Why did you join the Green Card Lottery?
My husband already wanted to stay in the USA as a teenager but had never really informed himself how to do that. I eventually became infected as well. After the birth of our daughter in 2013 we decided to find out more about the Green Card Lottery and finally applied successfully.
What was your first reaction after receiving the winning notification?
We participated three times, so we won the third time. The moment we heard about it was very unexpected. We were watching TV in the evening and I was bored checking my emails - at first I just read the preview, with the headline "You won" and wondered what I would have won...
When I opened it, it was a real surprise. Tears came to my eyes immediately. My husband only said that it was probably spam... but the confirmation on the government side was a real blast.
How did you experience the Green Card application process?
We didn't have any problems. My husband filled out most of the forms or we completed them together. Knowing the English language is definitely a big advantage, and we could always contact The American Dream and get professional help. My tip: fill in everything truthfully and don't stress yourself about the interview. You should simply be yourself.
How did your activation trip look like?
In June, one year before our emigration, we flew to the USA for 10 days with our daughter, at that time 4 years old. We arrived in Las Vegas, where we spent one night. In the morning we quickly did the Strip before we went to Palm Springs for 3 days, then 3 days to San Diego and the last 3 days we spent in Laguna Beach. All that with a rental car.
A bit of SeaWorld, the USS Midway Museum, a side trip to L.A. to Madame Tussauds and the Walk of Fame and at the end we enjoyed some sun and beach time. After 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Palm Springs at that time San Diego was almost a refreshment :) The jetlag on the way there and especially on the way back wasn't easy either. But the trip gave us a good impression of the area we might want to live in.
Where do you live now and what are the differences to your everyday life in Germany? What do you like most about living in the USA?
We've been living near Palm Springs for over a year now. The everyday life is not comparable at all. At first it was difficult to settle in, but we quickly found friends. I went back to school here to stay in my professional field. Therefore I cannot say much about the working life here yet. After next week I can gain first experiences.
I especially like the vastness and the landscape here. The Joshua Tree National Park is less than 10 minutes from us and always worth a trip, also the Big Bear Lake with its mountains, forests and lake is a wonderful contrast to our desert. Everyone is very friendly, unlike the 'elbow society' sometimes in Germany.
Looking back, would you decide to move to the USA again?
Yeah, definitely. Maybe with some plan changes, but still, again and again.
Would you recommend The American Dream service to other USA fans?
In any case!
Do you have some advice for future winners?
Be patient. Never give up. However, all that glitters is not gold here either. So don't be disappointed if it doesn't work out right away, but see it as a chance to try again and perhaps build up something good in Germany until then. Dreams are important and wonderful, but life itself should not be neglected.