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March 26, 2008

Get Outta Town!

julie choi trepkau

Julie Choi Trepkau at the Hamburg Harbor.

Photo Credit: Cecil ARP/www.newlineconcept.com

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35, yoga teacher, Hamburg, Germany

HOMETOWN: New York City

WHY I WANTED TO LIVE ABROAD: I've had a subscription to National Geographic since I was 8, and I've always been fascinated by the worlds outside my neighborhood. My parents had moved to the U.S. from Korea when I was little, so I grew up with a unique perspective.

WHAT I MISS ABOUT HOME: The open-ness; the cheerfulness; the diversity-and giant cavernous discount shops like Target and Costco. And of course the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT LIVING HERE: My German husband-I moved here with him. I also love the traditional Christmas market, real marzipan, and the tree-lined canals all over the city.

HOW THE EXPERIENCE HAS CHANGED ME: I've lived around the world-from Hawaii to London to Hong Kong-and have traveled extensively; all of it has brought me to a deeper level of understanding people, of standing in someone else's shoes, of seeing things from another perspective. It has also given me the confidence to start up my own yoga school, called Breathe!

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Ordering Chinese food from the local takeout. We're talking majorly tasteless fried lumps masquerading as dumplings.

GREATEST CHALLENGE: Convincing Germans that I'm not the stereotypical fitness-obsessed, antismoking, overenthusiastic, obnoxious American.

HOW YOU CAN GET HERE: Hamburg is Europe's second-largest port city, so there are lots of international companies here. Check out eurojobs.com for job listings or german-way.com for expat forums, where you can get advice from other Americans here. Residency and work visas are required. Or marry a Hamburger!

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