written & edited by halaina

“Making a big life change is pretty scary.

You know what’s scarier? Regret.”

If you look on the cover photo of my iPad, that’s what you’ll see.  I chose that quote probably about 2 years before I actually made a big life change… don’t go judging, but these things totally take time. The point is, it stuck.

I was a ballet dancer. And not one of those ‘oh I knew someone who used to dance at insert local dance troupe name here school for ballerinas aged 12-17′, I danced as my job in one of the most elite ballet companies in the world. At 16, I moved away from my family, worked really hard for 3 years, got a job, continued to work really hard and traveled Australia and the world for another 7 years. It was dreamy and destructive all at the same time. And I have seen the interiors of countless opera houses, slept on enough green room sofas, and found the best local coffee haunts to prove it. It was my entire life and everything that I knew.

Now, there is actually a point to this – I was dedicating my life to this incredible art form, but I always knew that there was something…mmm, not ‘more’, but something ‘different’, something else. I met a guy. A great guy. A younger guy (I’m a cradle snatcher, what can I say). A musician. We hung out, we moved in together, we thought about future stuff… together, and then he got offered a job in Hamburg. In music language, it was the chance of a lifetime, and a no-brainer that we had to go.

After two years of staring at that quote and feeling a mixture between ‘I can’t do it’, ‘I don’t know how to do it’ and ‘I’ll just go on with my life pretending not to read it’, the life change was suddenly a lot closer than I had ever anticipated. This is was it, the time was now.

We had 5 months to prepare, a tiny bit: “Hallo mein Name ist Halaina, ich komme aus Australien” of german, and we knew enough people in the country to count on roughly two fingers. Did someone say ‘adventure’???

So, this is my something ‘else’. This is the story of moving to Deutschland, leaving everything I knew behind and finding my non-dancing feet, without family, without the language but with the shock and realisation that you have to learn everything again. New country, new language, new rules.

I’ll never take connecting electricity or the internet for granted ever again…


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