Simone Thomßen

Trainer | Oldenburgische Landesbank AG
Simone Thomßen

Simone Thomßen is a trainer at Oldenburgische Landesbank AG, and also works as a freelance business coach and trainer. She originally comes from the Ruhr District of western Germany.

Anything but stubborn...

What brought you to the Northwest initially?

At the end of 1994, I moved out of the Ruhr District for personal reasons in order to live in Wilhelmshaven, from there to Jever, and for the last ten years, I've lived in Oldenburg. I can still remember quite clearly that my friends were shocked and asked me "Do you really want to move to the north? They're all so stubborn up there!"

Living and working in the Northwest: what is the attraction for you?

For me, one of the attractions is that it's not at all like those people warned me it would be. In fact, it is quite the opposite: as an 'incomer' I was very warmly welcomed and quickly made new friends. As long as you're open to others, it's very easy to strike up a conversation, and indeed to make connections that are more than superficial. That's why I particularly enjoy working as a business coach and trainer here in the north.

Meanwhile I've learned to love riding my bike, as Oldenburg is a city of cyclists and students. I'm glad that I have the option of cycling to work. When I have to drive to other towns and cities like Emden or Wilhelmshaven for work, I make a point of enjoying the landscape as I pass in the car. Even driving on the motorways is relatively relaxed here, in stark contrast to the Ruhr District or other major population centres.

And despite living in the city centre, I enjoy having my own property on a large plot. There's still plenty of space for living up here.

What makes the region so unique?

I get to live where other people go on holiday, and I have everything that I need here.

Oldenburg, with its broad range of cultural opportunities and a picturesque city centre; stunning countryside, lovely people all around me and in less than an hour I can be at the coast or in other cities such as Emden, Osnabrueck, Wilhelmshaven or Bremen. I also get the feeling that things are a bit more laid back here.

I've also learned to love the region's local customs and specialities such as Bosseln (shooting a ball over a long distance) and Grünkohlessen (where eating the local green kale is combined with festivities and drinking).

Have you ever missed home?

 Yes, in the first few weeks, but never again after that.