Cultural differences are impossible not to notice once you have traveled as much as Dana Newman has. Language and these differences Dana has found between Germany and America have helped her make a home out of Munich, and to find herself in her surroundings. Dana Newman is an American expatriate, originally from Florida, in the United States, now living in Munich, Germany. Her YouTube channel, Wanted Adventure, explores the cultural differences between the U.S. and Germany and talks about the expat life, moving to a new country, and all that that entails. This conversation from two self-proclaimed chatterboxes covers cultural connections, environmental differences, how Dana got to where she is, and everything in between, as Dana shares pearls of wisdom from Germany.
After graduating from college, Dana Newman, like a lot of graduates, felt rather lost. She didn’t know what she wanted to do from her life, apart from have an adventure. She felt an invisible rope pulling her towards Europe, and so she packed up two duffel bags, obtained her very first pairs of boots, and bought a one-way ticket to Prague. Once she arrived in Prague, she felt distant, out of touch, and alone - before she took a deep breath and reminded herself that this was all part of the adventure that she wanted to have. She trusted her own process, and yet was still afraid that the Prague of her imagination was too different from the Prague in reality. She had to handle unexpected rooming situations and a topsy-turvy tunnel system, but, even though she wasn’t sure where she was going, she managed to make her way into the city center. She knew something good had to exist out in her new world, and she found it - everything that she had been searching for when she came to live in Europe. She knew, deep in her core, that her adventure had brought her to exactly where she was supposed to be in the world in that moment.
What is a normal Monday for you? For Dana Newman, it changes, depending on the week. Most of her Monday is spent preparing for her Wednesday, because she dictates her own schedule. Upon moving to Germany, Dana was able to discover that autonomy, and the difference between living somewhere and traveling through that same place. It took three years for Dana to feel at home in Germany, because it took her that long to build up traditions and to know what to expect around the corner. She started to decipher the language, to adjust to the culture. She taught herself the language, which was a difficult adaptation, but conversation was a vital part of living in any new environment. When you reach that understanding, you really connect to the people and to that world. Dana may miss the sun in Florida, and the ability to understand her environment entirely, but she’s happy in Germany. She loves the architecture, the ability to walk everywhere, and the home she has made for herself in Europe.
Dana Newman, besides being an expatriate, is also a YouTube sensation. Her videos highlight the differences she finds between cultures - differences that people often wouldn’t think even existed between two countries. She is fascinated by these differences, and couldn’t stop noticing them after she moved. Her friends were interested, and fellow Americans, but she soon realized that Germans liked her videos, too. They were interested in her experiences as an American living in Germany and witnessing how she sees their country. She likes to compare different cultures and explore the two sides of the coin between America and Germany. She can see these differences in her own life, in the ways she has changed her ways of doing things as a form of adaptation from Germany to America - for example, her laundry. She’s made friends, though, in Germany. She has a home, and the feeling that comes with it. She feels at home in Germany now, and never would have made it to that point if she had too many expectations. When she doesn’t have expectations, and tries to be open to what happens, she knows she’s able to continue her adventure regardless and keeps her mind open and let herself be open to new experiences. She encourages not putting restrictions on yourself when you travel; you have to be open to anything that can happen. Traveling can let you look at your home in new ways once you’ve traveled a bit, as well. Making a home and appreciating where you’re from is a glorious side-effect of travel.