Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Why I’m quitting my day job and moving to Europe

Well, the title of this post says it all, doesn’t it?

Last week I quit my day job and booked a one-way plane ticket to Germany.

Okay, you’re probably really confused. Let me start from the beginning:

About 10 days ago, my boyfriend Nic asked me if I would consider moving to Europe with him. He has a 7 month break before he finishes up the last semester of his masters, and has some strong job leads in Germany. In typical Krystal fashion, I just laughed at him and told him that I couldn’t go. I have a job, responsibilities, and I need to keep saving money. We discussed it off and on for a few hours, then dropped it. He wasn’t going to go without me, and I was content on staying in Vancouver.

The next morning, while I was at my day job, I kept replaying our conversation over and over again. I couldn’t concentrate on anything but what we had talked about. What was really stopping me from going? My day job? My mortgage? I realized I was about to turn down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move to Europe. Who does that!? That’s not the type of person I am. I seize opportunities all the time in my professional life – why should it be any different in my personal life? So I took a deep breath and told him that we should go. He was thrilled, and I was nervous but really excited for such a huge adventure. I’ve never traveled outside of North America before!

Over the next few days, we nearly went crazy with planning as we talked about what we would do when we got there, submitted the paperwork for our Visas, bought travel insurance, and booked flights to Paris. Our plan is to spend two nights in Paris before moving onto Germany. It’s up in the air as to where we will end up living because it depends on Nic’s job situation. But it looks like we’ll be based out of Stuttgart.

My day job

It’s tough to leave a job that I love. I have never worked at a place like this before – where the work is interesting, and my boss and co-workers are amazing. I wasn’t sure how they would react to me leaving, but they’ve all been nothing but supportive. Which makes leaving even harder, but I know it’s what I want.

Even though some might think I’m silly for quitting a well-paying, stable job so I can go hang out in Europe and write in coffee shops all day long, I really think that eventually, I would have quit anyway. It was getting to that breaking point – where I’d have to choose between my day job, or cutting back on my freelancing. The last couple of months have been really hard, and I was starting to lose focus. But I didn’t think it would be this soon, and I wasn’t planning on leaving for quite a while.


Now that I will be living in Germany for the next 7 months, my goal is to give full-time freelancing a try. I’m really nervous because I don’t know how I’m going to do now that I have to rely only on my hustle to pay the bills. It will be an interesting and much needed experiment.

Right now, I make about $30,000 through ongoing writing contracts. This doesn’t include any blog income, one-off writing assignments, or miscellaneous freelance projects. Over the last 3 months, I’ve averaged a gross monthly freelance income of $4,344. Which puts me at around a $52,000 annual salary – and that’s just with part-time effort (25 hours/week). Not enough time to really reflect how much I will make over a longer period, but it gives me some idea of what I can expect if I continue to work hard. My hope is that by dedicating more time to maintaining my blog and seeking out new opportunities, I will be able to grow that income out even more.

And the great part about this whole plan is that if I don’t end up being able to bring in a decent income, I can just get another job once we move back to Vancouver at the end of August. In fact, I already have a really good freelancing offer lined up for when I return. I don’t want to get my hopes up about this potential job, since you never know what might happen over the course of half a year, but if it does actually work out the way I want it to, I think it could be one of the best opportunities of my life. It combines everything that I’m looking for, in an industry I love, and working for a person I truly believe in. That’s a rare find these days.


I don’t know where to begin. My cash flow will depend entirely on how successful I am as a freelancer. I will still be paying my mortgage while we are gone (I have rental restrictions so I can’t rent it out – not that I’d want to for such a short time frame anyway, and with me being out of the country), and Nic will be paying most of the rent for whatever place we find in Germany. I will help out with whatever I can, and contribute to the bills and groceries, etc.

Because I’m a little uncertain of my financial position, I’ll be suspending automated contributions to my RRSP/TFSA. Instead, I’ll make manual deposits since I might not be able to contribute the $300-400 bi-weekly that I’m currently saving. I’m also going to drop my mortgage payments down to the minimum $1,098/month for the 7 months we’re gone, and hope to stash away some money to make a lump sum payment in May. Again, it depends on how much money I can bring in. I’m being extremely cautious with my money until I get more comfortable working without steady income. You all know I’m going to try as hard as I can to make this freelancing thing work, but I also need to be smart about this. By quitting my day job, I’m essentially losing 50% of my income. That’s a lot to try to make up.

I have just over $8,000 in my Emergency Fund should I need it. But since I applied for a working Visa, I can always pick up a random job in Germany to help make ends meet if it actually came down to it. And if I really get desperate? Well, I can just come home. Basically what I’m saying is that I’m confident in my financial situation while abroad. I may not be able to save as much or pay as much to my mortgage, but I won’t be going into debt because of this trip, and the chances of me having to touch my Emergency Fund are slim.


Moving to Germany with Nic still feels like a dream. I’ve never traveled outside of North America before, so I’m thrilled to be going. This is exactly the kind of adventure I was looking for, and I can’t wait for all of the fun things we will be doing when we’re there. We’ve got a couple of friends who have already expressed interest in coming to visit us, and we both know some people scattered throughout Europe. I’m looking forward to weekend trips out of the city, visiting all of the surrounding countries, and just being a part of a different culture and environment. We already have a list going of countries we must visit during our stay. :)

As most of you know, I’m a very practical and cautious person, and I don’t take decisions like this lightly. So it took a lot of courage for me to push past my fears and change the course of my life forever. Because I mean, come on. I just quit my day job. I am now a full-time freelancer. AND I’m moving to Germany. I don’t even know who I am anymore! :) This is exactly what the beginnings of financial independence should feel like – not having debt and money hold me back from once-in-a-lifetime opportunities like this.

Aside from moving to Michigan when I was 17, this is probably my biggest leap of faith. But I believe in myself, and I believe in Nic. The next 7 months are going to be a fantastic opportunity for both of us. Me, to try becoming a full-time freelancer. And him, to get such an amazing opportunity to work in an architecture firm and gain real experience before finishing his masters. I think we’re both excited and nervous and scared out of our minds. But in the very best way possible. And I’m so glad that we’re doing this together.

14 more days of work. 41 more days until we get on that plane. This is actually happening.

Our original plan was to come back to Vancouver at the end of August. However, we extended our stay in Europe until mid-December.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. eemusings says:

    Whoa, girl! You’re right, I never woulda picked that. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    I got the feeling you’d be quitting your job sooner rather than later anyway, and am really looking forward to following the next stage of your journey. At some point you gotta take the leap and this is the perfect impetus. I can definitely relate when you say that you’d have to choose one or the other eventually – this year I quit my job and took up one with the company with which I’d been regularly freelancing with. It really hit me one day when I was at an event on behalf of the side gig, but people from my FT job were there too – it’s just too small of a city for that.

    Anyway, sounds like you’ve got all bases covered, the only thing perhaps to double check on is how your taxes will work when you’re in Germany. Whee! Also – do you speak German?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Thanks!!! :) No, I don’t speak any German. I’m thinking of taking some lessons while I’m there.

      • Rose says:

        Excuse me a minute while I squeal with excitement. I live in Germany! It’s beautiful over here – you’ll love Stuttgart, if you have any questions (I live in the next state, Rheinland Pfalz) do contact me.

        I would definitely take a language course, I’m from the UK and am living here for 9 months. I study German as a foreign language back in the UK and teach English here and can say that while the Germans generally speak excellent English they truely love it when you try to speak German.

        • Krystal Yee says:

          That’s awesome! I’m really excited to live in Germany, even if it’s only for a few months. It looks beautiful. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is mostly excited about driving fast cars on the Autobahn. Hahaha. Anyway, I will definitely contact you if I have any questions. Nice to know someone in the area. :)

  2. laura says:

    Wow! That’s a big decision, but a great one.
    Life is all about taking oportunities when they come along, so I say go for it! :)

  3. Wow, I would have grabbed the opportuinity too in a heartbeat!!! It’s going to be amazing!!

  4. It's me, Sam says:

    At first I thought I read the title wrong, then I thought it was going to be a guest post, and when I read your post, I thought is this really Krystal? Now that I’ve read the entire post, I’m very happy for you. New country, new adventures, new life! Have fun and enjoy every minute!

  5. Anonymous says:

    sounds amazing!
    Quick note: I live in Ontario, and I heard that if you are out of the country for more than 6 months, then your OHIP becomes invalid. Not sure what Vancouver’s health care rules are, but it’s something to look into, if you haven’t already.

  6. Mike Holman says:

    Whoa! That’s pretty neat.

    I think it’s a good move – you definitely work too hard. ;)

    Enjoy Germany – it’s a great place.

  7. Wow Krystal that’s amazing!! Good on you for seizing the opportunity…life is all about seizing the moments and looking back with no regrets. I can’t wait to hear about your travels/experience in Germany.

    On OHIP (from a couple posts above) I lived in Scotland for a year and didn’t have a problem when I came back in using it again, although that was 2002 so maybe things have changed.

  8. vi says:

    I am so happy and excited for you Krystal!!!

  9. alana says:

    oh my gosh, I am so happy for you, this is going to be an experience of a lifetime. I’m glad you were quickly able to work through your initial fears and realize that you have nothing to lose by going through with this. You’ve worked hard to set yourself up really well financially so that you can make use of opportunity just like this, go for it. I have no doubt that you’ll be able to land a good gig whether it’s through freelancing or other types employment…so jealous right now, but you go have fun girl!

  10. paiiige says:

    AMAZING!!! What exciting news and such a fun decision!

  11. munchkin says:

    When I saw the title of this post, I thought it was a guest post for sure!
    I would look into the provincial coverage thing, as some people have suggested. It’s true that in Ontario if you leave for 6 months or more, once you get back you have to wait 3 months to get it back again. You can make special arragnements so it doesnt happen in some circumstances. I’m sure you have already looked into it anyways.
    I’m so incredibly happy for you Krystal! At first i Thought you were a little crazy, but now not so much, lol. You were on track to quitting your day job with all the freelancing you have been doing lately. I guess it was only a matter of time. I am truly looking forward to your posts on life in Europe. I hope that you have a wonderful holiday season before you leave the country! :)

  12. munchkin says:

    @munchkin: p.s. can you take a look at my latest post, I would love your advice. Thanks :)

  13. Stephanie says:

    That is awesome!! I am so glad you did not let fear stop you from doing this, such a great opportunity. If you can, take a trip into Austria. Especially since you like hiking.

  14. Niki says:

    Wow! This is exciting. Can’t wait to hear about your new adventures.

  15. Cait says:

    I’m so happy the news is out so I can stop trying to code my tweets to you! :P

    In all seriousness, I am proud of you for pushing past your fears and taking the opportunity to do something you love. Remember that on any day you feel like you are struggling: you love freelancing and you love traveling.

    It’s going to be an amazing 7 months!

  16. MoneyMaus says:

    AMAZING!!!!!!!! I am so incredibly excited for you & Nic!

    My parents recently spent 3 weeks traveling around Germany (their 4th or so trip there)…& they are planning to live in Munich for a year when they retire. Can’t wait to hear all about this life changing decision and how you learn to live in another country! :)

  17. Daisy says:

    Wow! That sounds like so much fun :) I hope everything goes as planned, and I’m sure it will. Enjoy yourself – this is sort of the chance of a lifetime!

  18. Jeff says:

    By managing your finances and working hard at freelancing, you’ve helped create this opportunity for yourself (along with Nic taking a shot at work in Germany). Embrace the opportunity and enjoy every minute of it, you’ve earned it.

  19. Echo says:

    Congratulations, Krystal! That’s exciting news! I think this is the kind of event you needed in your life to push you into full-time freelance work. Enjoy your time in Germany!

  20. Michelle says:

    Wow so soon! But so exciting. I know exactly how you feel. I constantly think about how different my life would be if I would get out and LIVE LIFE!

    Good luck to you and him, I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

    You have definitely persuaded me to think about my choices, and maybe start planning.

  21. Wow, this is awesome!! Congrats on taking the leap! It will be really neat to follow your journey on to Germany.

  22. Money Rabbit says:

    You are so awesome and my hero. I can hardly wait to hear all about your German adventures. Who knows, when you’re back, maybe I’ll be in BC! :P

  23. Dima says:

    Congrats Krystal, that will be a wonderful experience.

  24. How cool is this!
    And you (should) will be back for the Canadian PF conference and FINCON12!

  25. Rina says:

    Wow!!!!!! So cool!

  26. Massive congratulations! You’ll have a great time. I have so much admiration for people who are prepared to take such a giant leap of faith.

    Be sure to visit Berlin while you’re there- it’s the best European city I have ever been to (and I’ve been to A LOT). Hamburg is pretty cool too. The rail network in Europe is amazing (well at least significantly better than here in the UK), which makes travelling across the continent to various neighbouring countries remarkably easy. I’d definitely recommend visiting France, Holland, Austria and Poland while you’re in the neighbourhood. Copenhagen in Denmark is also wonderful, although not particularly budget-friendly.

    Congratulations once again!

  27. Wow. This. Is. Incredible.

    I wish I had the guts and bravery to do what you’re doing. Reading this has really inspired me to take a small jump of my own. I really love reading your blog and watching your freelance income grow to where you can now quit your day job. That’s a big accomplishment, and what I hope to do one day.

    Good luck, and I know you will enjoy your experience. Hope to hear you blog all about it :)

  28. Bridget says:


    oh man your blog entries are going to be so cool, I can’t wait to hear all about living in Germany!

  29. Sven says:

    I’ve been following you on twitter for sometime and while I don’t know you personally, I’d just like to congratulate you on this move. We regret the things in life we don’t do, and taking this leap is fantastic! I’m a dual citizen of Germany and Canada and I can say that you will enjoy Germany for it’s clean and organized living. Vancouver is hard to leave, but we are always just one day away by plane!! Best of luck, I look forward to hearing about your adventures.

  30. Josie says:

    Wow. This is such awesome news! Congratulations on the big step. If anything, it gives me extra motivation to want to pay off all our debt so we could do something spontaneous if we so wanted to. Can’t wait to hear about your time in Europe!

  31. Kris says:

    HOORAY!!!!! So excited for you. Good for you!!!

  32. shawna says:

    I had to comment – so proud of you! It’s these amazing opportunities that truly change your life. I picked up and moved once on my own at 20 and it was the greatest decision I ever made. It was there that I met my husband, and we’ve had amazing adventures together in the 12 years we’ve been together! Next up? We’re moving to France for 3 months with our two young children where my husband will be doing an internship!!! My advice to you – don’t work TOO much – be sure to fully enjoy and savour every moment.

  33. Krystal, that’s a huge decision and congratulations!

    When you can make a decision like this, you know that you’ve reached financial freedom. It’s too bad that you can’t rent out your condo but it looks like you don’t need to.

    All your hard work has paid off and I’m glad you’re not allowing your fears to control your decisions!!

  34. SP says:

    So exciting Krystal!! Can’t wait to follow your adventures!

  35. AWESOME Crystal! I’m so excited for you! Nothing is better than love and some adventure!

    I think you’ll do great at your freelancing job full-time, and we will all make sure Nic does you right!

    Looking forward to reading some posts from Germany!

    Best, Sam

  36. What an incredibly brave and exciting decision! They say you regret the paths you didn’t take far more than the mistakes you did make, so this certainly seems like the right decision for you. I’m looking forward to hearing all about your German adventures.

  37. Cathy says:

    Oh my gosh! Congrats Krystal! This is an amazing opportunity! I can’t wait to read more about your adventures in Europe!

  38. Erica says:

    Omg that’s amazing. What a great opportunity. Can’t wait to read all about it. I wondered what was going on. Congrats

  39. J. Money says:

    I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!! 100% the right choice!! Way to soak up life and just GO FOR IT :) Excited to hear all about it!! When you’re blogging from Germany – woo! (and sorry again for coming out w/ big news at same time you are – I had no idea!)

  40. I lived in Germany for 2 years when my husband was stationed there. We did not live on post, but rented an apt from a local family. It is a beautiful country, you are going to love it there.

  41. Eric says:

    That is absolutely amazing! Just got back from 2 weeks in London, Paris, and Amsterdam and have the itch to go back as soon as I can.

    As Chris from the Art of Non-Conformity says, sometimes you have to overcome the fear of making a big life change and seize the opportunity to do something amazing.

    Congrats on doing something amazing.

  42. Maggie says:

    You may have already considered your tax situation, but if not, it’s a good idea to consult with an accountant before leaving as you will still need to file an income tax return in Canada for any money you make while outside the country (it’s called “worldwide income”). Some people get around this be by filing a tax return triggering a ‘non-resident’ status; however, this option wouldn’t apply to you because you have property here in Canada which isn’t being rented out.

  43. Looby says:

    I think this is great! Having packed up and moved from Europe to BC a few years ago I totally approve of others going for such leaps as well.
    As others have mentioned, check the healthcare coverage for your return; I believe that BC has the 3 month waiting policy as well. Also check if you are covered in Germany from the start.
    I’d also like to hear about managing taxes on freelance income; ie paying German taxes with money from Canada; are there any issues?
    Best of luck!

  44. You are going to have the time of your life.

    Check with Seven Corners Insurance to make sure you’re covered in case anything happens. I bought a package for 6 months but they go up to a year. Your Canadian health insurance won’t work there.

  45. Leigh says:

    Wow, Krystal! That sounds amazing :)

    I agree with you that this is exactly what financial independence means. I can’t wait to hear how your freelancing adventures go while in Germany! It sounds like you have thought everything through and I’m sure it’ll be an amazing experience.

    On my condo, I signed papers indicating that I am going to make it my primary residence. Did you sign anything like that? Or does that not count since you’re leaving the country?

  46. Eddie says:


    I’m proud of you and congrats on finally going full time wtih freelancing. You totally deserve it. And this news is a total shock. However, I’m happy for you.

    I’m even more happier to hear you’ll be around for FINCON 12 and CPFC12.

    You’ll love Germany, I visited twice and its a lot of fun. Good food too.

    Keep in touch!

  47. Wow, what a big day for news! Congrats to you – I am hoping everything is even better than you dream it could be!

  48. Brittany says:

    Wow!!! That is SO exciting! I would love to have an opportunity like that, seriously. That is so, so awesome. I can’t wait to read about your experiences! My heritage is German and I would love to visit sometime.

  49. Laura says:

    Congrats. This is awesome. I can’t wait to read all about it through your blog while you’re over there!

  50. That was the greatest post I read today. I’m so excited for you, and amazed/proud at how well you have managed your money to be able to do this. You’ve inspired me to focus again and do what I need to do to be as free as you are. Congrats!!

  51. Col says:

    This is so exciting! Congratulations for following your dreams!

  52. Meghan says:

    I really enjoyed this post. Good for you for taking a risk like this. I’m not too much older than you I believe (early 30s) and I find as I get older it is harder to take risks like this. There can be a lot of pressure to take the secure route, but the fact that you have been building up your freelance work for awhile will put you in a good position when you are gone (as you’ve explained).

    In future posts it would be good to have more information on how you make this work. I’m wondering what type of work visa you got. I know that some of the programs are age specific, and designed for younger people.

    In addition to checking out health insurance, also try to get someone (or a few people) that can check up on your place every now and then. Maybe a neighbour or trusted friend. Just someone to collect the flyers, turn the lights on every now and then, so that it doesn’t look vacant. 7 months is a long time to be gone.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I will definitely be writing more about the logistics surrounding the trip, as well as the money situation (obviously). I’ve already purchased travel/health insurance, and have a neighbour to watch over my place, collect my mail, and turn my car on every once in a while. :)

  53. Zoey says:

    Wow! I hope you have the time of your life! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  54. WELL DONE. Seriously. I can not say enough good things about this plan. You are indeed taking an enormous leap forward in life here, both professional and personally, and of course it is not without risk. But this is exactly the kind of risk you SHOULD be taking at this point in your life – the kind of risk we should ALL be taking at the point you’re currently at. It is not a risk born of recklessness, but of reason and the promise that there will almost certainly be a reward.

    THIS is exactly the kind of thing that all of your hard work and persistence was designed to help you take, and I promise you: YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. It may not turn out they way you expect – and that’s fine – but it will turn out splendidly…I have no doubt.

    I’m just so, so, so very excited for you. :)

  55. bogofdebt says:

    I recently started reading your blog (and love it by the way) and just wanted to say congrats. That is some amazing news! Visit all the places in Germany that I want to! (I’ll get there someday)

  56. Chelsea says:

    Good on you for seizing the opportunity! Best of luck on your grand adventure!

  57. Cassie says:

    Well holy crow. Congratulations Krystal! This is absolutely fantastic, I am so happy for you! I know you were contemplating making the jump to full time freelancer a while ago, and what a way to do it! You’ll absolutely love it in Europe. I spent a year in Europe when I was younger and I can’t wait to go back. Congratulations to both of you! :D

  58. Camille says:

    I wish I was so brave! You’re right though… this is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY and it’s so smart of you to latch on to it.

    When you come back to Vancouver and if you decide to take job interviews, it will be so easy to explain why you picked up and left your last job: (1) you were keen for a new perspective, (2) you don’t want to let fear prevent you from taking advantage of opportunity, (3) you wanted to develop your brand and entrepreneurship, etc.

    Congratulations and good luck! I can’t wait to read your posts about your new adventure. :)

  59. Ashley says:

    I had to read to read the title twice. Then I looked to see if this was a post by a guest blogger. But it’s you and I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to read about your experiences in Germany. I was born in Stuttgart, so I hope you post lots of pics!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Haha yeah I think that’s the reaction from most people – they thought it was a guest post. :) Born in Stuttgart! That’s awesome – when did you move away?

    • I did the same :)…reading it twice, scroll it up and down page to make sure it wasn’t a guest post :).

      Krystal, congrats!!! You are so brave, you are unbelievable!!! I had the opportunity to live in England for 8 months when I was younger and it was amazing! You will love it!

  60. asgreen says:

    Congrats! I’m so excited for you and totally jealous as well!

  61. Fig says:

    This sounds super duper exciting! Congrats on your new adventure!

  62. Preet says:

    Perhaps you should set up a new domain name:

    Congratulations – that sounds like quite an adventure! If you’re going to be in Stuttgart, maybe you should check out a Porsche factory tour! :)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      All Nic keeps talking about is renting a Porsche to drive on the Autobahn, so I have no doubt we’ll be visiting the Porsche factory more than once while we’re there. :) And he’s already talking about going to some car show in Switzerland!

  63. Michelle says:

    Wow and congratulations. I started reading your blog about a month ago, and you never cease to amaze me. This is a really good opportunity and living in Germany is a wonderful experience.

    The only way to get great experiences in life is to push ourselves out of our comfort zones! Good luck and keep us posted on your adventures.

  64. Eric says:

    Just started reading your blog not to long ago as well. Congrats! Takes a lot of guts to do what you are doing, I think it’ll be awesome.

  65. Tina says:

    Wow this is amazing. I too had to re read the title several times…. and make sure that it wasn’t a guest post. Congrats and all the best!

  66. Renee says:

    Long time reader here. I too, thought it was a guest post. This is an opportunity you wouldn’t likely have as a parent so do it while you are young and have the time of your life. He sounds like an amazing guy!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Agreed. If I didn’t take this opportunity now, I’m not sure I ever would. Sometimes I can really get set in my ways. I like routine, but that often comes at the cost of missing out on opportunities. Not this time though. And yeah, he is an amazing guy! ;)

      • dave says:

        I heard germany is fairly expensive. There is a high rate of unionization which drives up costs. They are even losing business and factories (ironically lost a BMW factory to Alabama USA which has no unions and much cheaper labour) But hopefully you will find a high paying job

        • Krystal Yee says:

          Well neither of us will be at high paying jobs. He’ll be paid as an intern, and I’ll be a freelance writer. Money will probably be a bit tight, but we’re both pretty frugal people. I know we’ll make it work.

  67. Wow, this sounds like an amazing opportunity!!!


    I think this was an awesome decision.

    Kudos to you for the courage to try something bold, new and very, very exciting :)

    All my best to you and Nic,

  68. InsureCan says:


    After you’ve been self-employed for 7 months, you’re going to learn something very interesting – you don’t need a 9-5 job and an employer to earn a living. There’ll be no going back after that!

    The decision to do it is the hardest part. Actually doing it is substantially easier.

  69. Fatimah says:

    I picked up and moved to Barbados a year and a half ago(and I’m still loving the adventure), and I can confidently say you will not regret this move. You only live once, live it up!

  70. KatieCJ says:

    That is so exciting! I just came back from spending 8 months in Germany, it was very exciting.

    Have a blast and I look forward to reading about your adventures.

  71. This is so awesome! You’d never have been able to do this while in debt, the freedom must be amazing!

  72. blb says:

    Wow Krystal! Congratulations! As someone who recently spent a year in Europe (France, to be specific) working after graduating from university I know that you’ll have a fantastic time. Opportunities like this don’t come around that often, and being in a financial position to take advantage of them kind of makes the hard work and the frugality worth it (In my opinion). Not to mention that you’ll have plenty of blog fodder. I look forward to seeing articles on exchange rates and the dreaded culture shock/Reverse culture shock. I acquired a few unorthodox money saving methods while I was over there, let me know if you’d like to hear about them.

  73. I am so happy and excited for you!!! :)

    What an amazing opportunity – both personally and professionally. This is the kind of financial freedom that I hope to have one day. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

    I also thought this was a guest post!!!

  74. This is fantastic news! I went on exchange to France and it was the an amazing experience! You’ll absolutely love living in Europe, the trains go everyyyywhere and you can get ridiculously cheap flights, so travel isn’t even that expensive. Have some macarons from Ladurée and a tarte aux framboises in Paris for me! I went up often when I lived in france : )

  75. Rhona says:

    Honestly, congrats and have fun! This must be amazing for you. I remember you were really upset a few years ago about not being able to travel or do what you wanted to do due to your debt etc., and look at you now. Sticking to your goals allowed you to do this.
    I lived in Stuttgart for 3 months for work and travelled A LOT in Europe and around the country so if you need advise etc, let me know. Really.

  76. me says:

    Hoping to get lots of pictures from your extended honeymoon. A picture is worth a thousand words so if you can’t write, a picture would be as good. Good luck and I’m sure wedding bells are ringing!

  77. Melissa says:

    Ah, this is so exciting! Congrats, Krystal!

  78. Erin Bury says:

    Omg congrats Krystal! That is SO exciting. So happy for you, and I know you’ll have a blast! Word of warning though: Europe is expensive. Be prepared to dip into your emergency fund, but remember that many of the experiences you have will be once-in-a-lifetime. It’s worth 5 Euros for a macaron from Laduree in Paris.., :)

    • Krystal Yee says:

      The trip is still over a month away, and I am already freaking out a little bit about how expensive it is. Just researching rental rates in Germany makes me want to die a little inside.

  79. Bek says:

    Exciting! My husband and I moved to Germany right after our wedding, and we have found it is not really much more expensive than the States (I can’t say much about Canada, though). If you have some time, I would recommend taking a TESOL course (you can do them online sometimes). Even if you aren’t thrilled with the idea of being an English teacher, it’s a really nice back-up plan.

  80. FruGal says:

    How cool! I did something similar with London, was meant to stay a year and have now been here for seven! And seriously, get to Berlin. Having travelled all over Europe, it is my favourtie European city these days. I would move there in a flash. Enjoy yourself!

  81. This is so exciting!! Congratulations on the big career change!

    I like that there is an enddate (7 months) and it’ll be almost like going for 6 months to travel! You’re going to see so much of Europe. All the flights are so cheap in Europe.

    Maybe you could write about some travel blog posts too!

  82. Heather C. says:

    Wow I’m so excited for you, I even told my husband, who has no idea who you are or that I read your blog!!! LOL Best to you.

  83. julie says:

    I too had to check if it was a guest post!! This is such exciting news! I remember when you decided not to take that rtw trip I was a little disappointed cause I couldn’t wait to read about your adventures.

    Last year I decided to do something similar, rented out my house and took off for Spain and I don’t regret it for a second.

  84. Vanessa says:

    This is so incredibly exciting! Congratulations on your upcoming adventure. I hope you love every minute.

  85. Celeste says:

    Congratulations! I’m so excited for you. I also had my qualms moving to the US though I knew that I’d like it here. The move itself shook me off a bit because it was going to destabilize our family for awhile. Being able to move countries is such an exciting experience and I’m sure you won’t ever regret this decision. All the best to you and Nic!

  86. Jay says:

    This is my first post on your blog (I’ve been reading for a while though!) and I just have to say CONGRATULATIONS!

    I have complete trust that you’ll make it work. The lost opportunity cost of working a job here is hardly sad when you have this amazing opportunity. Go forth and make memories. I hope you have a blast :)

  87. Why??? says:

    I’m pretty sure this blog post was supposed to be sarcastic. I mean, seriously, why would someone with a mortgage leave a full time job in a down economy to go to Germany for 7 months because their relatively short term boyfriend (yes – not husband, common law partner, or even long term boyfriend) has “strong job leads”? Can’t fool me.

      • Anonymous says:

        can and should are not synonymous

        • Krystal Yee says:

          Are you saying that nobody should ever do anything bold with their lives? Or take any sort of chance when there’s a chance of failing?

          Sure, I have a mortgage, but so what? I have savings in the bank, and good freelancing income coming in. And yeah, I’ve only been going out with my boyfriend for a short time, but who cares? It’s not like we’re getting married or having a child. We’re just going on a trip together. :)

          • Anonymous says:

            As you must already know, an open blog will sometimes attract dissenting viewpoints so I apologize if you were only looking for comments to sing your praises. To be fair, I don’t completely disagree with you though. When I was younger and more immature, I had similar dreams too.

    • MBC280 says:

      It’s interesting to see how millennials view life these days. They’re not looking to be tied down, what they value in a career and life is completely different from prior generations. I’m in my early 30s and sometimes question if my Corporate job is what I really want to be doing. But in the end, call me old fashioned, I feel it’s the easiest way for me to afford the lifestyle I want. But for others like Krystal, it’s an experience – one that may prove valuable later in life, but one won’t know unless it hapens.

  88. Since I read your post yesterday, I’ve been thinking about how awesome you are for taking advantage of a wicked opportunity! Hadn’t gotten around to posting a comment but after seeing the one above, figured I should!

    Obviously you’ve covered all your bases – you’re still paying down your mortgage, you’re still working but instead taking a chance on freelancing- something you may have ended up doing anyway. As for your boyfriend, heck who cares if you met him yesterday or 10 years ago. You’ve worked your butt off to become financially secure and have totally earned the right to go on this adventure! Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about it :)

  89. Meg says:

    How exciting!! My sister quit her job and moved to Germany this year because of her husband’s job, and it took some getting used to but she is having a blast. She highly recommends Rosetta Stone and learned German quickly. She had trouble not having a routine or job or obligations at first, but she actually found some English graduate programs over there and is now enrolled in one getting a Masters degree at a German university. Tuition is SO cheap there. Just an option. I am so happy for you and wish you the best!!!

  90. Andrea says:

    This is something I would never do, I simply don’t have the courage. I envy you Krystal for taking this risk and taking a chance on a new opportunity. I am sure you will make this work, and like you said – if it doesn’t, you’ll just come home early.

    Best of luck and remember “a life without risk is a life not lived”.

  91. Audrey says:

    This is so cool! I’m actually in the same situation you are in! After 3 months of yes and no’s, I finally agreed to move with my bf to Italy!

    But even to this day, I still wonder if I am doing the right thing. Are you in the same boat?

    I’m in the process of gathering documents for my visa, I’m going on a student visa. It’s so nervewrecking!!

  92. Kari says:

    Good for you Krystal!!! I’ve been following you for a while now…first on Moneyville then on GMBMFB and I think you are simply fantastic. Follow your dreams and btw, do you think we’ll ever get to see a photo of you and your awesome bf together? Ha ha, thanks!

  93. Jeff says:

    Enjoy Krystal!

    I lived over in France/Belgium for 2 years, and you will definitely enjoy yourself.

    As far as traveling to other countries, there are definitely awesome train deals and budget airlines. Personally, I love Ryanair – but there are others. My wife and I have done Paris to Rome for 15 Euro Total, Rome to Dublin for 2 euro total, and dublin to Paris for 30 euro total.

    Money may be tight, especially at first, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying what will be an experience of a lifetime – especially since you can do it for so cheap if you just put a little effort into it.

    Again, enjoy! :)

  94. Kristin says:

    Wow…I love this news! In 2007, my then-boyfriend-now-husband and I took a leap of faith and moved to Bermuda. Like you, it was a crazy quick decision and we were scared out of our minds, but beyond excited. Four years later, we’re still here and it has, hands down, been the best experience of my life.

    I just (like, two months ago) made another crazy, quick, life-changing decision and am off to London, England in two weeks to start law school. In my experience, the best decisions are the ones you make with your heart, even when your head may be providing you with plenty of reasons to be nervous or scared.

    Congratulations on taking a leap of faith. You will never regret doing this. You would absolutely regret NOT doing this.

    P.S. Your hometown is my hometown too. I miss it every day. :-)

  95. Banclothing says:

    Weird, this is basically what I have done in the last month. My husband and I both quit our stable, well paying jobs in Canada and have moved to Australia to work. It was an opportunity too good to pass up. I have switched over from blogging about sewing to personal finance at I could not believe how expensive relocating is!!!!!!!!

  96. Krystal I am a personal friend of Squakfox and I can’t be happier for you. Life is meant to be lived to its fullest, taking every opportunity that comes your way while being financially responsible too. I just posted on my facebook profile how I paid off my mortgage. I mentioned how I probably could have done it even more quickly than I did (less than 13 years) but I enjoy living my life to its fullest. I have lived overseas twice once in London, England for five months, and once in Melbourne Australia for 12 months. I am who I am because of the incredible (and not so incredible) experiences I had overseas. Go with open eyes and the desire to learn from everything around you. You will not regret it! Karen

  97. Heather says:

    Krystal- it is the real stories of those such as your own who make me follow your blog. I love the financial aspect of your site, but I find most other blogs boring and repetitive. This post made my day! Congratulations- I am very happy for you and can’t wait to follow your adventure. Have a wonderful holiday season.

  98. Wonderful news – I sent this post to my two adult daughters who have been dithering about doing something similar – one to London and the other to Tibet!

    You will not regret this Krystal – I am super confident of that. Enjoy :))

  99. Ben Edwards says:

    What an adventure! I don’t think you’ll look back on this move and regret it. I lived in Germany for 4 years and had a great time. I bet you’ll have a blast!

  100. Becky R says:

    Congratulations!! :)

  101. Linda says:

    Congratulations! That is so exciting, I’ve been following your blog for a while but I don’t really post. I’m really excited for you and I think you’ve made the right choice. We only live once, and your finances are going to be fine even if you make this decision. I hope I’ll be brave enough to move to Australia with my boyfriend once I finish school. I will definitely keep reading your blog for updates of your travels in Europe.


  102. Average Joe says:

    When I sold my business at 40, it was for similar reasons. I hadn’t seen enough of the world. I loved what I did, but what else was out there? If life truly is an adventure, I should make it one. So now, three years later, am I glad I left? Absolutely. I still miss some of my clients an coworkers, but the present is so much fun that I’m glad I jumped.

    I think you will be, too. Good luck!

  103. Moonwaves says:

    Wow, I’ve been absent from the blogging world most of the time since November and completely missed this. Well, you’re already here now and obviously finding your way around so the offer may be too late but if I can help with anything just let me know. I’m not anywhere near Stuttgart but am very jealous – hope to move back down to the Black Forest in the next few years although probably to Freiburg or near there. Anyway, in case you haven’t found it yet, there is a discussion forum and website for English-speaking ex-pats living in Germany: Lots of information on there (search function isn’t great so after hitting search it’s important to follow-up with clicking on the google-powered button), in fact, any question you need to ask about living here has probably already been asked and answered. They have good wiki articles for the basic stuff as well (make sure you read about the health insurance stuff to make sure that what you have and think is covering you really is). And sometimes ads as well for apartments to let.

    Best of luck finding an apartment and I hope you have a fantastic time while you’re here.

  104. Moonwaves says:

    And I can’t even remember the address of a site I post on almost every day, aaahhhh. It’s

  105. AnitaMac says:

    Wow – way to follow your dreams. So excited for you – I hope you have a tonne of success. Live the dream.

  106. lola says:

    Did I read this correctly? You are making $52,000 a year for a 25-hour work week. More power to you, but in reading the comments on your articles that are published in the Toronto Star (most of which are negative), I’m surprised you have that much work coming in.

  107. Sean says:


    This blog post came up in the search results today when I was browsing around looking for information on moving to Germany for a year.

    I was wondering how that’s going? Are you still freelancing? Has it been difficult to get all of the right paperwork in order to be able to stay for more than 3 months?

    Very curious about your experience so far. If you have time, I’d love to hear how it’s going!


    • Krystal Yee says:

      Hi Sean – thanks for your comment. It’s been nearly 3 months since I moved over, and it’s been really good. Yes, I’m still freelancing! I thought being over here would mean I’d have less opportunities, but I’m still getting just as much work as I was when I was living in Canada.

      The paperwork wasn’t hard to do for our 12-month work visa, but we went through Travel Cuts and paid about $400 in order to ensure our paperwork went through without any problems. I’m not sure where you are from, but in Canada, if you are within a certain age range, you can apply for a work visa to Germany for free. The only problem is you have to do all the paperwork yourself. We were under a serious time crunch because of my boyfriend’s job situation, so that’s why we went to a company for help.

      If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me! :)

  108. Steve says:

    Krystal, congrats on the move and big like changing decision! Just curious, I am eager to start a new career as a writer and blogger. You said you made roughly $4000 a month from freelancing? I am wondering if this is strictly from blogging or do you write other things as well?

  109. Hi Krystal,

    Revisiting this post from Invest It Wisely. Any thoughts and feelings now that it’s been over 7 months? What would you do differently, or more of?

    Off to Europe for several weeks next month. Should be fun!


  110. mybulldozer says:

    i’de love to move to germany, i’m tired of life in canada, only problem, i have no idea where to begin ! any ideas?

  111. Hilarious! I’m from Vancouver and am in Germany RIGHT NOW! Got here 8 days ago and have never been here either! I’m looking into freelancing and have a similar job in Vancouver as yourself! I love it! Next question is if we can freelance until we get our working visa…. Would you know?

  112. Hamish Gavin says:

    How long were you in the job you enjoyed before you quit? I’ve been at my current job 8 months and considering quitting to move to Europe. I’ve been at this company nearly 3 years, but having only been in this current job 8 months I’m wondering if it’s irresponsible to quit before gaining more experience for the CV. I like the job and my co-workers. It’s not a dream job yet, but could lead to a pretty good position, but only If I stuck around for quite some time. On the other hand, I’ve next been outside of Australasia and have been wanted to travel the world for some time. I have friends who have just moved over and have set up in London, it seems the right time to go. Do you think I’ve been at this position long enough to have a decent enough CV and risk it overseas?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I was at that job for just over 1.5 years before quitting. I think it’s important to think about what you plan for your future career, and know that you will likely always have doubts about quitting your job and traveling. :) Part of the reason why I decided to quit was because I wanted to give freelancing a fair shot – not just doing it part-time. And I knew that my resume was strong enough that if I wanted to get a full-time job again, I would be able to. Would it be possible to take an extended leave of absence from your job instead? Some companies allow employees to take sabbaticals in order to explore other life goals – like traveling. It’s a good option if you’re unsure of the job market.

  113. Thalisa says:

    How did you apply for a work visa? don’t you need to have a job offer in order to be eligible?

  114. Sonia says:

    Freelancing has its share of pros and cons, but it has more perks than other jobs, traveling being one of them.

  115. Donna says:

    Hi…. my husband just accepted a job in Stuttgart and we have 2 teen girls. One graduates high school in a few months and the other will be a junior in high school. I will be leaving my GREAT job and moving for at least 3 years. Any tips or suggestions? I am excited but concerned about the DOD school my daughter will attend. Any comments or advice is appreciated.

    Thank you

  116. Lovely post! I totally sympathize about all your feelings from that time and could say I quit my job as fast as you when the right moment came for me. Well I moved to Spain first, and quit my job because I hated it, but I needed to change my life and I did it as fast as this thought appeared in my mind. I spent eighteen months in Spain and the next destination was Germany of course. I love this country and I love Europe at all, moving to Europe was my best decision ever. Now I’m planning my move to Norway for the end of the year. Greets!

  117. Tomas says:

    Hi Krystal, how did you solve moving stuff question?
    Did you send any stuff by ship?


    • Krystal Yee says:

      Hi Tomas! No I didn’t ship anything – everything that came with me fit into my 65L backpack. :) I did have to ship a couple of boxes home with me when I left though … too many Christmas gifts and other knick knacks collected throughout the year that I didn’t want to leave behind. :)

  118. Tomas says:

    So how is everything? Are you still In Germany?

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