After years of being told how fantastic Berlin is, about five years ago, my boyfriend and I gave in to peer pressure. We went to experience it for ourselves. At the time, he was working for a popular gay dating website, and they were holding a party out there to coincide with Folsom Europe.

Schönhauser Allee u-bahn station, Berlin

Schönhauser Allee u-bahn station, Berlin

We had an amazing weekend, and, after chatting to locals, realised that the rest of the Berlin party scene was even better. Since then, we’ve been back many times, and realised that Berlin is extremely appealing for many reasons: it’s smaller than London (where I’ve lived most of my life), cheaper and friendlier. Our preferred mode of transport – bicycles – are far more welcome, with cycle tracks alongside most roads; one way streets are often two way for cyclists.

Each time we cam home from Berlin, we asked one another why we couldn’t just move there. So that’s exactly what we’re doing.

Blogging about Berlin

Over the next few months, my blogging will mostly be about our move to Berlin. I’m sure things will be stressful, as we get to grips with a different culture and different bureaucracy. Our jobs will continue to be based in London, as we’re both directors of marketing and design company Digital Deluxe, so we’ll be back regularly for meetings.

Does Easyjet do a loyalty scheme?

The plan is to keep our London flat, and get a lodger in to help with bills and so that it won’t be empty. Which is where our friend Matt came in – a friend of his happened to be looking at just the time we decided to get someone in. If he moves in to ours, he’ll have the place to himself most of the time, and we’ll be there when we have meetings once or twice a month.

Finding our first flat

We knew we couldn’t leave the UK until mid September, because of work commitments on my part, plus I’m a games maker (volunteer) for the Olympics and Paralympics.

So when we found a flat on Craigslist which was available from mid September for two months, and looked good, we were excited. It was in the right area, was the right price, and the person renting spoke good English. Our friend Philipp lives just a couple of blocks away, so we asked him to take a look; when he told us that it was “perfect” and that we “won’t find anything else that good for the price”, we jumped.

Most flats in Berlin are rented unfurnished, so when this furnished place became available, it seemed like a good opportunity. And like most other cities, you need to be in the city to grab a flat as it comes up – so while we’re there, we’ll be in a good position to look around for something more long term.

Buying a bike

The first thing we’ve done before even moving there is look at bikes online. While the bf found a nice second hand bike at Velosaloon in Berlin, I’m looking at an über bright single speed from Urbike in Munich. You get to specify the colour of almost every bit of the bike, and while I really like very bright coloured bikes, is this too much?

Urbike bike design

Urbike bike design