‘As long as you are open to it, love will come to you.’

Carolin (33) is born and raised in Germany. Since she was sixteen she started working abroad, always eager to meet new people and learn new cultures. She finally settled down in Berlin working as a front office manager in design hotel 25 Hours Bikini Berlin.

What does happiness mean to you?
Being able to free your mind and do what you want in life. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are as long as you are surrounded by good people and know who your friends are. Home is where the heart is.

What is your background?
I am born and raised in Hamburg. I grew up with my three-year younger brother. We both had a pleasant childhood and are very close. I can’t imagine growing up without him. Every summer we went on vacation to our summer house in Finland. I loved being there, it is a beautiful environment surrounded by nature. After I finished school I wanted to go abroad, since I was only sixteen, Finland was my only option. The German and Finish churches organize exchange programs, so I went to a Finish family where I took care of three children of 4, 6 and 8 years old. It was a good experience to deal with responsibilities and to learn about a new culture. When I came back to Germany I started to study Hotel Business for three years. After I graduated I worked for Marriott in London and a few German hotels in Germany. Although I always enjoyed working in the hotel business, I wanted to try out something new. I got a job in project management at a marketing company for a year and worked for a law firm as a front desk manager. In the end I was bored of working behind a desk and realized the hotel business suited me more. I missed meeting people from all over the world. I feel happy when I can give people a home away from home. By the end of 2013 I heard about the new 25 Hours Bikini Berlin project I immediately signed up for the application as a front office manager. They hired me and I moved to Berlin in November to join the project while the hotel was still under construction. I feel proud being part of Berlin’s most innovative design hotel from the start. 

Where do you stand in life?
I finally feel settled. I never thought I would move to Berlin, but once you live here you love it. There is always something to do like going to a concert, an art exposition or hangout in one of the beautiful parks.Work wise I am where I want to be. My job puts a lot of pressure on me but I experience it in a positive way. I develop myself every day. I manage a team of ten people and most of them are young, the oldest is 27. It’s an interesting challenge to look after them, but also treat them as a friend. 

Are you familiar with the thirty years dilemma?
Yes, I am familiar with it. My plan was always to be married and to have kids at this age.  But since I passed thirty I can only laugh about it. You can’t plan your life, of which I am the perfect example. My life turned out a different way; I became a career woman. I am happy that I already saw so much of the world, experienced different jobs and met so many people from different cultures. Sometimes I question myself, being surrounded by friends who do have kids. But I know one day I will have a family too and for now I am happy to be the auntie.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you have a dream?
I would love to have a family and still be able to do my job. I am lucky that 25 Hours hotel is very family friendly so I will be able to have both. I would love to meet someone and I believe it can happen everywhere. Perhaps when I am walking my dog in the woods. As long as you are open to it, love will come to you.

What wise lesson did your parents teach you?
To be open minded, travel the world and learn about other cultures. Always keep on smiling. In every culture a smile means the same, there is no language needed to understand that meaning.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be so hard on yourself. As a young girl you always question yourself about your figure, are you too tall? Too fat? Do you have enough friends? There is no point doing that, you are fine the way you are. 

When was your last moment of happiness?
Last night when one of my closest friends from the United States called and told me that he missed me. 

Under the same sun is an ongoing travel log which you can follow on our travel and lifestyle blog Meet You at the Bridge. The reports show the similarities and differences on what it means to be happy for women between the ages of 25 and 35 who hail from different cultures.

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