A German expat navigates Seattle with kids
Photo courtesy of Sabine Koller
Are you new to Seattle or thinking about relocating? Presenting the last in a series of features on families that have made the move to Washington State in recent years and are navigating life with kids.
Seattle parent Sabine Koller grew up in Germany and moved to Seattle in August of 2013 after her husband’s two-year work commitment relocated them to the Northwest. Now living in Ravenna with her husband and two sons (Levi, 2, and Janosch, 3), Koller says she’s experienced immense openness and friendliness in Seattle.
Koller has found Seattle an incredibly welcoming place: her family has “only had the best experience,” she says. Life in Seattle has also opened her eyes to some of the cultural differences between Germany and the U.S. “In Germany, people seem to be a lot more reserved at first,” she says; Koller felt herself reminded as a German that she’s much more reserved than her American counterparts. Her Seattle neighbors and fellow parents are very open and she says her community is much more diverse: Parents are used to meeting new people, and “people are a lot quicker to chat and start talking to you,” she says, adding that it’s easy to get in touch with parents on the playground.
Koller's favorite Seattle activities with her kids are busing to Magnuson Park, going to their local community center, and traipsing around the Arboretum on sunny days. She likes to avoid using the car if she can and takes advantage of the fact that so many activities are within walking distance in their neighborhood. She also wants to teach her sons to walk places rather than relying on the car. Lucky for Koller, two community centers are within walking distance of her house, and offer activities in rain or shine.