Anatomy of this Outfit: Bodycon dress – Free People | Lacy black shift – Free People | Faux leather jacket – Nasty Gal | Hat – Urban Outfitters | Tights – H&M | Boots – Thrifted from Beyond Retro

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

After living halfway around the globe from where I was raised for the last 7 years, it’s safe to say that Germany has become my home. And in many ways I have become more German than American. Anyone else who has lived for a substantial amount of time in a place different from where they were raised will understand what I mean.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Still, there is no denying that the country in which I was raised is still very much a part of my life. Not only will certain aspects of my personality forever be influenced by my American upbringing, aside from a cousin of mine, my entire family still lives in the states.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Last year, we had to deal with the death of my grandmother, but for the last two years before her passing as we saw her grow older and weaker, I began to think about the kind of impact ex-pat living has has had on me as a daughter.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Although I am fortunate enough to make one to two trips each year back home, I do sometimes wish my parents were simply a car ride away and feel pangs of regret or guilt for not being able to spend more time with them.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

And as part of me slowly starts to entertain the idea of settling down and starting a family (jumping the gun clearly, as ideally I would like to have some kind of stable relationship and established career before introducing kids to this brave new world…), I feel the impact of distance more and more.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Not only do I wish that I myself was able to spend more time with my family, I also wonder how it will be to start my own family so far away from my own. Weekends with the grandparents isn’t really an option when there is a 6 hour time difference and 9+ hour flight separating me from my parents.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Two weekends ago on Mother’s Day, my brother and his girlfriend went to brunch with my mom and dad to celebrate. And although I got to facetime with my mom that day and wish her a happy Mother’s Day, it just wasn’t the same. I sometimes feel as if there is a whole second life ticking on by that I’m missing while I’m living on the other side of the planet.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Don’t get my wrong, I know that it is my decision to live on another continent and I love Berlin – it’s a place that really feels like home to me. But as any ex-pat knows, you sacrifice the proximity of family and the comfort of familiarity by choosing to throw yourself into a new country with an entirely different culture to that which you grew up with.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

Since teleportation is disappointingly still not a thing yet, it looks like I will have to get by with the help of Facetime and phonecalls to keep up with my family and loved ones back home. Still, I’m pretty sure that once I have kids, setting up an ipad with facetime with my kids on one end and my mom on the other will not qualify as babysitting.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

I guess this is one part of ex-pat living that I’ve never really thought too much about until now. After all, everything has been kind of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of thing – as someone living life focused on just trying to adult correctly for more than just 14 consecutive days in a row (my personal best so far), I hadn’t really given too much concrete thought into what being a parent in a foreign country would be like. But it is clearly something I have finally started to think about and will eventually be dealing with in the future, should I choose to stay abroad.

Anatomy of an Outfit - fashion - - photography by Thommy White

To be honest, I a not sure how I will manage it all, but I am sure that just like everything else in life, I’ll find a system that works for me. And you can bet that I will be blogging about all the ups and downs here in Love from Berlin. But don’t worry, I’m still just a 20-something-year-old hot mess trying to figure out what life is all about who still gets freaked out if the hall light is not on and seems to think that a can of Pringles and Ginger Ale is a viable option for dinner – bringing little ones into the world is still a long time coming.

Photography: Thommy White
Editing: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Your hair color is so stunning! Love your photos! =)

    – Cielo

    Mermaid in Heels

  • I think this is largely why, when I move abroad — when I FINALLY move abroad — I’m taking my mother and sister with me. We’ve lived in a country that isn’t ours for the past 20 years (18 for me, 17 for my sister) and our home country is barely even home. Having no real family here, we’re pretty much free to go where ever we want and start a new life, though I understand where you’re coming from, Rae. I don’t think we will ever figure out what to do with the knots and tangles in life, but keep combing it through and we’ll be able to manage them — even if more comes from this, so cheers, Rae, and good luck.


    P.S // Pringles and Ginger Ale for dinner forever #icantcook

  • Ella Whitehead

    I loved this post and your outfit and hair are amazing! You look gorgeous!

    Ella xx

  • I feel you! I’ve been away pretty much the same amount you have – and it’s definitely strange when I look back now to see how far away I am some times and especially days when I’m feeling like crap (this week being ill ugh) that everyone is back home doing their thing, going about their daily lives. I sometimes feel guilt, that I’m not spending enough time appreciating family, especially my grandma who’s moving back to Canada soon so who knows when I’ll next see her! Also I’ve been thinking about moving away from London and imagine how life would be (minus the stress, the arrogant people, the PRICE) elsewhere…. oh the mundaneness of it all.

    Like May said, I don’t think we’ll ever find one single solution to all of our woes, and I’m trying my best to enjoy what’s in front of me so I won’t have to dwell of things I should’ve done!


    Cherie | sinonym

  • Your photos are so beautifully shot and you just look amazing first of all. I also live away from my family and it’s not easy at all x

    Beauty with charm | Benefit Cheekathon Giveaway

  • You’re a brave young lady Rae c:
    They really need to invent teleportation or of some sort huh!

  • Stephanie Louise

    Rae, you look gorgeous as always! Living in a different country or having the chance to live in different countries is such a wonderful experience, but it can be sad when you can’t bring everyone you want with you and they are far away. It’s always great to have the time to take trips to see family but it’s not always the same. :)

  • i really enjoyed reading this because i’m planning to go back to school in london next year and i can 100% see myself settling down there afterward. it’s really scary to think about being away from home maybe permanently but i guess in the end you just have to make it work and do what’s best for yourself :)

  • Jenn Dalisay

    Gorgeous photography! I also enjoyed reading your post. I have never lived abroad and I don’t know if living 6 hours away from my parents at 16 counts as relating to how you’re feeling. I admire your guts for living independently. Yes, you will miss home and home will miss you too. But you gotta do what you think is best for you and you gotta live how you want to live. This is your life anyway. Missing home is just part of the challenge. :)

    The Pink Lemonade Girl

  • Beautiful post as usual, hopefully after I’ve finished uni I’m going to end up living abroad (I plan to spent a year or two in a couple of different countries if possible) and though I always see myself coming back to the UK this post has really made me think what if I don’t? Not that i have to think about any of that as I have a degree to get first <3

    The Quirky Queer

  • Interesting read. I could really relate, as I live away from my family and childhood friends as well. Although, we all live in Europe, travelling back and forth more than once or twice a year is not viable and face timing is really the only option. I do feel how my family misses me, but at the same time they seem to be happy and proud that I am living my life in another country. My mum did the same when she was young and I didn’t get to see my grandparents more than once a year. Having children is a scary thought and I feel like I need more support around me for that. And yes, teleportation or some Harry Potter tricks have come to mind, here’s hoping!! :)


  • Ahh, since coming to Japan I can relate to this on so many levels. Even though I’m pretty much settled in, it definitely feels weird that so much is going on without me back home. I guess the fact that I’ll be back in a year makes my situation a bit different, but missing home’s definitely not easy! Whenever it gets hard I just remind myself exactly why I’m here and that it’ll be worth it in the end :)

  • the photos are super calm and relaxing. i love your bodycon and dress. you look like a tinkerbell <3 what's your lipstick? *-*

    i know i always fantasize of living abroad, finishing my uni and maybe settle later. but truth be told i love to be able to go to my parents' house within hours and having no different timezone to contact them. the distance made me appreciate our relationship better. i love my parents and bro too much to stay away from them. gosh only thinking about it makes me cry :((( maybe it's because i never fully have them when i was a kid as they constantly working to provide a better life for me and bro. but i don't know. i don't really plan my future although i have hopes and dreams. i want to give them an even better life than what they gave me right now. if living abroad and being expat is the option then be it. children can only go so far as parents allowed them. if they allow you to go to the sky, then go for it xx

  • I love this post – words and pictures. I moved to Germany nearly a year ago, and though it was never a permanent thing and I’m going home in a couple of months, I can relate to a lot of what you’re saying. I want to move abroad again after I finish university next year but I couldn’t imagine not being near my family when it came to the time of having my own. It’s a difficult situation! On a lighter note, I absolutely love your outfit!! The photos are truly gorgeous.

    Hannah xx

  • Such lovely photos, Rae!! What a lovely place to call home :)

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  • You’re so beautiful, inside and out. I love seeing and reading about your travels, especially with the breathing taking photos you take. I admire you so much and it takes a strong individual to move across the globe away from family. I’m debating on moving 5 hours away in the next two months, and even that has me nervous. I hope to figure out my life in the next few years, and be able to get the time to travel as well.

  • I had no idea you were originally from the states! Kudos to you for moving to a different country, something I dream about but will probably never have the guts to do.

    You look amazing btw! love the floral dress!

  • Love your amazing post and your outfits as well, all look good on you, thank you for sharing, you look absolutely gorgeous!!!


  • Love your hair, look pretty amazing, thank you for sharing!!!


  • Interesting post, I love it, wish you always have great time in Berlin!!!


  • I know exactly what you mean. I grew up in the US with just my parents and sister while my whole family was in Czech. I used to visit every year, sometimes twice but now I haven’t been back in four years. Crazy I know! Last week my cousin, one I was very close while growing up told me she was pregnant. The news was so exciting to hear, especially since I will be going to her wedding this summer. That night though I cried because I felt like I would be missing out on so much of my family’s life (I am the only one living in Chicago, my parents and sister are in California). It can be fun living in a different place but I understand how you feel and I have also begun thinking about how where I end up starting a family will effect my future children. Great post, made me feel better knowing that someone else thinks about their family so far away =o)

  • I can totally relate to your story and feelings since I’m French and I have been living oversea for the past 9 years ( 4 in Shanghai and almost 5 in India). I actually came to Shanghai for my master degree program and end up finding the love of life (sounds so cheesy I know). My husband is from Toronto and was working as an expat in Shanghai at the time. After studying and working in Shanghai, he got an opportunity to go to India and we just took it. Before being in a serious relationship I always wanted to travel but knew I might come back in France because it’s my home. Now, I feel more like home is where my husband and I are. Yes we are missing moments and we are far from relatives but when we visit them we enjoy every minutes of it. I feel like I really spend quality time with them because I know I won’t see them until the next year. Now we are starting a family and I know it won’t be easy to be far from relatives when baby will be around (family can be so helpful and supportive at that time) but I think it’s going to make us stronger and closer. It’s not the easy road that’s for sure but I don’t regret it. Living in Asia for so many years transformed me and very often I feel disconnected from the culture and mindset back home. I feel like I became an Hybrid of cultures and traditions and it opened my heart and my mind in so many ways. I’m very grateful for that!

    Lovely post, I really enjoyed it!


    Aurelie |

  • They Call Me Kitten

    I really enjoy reading your posts Rae! It can be very difficult sometimes, but your family is always with you, in your heart!
    Btw you look stunning in these pics, I really love your leather jacket and the whole styling! :)
    xx Kathi

  • Bárbara Marques

    These pictures are simply stunning :)


  • You are such an inspiration. I’ve thought a million times about moving to the West Coast (I currently live in the Midwest), but I hold back because it’s “too far.” Being away from family is definitely a trade-off, but you are experiencing so much. The way I see it? You can always move back home if you need to. But, you’ll probably never regret moving to Berlin. It’s better than staying in the same place and always wondering “what if?” Maybe I should take my own advice — ha!

    Natalie Was Here

  • Pringles and gingerale, hahaha I love that so much. I haven’t experienced this with my immediate family because whenever we travelled to other countries it was a a expat family when I was young, that being said, I’ve travelled so much and have no extended family near me – so I have always, always said if I could have any superpower it would be teleportation, how easy would that make things!

    But, like you said, you’ve got plentyyyy of time to figure out all the logistics for the future :)


  • This is such a lovely post, because sometimes I feel like I should be living somewhere different than where I live, but England is my home and I would never be able to leave my family behind…it’s difficult and I applaud you for taking such a huge step and trying to adult :)

    Pop over to my blog!


  • I moved from LA and lived abroad in Beijing for eight years, but my whole [immediate] family moved together, and this was when I was in 5th-12th grade, so I didn’t need to worry about adulting yet. I get what you mean when you say that Germany has become your home though :) That’s what Beijing has become for me! Well, it’s a little confusing because many of my friends have moved away from Beijing as we’ve graduated from high school so Beijing certainly does not feel the same when I go back to visit on breaks, but it feels more like home than LA does. You’ve given kids a lot of thought it seems, and it also seems a little overwhelming! You’ve got time though :) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Nancy Wilde

    I’m an only child and ever since I’ve moved to Ireland, I rarely see my parents, but compared to you, I’m quite lucky, as Portugal is not exactly on the other end of the world. It’s something that you can never really get used to, being away from the ones you love. Pringles & Ginger Ale?! Ahahah! Still better than Whiskey & Ginger Ale though! Seriously now, what’s your favourite Pringle flavour?