Hi, I’m Carly, an Australian writer, traveller, brunch-fiend and book-nerd currently living in Austria.

Frolicking in a winery

Embracing all things Austrian by wearing a dirndl, drinking wine, while on a mountaintop.

Welcome to Austrian Adaptation, my expat life & travel blog about living in Vienna, loving an Austrian and the places we discover on our part-time travels.

The Back Story

In 2011 I left Melbourne to become a European tour guide, escaping my desk job for life on the road. I thought I’d be an independent traveller for years, boldly discovering new countries between stints as a fun-loving guide. The universe had different plans. That same winter, I accidentally met the love of my life in an Austrian Apres ski bar (living proof that you CAN find true love in a bar!). Eight months later we were married. More about that here.

Stefan & I on a rooftop, Vienna

Co-ordinating his shirt with my lipstick since 2012. 100% by accident.

Austrian Adaptation started as a creative outlet for me when I was a lonely expat, freshly arrived in Vienna and unable to speak a word of German. I figured (hoped) there were others struggling through the same thing, so I started writing about it. After getting some media and online attention with the tongue in cheek ’28 Ways to be Austrian‘ the blog has grown to become one of the Top 5 Expat blogs in Austria.

What’s Here for You

Strewn amongst the travel stories and observations of Austrian life are plenty of brunch recommendations and Vienna ‘insiders tips’. My goal is that other travellers and expats can find something useful in our silly adventures, and have a laugh while doing so.

I’m a history and book geek who is still thrilled to visit real life castles, gets excited by old fashioned bookshops and spends way too much of my weekend searching for the perfect coffee spot. So if I’m not writing about Austrians or travel, it’ll probably involve those topics.

Anything Else?

I reckon that a storybook romance, a dream career, a life of travel or the chance to move overseas isn’t about luck. It’s about taking the risk, buying a ticket and making the most of what happens next.

Freedom on a mountaintop

Embracing the part-time travel perks in Mallorca.

I believe you don’t have to sacrifice your career and ‘real life’ to travel, and travel often. I’d love to show you how and will be sharing our stories to help get you there.

I love hearing from fellow expats, travellers and book-nerds so your comments are always appreciated. If you want to stay up to date with the adventures, just subscribe by entering your email address here. You’ll get posts from me here roughly every fortnight, plus my monthly newsletter with link roundups.

If you want to keep up regularly my Facebook page and Instagram have lots of pretty pictures, but Snapchat is where the daily chaos and hilarity lives!

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Comments

  1. My Goodness !!! Awesooooome !! I have lived here for about a year and you are so trueee !! I laughed to death !! =)) :D:D:D

  2. g’day mate,
    gush! to the point – a good outline of the Austrian soul.
    what’s possibly missing is the so-called Austrian solution (die österreichische Lösung) 🙂 > the lowest common denominator (for an all encompassing satisfaction) which almost leads to the goal but without any exertion (after a long intensive planning of course).

    “Des Österreichers beliebtestes Möbel ist die lange Bank!”
    cheers,
    T.

  3. hey! I like the things I read here but have to say that I couldn’t verify points 1, 17 and 26 during my life in Austria for my 28 years. Especially point 1!!! I have been on time only some times in my life (and so encountered problems in many other countries where I lived/worked/spent my vacation) so I wonder a little about point 1… but anyway, love to read all this on this blog which is now somehow viral among some facebook friends of mine.
    Greets Alex (from Tirol)

  4. great! being austrian i laughed a lot when reading those 28 points – all of them are so true but i guess, we are not so aware about them… 😀

  5. Hey how you doing. Like your post about the 28 things. Found truth in most of them. Particularly the one about sitting down peeing (a big issue when I move in with 5 girls). And the one about fassion too. Its taken me a little while to get usedto the austrian life but im addicted now. 🙂

  6. Hi Curly,
    THANK YOU sooo much for your “28 agenda”. I just sit in Paris, having a day off between 2 tours. I love Vienna and I am a licensed tourist guide there. I could not stop laughing but at the same time I was quite sure, yes, that´s right, that´s a new point I nevern thought of before. How great and funny it can get, to be confronted with somebodies view from outside! THANK YOU again!
    Wolfgang

  7. As a born Austrian its the best description I ever saw written someplace. I left Austria as a young Men to seek my future in Canada . but my Hearth is still there and I am not ashamed to tell you I cried as ii read your story > Franzl.

  8. Most of them are true but Love The Hoff? Maybe some grandmothers do but no one else does 😀

  9. Having lived half my life abroad and here in Vienna, it is always a refreshing thing to have an “outsiders” point of view on our culture. But I agree with Jakob…the majority of people here don’t do the Hoff, unless they are 40+ and having other issues that need exploring.
    I am excited that you are loving life in Vienna and Austria in general, especially coming from Australia, which for an insane amount of people in the States and Asia, seems to be the same place anyways. Also check out the real local events around Vienna, like the recent Neustifter Kirtag (also in various other districts) or the Ottakringer Braukulturwochen (http://www.ottakringerbrauerei.at/braukulturwochen), which are still going on!
    I would have also liked to hear your thoughts on the “Beisl” or “Wirtshaus” culture, as well as the “Heurigen” for which Vienna, Lower Austria and the Burgenland region are particular famous for!
    But it was most certainly a riot to read!

    Cheers!

    1. thanks for the tips – I’ve definitely enjoyed many Heuringer visits, so stay tuned for future posts 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  10. I am Austrian, I am 24 and I love the Hoff! I know some people try to deny this fact, but all Austrians love him 😉

    Because I am from Graz I have to tell you: forget the Heuriger, you have to go to the Südsteirische Weinstraße for Sturm und Kastanien and do not forget to try Kernöl.

    Greeting from Kuala Lumpur

  11. No ! You got it all wrong. Austria, and the Austrians think of themselves blessed by the Kaiser who left them a long time ago. Politicians and the hirarchie perpetuate a Austria, and in particular Vienna as the ikon it was in the 19th century. They think, learn, and conduct their business as if it were OK, let’s say the early 20th century. People in Graz, Linz, Salzburg, even in Schladmig don’t give a hoot about about the 21st century.
    Be patient, take your time and engage an Austrian and you’ll find: Austrianer live in the past – always. (Geh, red doch net so an Blodsinn !)

  12. Hey! I really enjoyed your blog entry! I actually just moved to Vienna myself, to live with my Austrian boyfriend, this May who i met in Canada where I am originally from. This blog post was spot on and I really loved the fact that I could relate to about 95% of them! Its really a whole new culture with their own set of rules and an exciting way of life. Im enjoying adapting to living here, but its definitely been an adventure and a half! All the best to you and your time here and hopefully your friends will learn to adapt to you not being at arms reach. Just know that you should never feel guilty for following your heart because it will keep you from living with regrets. All the best xx

    1. Thanks so much for this, and for reading the blog!! I’m Slowly adjusting to the guilts but nice to know there’s others out there going through the same thing!! All the best for your time in Austria, hope you have as much fun as I am!

  13. Hi Carly, I just got back from a 3 week trip to Vienna, I have family living there, and my cousin (who is Austrian) send me your link. There is so much true to the things you’ve posted, my cousin’s husband said that because of my love towards their food, I might be the most Austrian guest they’ve ever had, FYI, I am Guatemalan by birth. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I LOOOOVEEE YOUR BLOG! I am Austrian, but living abroad now so I got a bit homesick and then I found your blog! PERFECT I agree with every point! And I even have been to a Hoff concert, when I was young .. I dont like him tho’ 😉

    Yesss, you have to try Kernöl 🙂

    Keep on like this! Much respect to you 🙂

    1. Aww, thanks so much! I really appreciate you reading it, and I know, I have to man up and try all the Austrian food and drink things hahaha!

  15. In my opinion it’s not the best way to become famous by trying to be ‘funny’ in a blog. Some things may be true in here but you don’t have to make fun of the country you’re living in. Nobody’s forcing you to live here.

    1. Hi Nina. I’m sorry you feel that way about the blog, it was never my intention to offend anybody, and I would never ‘make fun’ of such a generous and wonderful country. You’re completely correct, I have chosen to live here and I’m really really enjoying Austria and its people, plus the challenges of being an expat. Thanks for reading!

    2. Nina – Please go away with your sour attitude. If there’s one thing Austria can use a big dose of, it is Australian humor.

    3. I have always thought I am an Austrian, but as I never run round naked, never eat Schmalzbrot for breakfast – actually I had my last one a couple of decades ago, I do not have a moustache, I do not have a dirndl, Boyoboy, do I now have to leave the country????

    4. I have Austrian family members, they love Austrian Adaptation, and have never felt offended nor do they think Carly is making fun of them. Keep it up Carly.

  16. I love to hear from yet another adventure seeking ozzie Expat! Why are we are so hungry for travel?
    Keep up the great blog, I’ll love to hear about what happens next.
    Happy blogging!

  17. Stumbled across your blog when I was trying to research on moving to Austria. Love the humour you’ve knitted through your daily observations of life! What I really found helpful was the honest accounts of your adjustment to the country. Really echoed my own concerns of giving up my life in Melbourne to be with my partner in Austria. But in the same breath, it also gave me some positive re enforcement. Thank you. Keep writing!!

    1. Hey Jing! I’m glad the blog can help – moving nations is pretty scary but so so worth it for the hilarious/incredible things you will learn and experience. I’m happy to give you any advice and tips in the lead up to your move so feel free to ask any questions – but trust me, as long as you and your partner are in it together, you’ll survive all the craziness 🙂 Thanks for reading!!

  18. I was searching for information about Austria because I might be moving there soon and I have to say, I could read this a million times and never get enough! This is brilliant, I really, really loved it !!! It’s really enjoyable and funny in a nice way 🙂 Carry on because clearly, you have a great talent!

    1. Thanks so much that’s so lovely of you! ! I hope you find Auatria as delightfully intriguing and beautiful as I have – all the best for the move you won’t regret it! !

      1. Also stumbled across your blog (great stuff Carly) when in search of an answer to the question…do guys really sit down in Austria.. Okay, the brief story behind this is that I’m a Brit/Aussie who worked in Wien from 1999 to 2004…love the place, made many friends here and have been back almost every year since then, to the point where I just bought an altbau appartment (a pied a terre) here in Wien in June 2014. The other point to note is that of course living in Austria you quickly become familiar with the good old platform toilets…never liked them that much, but hey whatever..and noted that for guys it’s annoyingly almost impossible to avoid the splash-out. Okay, moved into the altbau apartment in 1030 district which I love, but hey it has a good old platform job in the dunny…ah well, not a deal breaker. The next thing I note though is that the toilet seat and lid won’t stay up whatever you do and is physically impossible to make it stay up unless you hold the damn thing …and guys rather need to be two hands free. Okay, so I’m standing there doing the deed marvelling at how the guy (I know it was a guy because mail arrived addressed to “Uwe”) who rented this place before me must have put up with this for the years he lived here!! On relaying this story (in passing 🙂 ) to one of my Austrian mates, he was quick to say “…it’s not a problem, guys sit down here” …well my jaw totally hit the deck in total Uberasschung … “you’re kidding”, says I, “nope” said he. So thats’s how I found your blog and thanks for it!! …I figured he had to be winding me up..but no!! Anyway, I now solve the conundrum by a strategically placed piece of Velcro…I’m too conditioned by years of standing to deliver!!
        Hope you can add this Aussie-Austrian story to your blog Carly,
        best Jeff Turner

        1. Oh man Jeff this is the greatest example I’ve heard so far! Thanks for the giggle glad you enjoy the blog and er…good luck with your velcro situation 🙂

    1. Heya! Check out a few of my previous posts including Wiener Weekender pt 1 & 2 and Wachau Wine weekend…there’S also a few more updated tips coming soon 🙂 You’re going to love Vienna in Winter with the sparkling Christmas Markets!

  19. Hey Carly! Trying to reach you – have a blog tour idea and hoping you might be interested. I am one of the other four expat blogs from the April Local.at article. ( http://www.thelocal.at/20140417/five-of-the-best-expat-blogs-in-austria) My blog is: http://www.kcblau.com/blog/
    Can you maybe send me some contact info so I can send you what I was thinking> you can reach me at kcblau (at) viennamuses.com >> would love it if maybe we could connect and work something out. Thanks! KC

  20. Hi I enjoyed reading your blog. Specially the posts about all stuff Austrian. Having recently come to live here and finding it difficult. Reading your experiences are heartening 🙂

  21. Hi Carly, I am Austrian, living in Melbourne with my wonderful partner and we are currently considering moving to Austria to be closer to family (his family lives in Mauritius so we both don’t have family in Melbourne. I have done some research but wondered as an Australian citizen, how hard it was to get on the right visa to stay long-term? I saw that you can visit for 90 days without a Visa but wondered what happens if you wanted to come back to live. Is it easier if you are married? I wanted to send you a personal message but couldn’t work out how to so feel free to PM me back. We are planning on visiting Austria for a holiday together next year and depending on how that goes take extended leave for 3 months the year after and see how he feels. I am most worried about the language barrier for him and wondered how you found this.
    Best wishes and I look forward to your reply, Julia 🙂

    1. Author

      Hey Julia! Thanks for this, I have a mega-post coming shortly about how we navigated the Visa game, and have sent you a PM letting you know how we did it. Best of luck!!

  22. Hi Carly,

    your blog is a breath of fresh air! My parents moved with us from rural Canada to Vienna when I was 17 and will now retire there! I went to school in Vienna (VIS), went to uni in Canada, travelled, but I always returned to Vienna for the holidays. Eventually I returned there to start my career. But life had other plans! As much as I call it home, I just married an Australian and moved to Melbourne to start a new life with him. I feel much more at home because its English speaking but also weirdly homesick for Vienna. I love your blog and can’t wait to go home for a visit!

    Cheers,

    Anja

    1. Author

      Oh wow Anja that sounds like a wonderful expat journey around the world! You’ll love Melbourne I’m sure there is a lot of similarities there – and having your parents conveniently in Vienna is the perfect excuse to visit 🙂 thank you for your kind words!

    2. Author

      Ah Anja thank you so much, I might need your tips on where to go in Melbourne by now – its so long since I’ve lived there! You know the best of both cities I’m sure, I hope your expat adventure is as happy in Melbourne 🙂

  23. hi Carly
    my name is paolo, traveller who continue to travel
    I wish to suggest you that Augustin in Vienna is not for brunch simply cause opens at 16
    bye

    1. Author

      Thank you Paolo – you’re right! Das Augustin only opens at 4pm on weekdays, but on the weekends its open for morning brunch. These days you have to get in early though as it is crazy busy! Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  24. Hi carly ! Happy to have found your blog! I love the layout, the style the content…everything! I’ve read some of your posts and I can’t wait to read more! I’m an expat and travel lover too so I’m definitely looking forward to following you 🙂

    Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/

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