Bavarian Yodeler in Hollywood – Meet Kathrin Jakob, Bringing Authentic Oktoberfest Vibes to California

What’s Oktoberfest Time without some real Yodeling?!

Welcome to a new edition of our XPAT Spotlight Interviews. Today we’ve invited Kathrin Jakob, a real “Müncher Kindel” by birth and ‘Yodel Star in Hollywood’ to share with us not only her story but also some Oktoberfest vibes. Born in Munich, Kathrin grew up in Lower Bavaria, in a village called “Wallersdorf”. She now lives in South Pasadena, CA. 

What inspired you to move to California?

Before I moved here I studied Vocal and Piano at a vocational school for music in Regensburg, Germany. Some of my teachers there had studied music in the US and that planted the seed in me that I could do something similar. I graduated with a degree but didn’t feel “finished” in any way and I started researching music colleges in the US. I visited Los Angeles to tour two schools with my mom and immediately fell in love with the city, the weather, and the people. That same year I moved to LA to continue my studies at the Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena.

[Read more…] about Bavarian Yodeler in Hollywood – Meet Kathrin Jakob, Bringing Authentic Oktoberfest Vibes to California

Pit Stop in Malta



Those of you who had the chance to listen to my journey on audio on my friend’s podcast know that I had a pit stop before my final destination Germany.  When I made the decision at the beginning of 2018 to leave the US, I already had a destination in mind: the Mediterranean island of Malta. [Read more…] about Pit Stop in Malta

My Story of Life as an Expat in a Nutshell



Now that the cat is out of the bag, I would like to offer you a deeper look into why I left the United States and reveal where I first ended up before moving back to Germany.  But instead of writing you a novel, I would like to switch things up this time and present my story in a nutshell to you in the form of audio.

A few months ago, while I was already living in Europe but not in Germany yet, one of my dear friends, who has visited me twice while living in the States,  asked me if I would like to be a guest on his podcast and talk about my experience as an expat. I loved the idea and agreed to record an episode together with him.   [Read more…] about My Story of Life as an Expat in a Nutshell

It’s Time to Flip the Script…



My dear readers, yet again I owe you an apology and explanation.  A lot has happened over the past eight months, but things are finally starting to settle down.  I usually don’t describe myself as a person who is willing to settle easily. But at some point, even I need a break and feel home at one place. At least for a little while.

So today, I am sharing some news with you.  Not sure if I should call them news though since that entails the word ‘new’, which doesn’t quite fit my situation anymore.  I have to admit, I lived in hiding from you the past several months. Not because I am ashamed of my actions, but because I needed time to process.   [Read more…] about It’s Time to Flip the Script…

Reflecting on Christmas in Germany




Happy New Year, dear readers!  I hope you had wonderful holidays and enjoyed good food and company!  I just got back a few days ago from my vacation in Germany. While it was amazing to see many friends and family after more than three years, I am so happy to be surrounded by sunshine again.  

Let me tell you, from the 16 days I was in my homeland, at least 14 of them were covered by grey clouds.  At least my mood was full of sunshine as I was excited to relax and also spend some great quality time with people that are very close to me.   And even though I keep saying that I don’t see myself living in Germany again, it is always hard leaving family and friends behind when it’s time to go back home. [Read more…] about Reflecting on Christmas in Germany

‘Wine, the Elixir of Life’ – Continuing a Legacy of German Winemaking in California. (Interview)

IMG_9478XPAT – Spotlight – Interview with Claudia Schug Schuetz, Partner at Schug Carneros Estate Winery.

Claudia, a dual citizen of Germany and the USA, has experienced both worlds, only the other way around compared with most of us expats.

Born in California and raised in Napa Valley, she has the wine business in her genes! She learned about wine from one of the most respected winemakers in California; her father Walter Schug. Both of her grandparents were part of this education as well, who were highly accomplished winemakers in Germany, with the Staatsweingut Assmaannshausen in the Rheingau and the Weingut Annaberg in the Pfalz.

After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics at Stanford University she moved to Germany in 1988 and lived for almost 30 years in North Rhine-Westphalia, where her ex-husband was from. There she started a California wine import and distribution business, worked as a wine educator, and served even as an international wine judge. From 2012-2017 she was California Wine Institute’s Trade Education Ambassador in Germany before she relocated to Sonoma in July 2017 to join her brother in managing her family winery, Schug Carneros Estate Winery. [Read more…] about ‘Wine, the Elixir of Life’ – Continuing a Legacy of German Winemaking in California. (Interview)

It’s Not Always Just Sunny in California – A Different Perspective (Interview)


XPAT Spotlight – Interview with Desiree Perez, my BFF and CEO of Aviation Leadership Academy

Growing up together in Germany, Desiree and I both immigrated to the United States in 2011.  For the first four years, she resided in Texas before her career brought her to Los Angeles in 2015.  During her time in California, Desiree faced some crucial challenges that made her rethink her move as well as her career choice.

In this interview, Desiree shares her raw and honest perspective about living in California, why it is not her dream come true, and how her experience resulted in a career change. [Read more…] about It’s Not Always Just Sunny in California – A Different Perspective (Interview)

Reaching For The Stars! Hollywood Here I Come. (Interview)

XPAT Spotlight – Interview with German Actor Constantin Cascante

Graduating German high school (Gymnasium) with accolades and having won prizes in subjects like Economy, French and Latin, Constantin Cascante was expected to continue his path in the academics and go for a career in medicine, business or law. But to the surprise of everyone and against all odds Constantin chose a much unexpected path.

He decided to pursue his passion since childhood. Acting!

In search of the ‘American Dream’, he set out for his adventure and left Germany at the age of 19. After stops in Oxford and New York, he finally ended up in Hollywood – a dream come true for all actors.

Born in Tübingen and raised in Stuttgart, Constantin now lives in Studio City in Los Angeles.

Constantin, you’re living THE dream! You were in the midst of preparing for entrance exams to get into Oxford when you suddenly changed course and decided to follow your childhood dream of becoming an actor.

Instead of Oxford, you set out to make it in the film industry. Today, you are in fact successfully working in the industry. I am sure it wasn’t just as easy as it all sounds… [Read more…] about Reaching For The Stars! Hollywood Here I Come. (Interview)

What Do You Miss Most About Germany?



I am sure many of you who immigrated to California are familiar with what I am talking about in today’s post: What do you miss most about Germany? I get asked this question so many times by friends, colleagues, acquaintances, as well as complete strangers.

It usually takes me a second before I answer this question.  It is a different story though when I get asked the opposite: What are you not missing?  My instant reply: the weather.  Oh, how I hated the weather back in Germany.  During winter, I usually delved into my so-called “winter depression.”

Imagine having to get up at 5:30 a.m. for work during the coldest months of the year, when it is pitch black outside, snow is falling, and the thermometer hits about -10 degrees Celsius- yeah, not fun! You go to work in the dark, and you leave work in the dark because the sun sets about 4:30 p.m. during the months of winter.

Anyways, I am drifting way too far away from what I actually intended to share with you. So with no further ado, here comes a list of the things I truly do miss.  [Read more…] about What Do You Miss Most About Germany?