move to Germany with me..

J: Let’s not forget the first date in Toronto (which I almost said no to). Dan suggested we catch a ferry to Toronto Island, have dinner and drinks at a little restaurant there. We biked to the beach afterwards and watched the sunset. It was crazy romantic, and we now visit that spot every time we’re in Toronto.

When did you know that it’s the real thing? Are you already married? Do you have kids?

J: I think it was one of the many times we left each other at the airport. Those moments were always the hardest and put things into perspective for me.

D: I couldn’t pinpoint an exact moment when I knew it was the right thing but about a year ago, I thought that I do want to spend my life with this woman and the only way to really do that is to marry her. So, I proposed and we got officially married at the Standesamt in April this year, and had our main wedding on August 10. We don’t have kids (yet ;) )

How was the wedding – combining the two cultures?

D: I’m Bavarian and we both loved the idea of having a wedding in the Bavarian countryside with a view of the mountains and in full Bavarian Trachten. So we combined that with some Canadian wilderness/countryside aesthetic and it couldn’t have been better and more beautiful. We also had tons of friends and family coming in from Canada and the USA. It really was absolutely perfect and very »us«.

J: It was really amazing to have everyone we love in one spot together. Our ceremony was spoken in both German and English, there were Oktoberfest games during cocktail hour, the ponies on the farm had braided hair with wild flowers in it, and we danced to Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones for our first dance.

How did you decide in which country you want to live?

J: This was pretty easy. Daniel had already exhausted his options of living and working in Canada as a freelancer, but Germany had many visas available for me to apply for. I had never lived abroad and although it was hard to leave my friends, family and career in Canada, it was our best option of giving our relationship a go.

Do you want at one point in time also live in the other country?

D: Toronto is my second home and I really love it so I’m definitely up for the idea of eventually moving back there again.

J: I think we can see ourselves back in Canada at some point.

ABOUT YOU JACLYN

Was it always a dream of yours to permanently live in this specific country?

J: No, I had never thought of Germany as a place I would live. Visit yes, but this was a surprise to me.

Did you know the language before you moved there?

J: No, unfortunately not.

How well did you know the culture?

J: I really didn’t know much.

How easy or hard was it for you to build your professional career in the new country?

J: It has been the biggest challenge to restart my career here with language barrier and no previous network. But I always say that it takes a few years to build that no matter where you are. But being exposed to a new market and learning outside of a smaller Canadian creative scene has been amazing.

What do you miss most about your home country?

J: Oh Canada… I always miss the very sunny (yet freezing) winters in Toronto, smell of the forest, how grocery store cashiers often ask you what you’ll be making for dinner and having wide variety of restaurants from different cultures.

What was the hardest about the move?

J: Leaving my best friends and family were the hardest part. I miss my girlfriends every day. And Daniel and I are super close to my sister, her partner and step daughter, so only seeing them (maybe) once a year together is hard.