A Chilean in Germany, a German in Chile

I was born in Germany, just outside of Frankfurt. My parents are Chilean, both of them are of European descent, my father’s side from England, my mother Germany.
About four years before I was born they left Chile and moved to Germany looking for a better future. When I was 18 my parents decided that they would move back to Chile. I considered what was best for me at the time and thought a new adventure with them was where my future lay. Up until this point, I knew the country as I had visited on several occasions on family summer holidays. I liked Chile, but as time went on, I began to notice a big difference between my German up bringing and the mindset of most Chileans.

This difference was not negative nor positive, just different, but for me, it was hard to get used to. I came from a culture where things work and are done in an organised and logical way, where there is a respect for a person’s personal space. And strangely enough, I felt that in Germany there are deeper family ties than in Chile, I was struck by the vagueness of conversations within Chilean families. Despite Germany having the image of being a less intimate country, family relationships are lived on a deeper level. After five years of living in Chile I met a local man, fell in love and married, but I wanted to return to Germany because I could not adapt to the idiosyncrasy of Chile.


I returned to Germany with my husband. I started to compare the two countries but from the other side. I started to work and meet up with my old friends, but I missed my immediate family. All the positive things that I remembered from Germany that I missed when I lived in Chile seemed to have disappeared or were no longer important.  I had begun to appreciate the finer things in Chile, such as the good weather, the beach, the barbeques, the more disorganised lifestyle, and many more things! Suddenly, Chile became more attractive than ever before my eyes.


Five years later it felt like the right time and we moved back to Santiago. So far my cycles have run for five years. Now we are living in Chile again, but I feel that this time it will be forever. I have a family, a young son. I do not want him to grow with the uncertainty of not knowing where he actually belongs. What I desire is for him to have the chance to travel and see the world , but always to be clear where home is and where he is from.



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