Blogging Network

Hamburg, Germany vs Brookings, South Dakota


During the past two months I've gotten to know Sabra from Becoming a Gilbert better via the blog buddies network, We've been helping each other out with different things and talking about our current cities and we decided we would do a collaborate post, on the differences of living in the USA vs. Germany, more specifically Hamburg (HH) vs Brookings, SD (BR).

What is the population in your city?


Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, it has a population of 1.734 million (2013)


Brookings is actually extremely small for also housing a state school. But it is South Dakota, we only have a population of 22,943. Most of which probably disappear for most of the summer!

How do you get around?


Here you don’t need a car, certain areas within the city are very walkable.. When you need to go further you can take public transportation, which is actually pretty good . You can also find special biking lanes for bikers.


South Dakota basically requires that you have a car. We have a small bus system but it doesn’t have exact routes (more of a call ahead kind of thing) and too much winter to really bike around very much. Cars keep you warm and get you to the next big town about an hour away.

What is the garbage situation?


This is a place where we have up to four garbage containers, one for each: organic, plastic, paper and regular trash. It took some getting used to but now we have everything organized (and special bags for each one).


As much as I would love for my apartment to have recycling, we only have a single dumpster out back. If I want to recycle, I have to sort and take everything to the place myself.

How does the election year impact you an expat in Hamburg? 

It causes anger, sometimes it makes you happy to be away from it.
a friend shared that image on facebook, I just had to include it. a college town like Brookings? 

College kids always seem to be extremely active in politics or not at all. There is no in between. To be honest, South Dakota has been talking about some serious legislation in our state, that Presidential candidates seem to be taking the back burner. All I know is that no one wants Trump.

What is the weather like Hamburg?

We get four seasons here, although some may be shorter than others.  Winter is very cold and summer can get hot, but the really hot days last less than a couple of weeks Brookings?

South Dakota consists of two major seasons, with a few days of other seasons thrown in. Winter last FOREVER here. Think October to April. Actually, my university has only ever had one snow day in 50 years. And it was on a miserable day at the end of April. Then a week later, we were hit with ridiculously hot weather as Summer kicked in and melted all the snow.

How does your area affect your blogging Hamburg? 

Being an expat is a big part of my blog, so it affects it greatly. our lives here are definitely not the same thing they would be if we were back home. But I don't meet many other (English or German) bloggers. Brookings, SD? 

Sometimes, I feel like living in South Dakota really limits my blogging. It isn’t a really popular thing out here and many people don’t even know what it is when I tell them what I do. Also, the winter thing makes it really hard to get nice photos for blog posts year round. We get very limited light.

What is grocery shopping like Hamburg?

We can't go to the store on Sundays or public holidays because they are closed, so we always have to plan around that, it takes some getting used to.  In my case, we have a medium sized fridge which gives me room to stock up and not go shopping so often. we make one biggish trip to the supermarket on saturdays, where i buy enough food through tuesday. Then i go again either Tuesday or wednesday. Brookings?

We stock up every chance that we get! Especially in winter, driving around can be a giant pain so it is better to get as much food at once and stock my cabinets and freezer in case it is a while until I really want to venture through the negative fifty win

How does this compare to were you live?

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