Thorben Marks set off straight after graduating from high school. From his nursery in Warendorf, he travelled across Germany as a temporary soldier. In 2016, he finally returned to Münsterland, accompanied by his wife Nora and son Pepe. The young family had turned their backs on Munich and wanted to settle down in their old home. And so, without further ado, they moved back into Thorben's old nursery with all their belongings.
It all started with a sandbox friendship between Thorben and Nora. Their parents have always been friends, which also welded the children together. At some point, the two became a couple, both played handball in Warendorf and graduated from high school there. Only a few days and weeks later, they consciously left their native country behind. Thorben, himself a soldier's child, enlisted in the German Armed Forces for twelve years. "It was a chance for me to see more of Germany," he says. Nora started her training as a marketing clerk in Nuremberg. A few years later they moved together in Munich, Nora studied business administration, Thorben economics at the University of the Bundeswehr. Both found good jobs in Bavaria's capital, "Munich was a dream city for us," they say. They built up a circle of friends there, enjoyed the trips to the mountains and learned to appreciate the beer garden culture.
Then, in 2015, their son Pepe was born. And with him, a new thought took hold of Thorben and Nora. What would it be like to move back to Warendorf? "We were a young family in Munich without family support, and the housing market was also tight," they remember. So they started looking for a job and a flat in Warendorf from afar.
But that was anything but easy. "In smaller towns, flats and houses often go by the wayside, mostly through contacts. That's why we didn't stand a chance with our classic search via portals like Immoscout," Nora explains. And the job applications they sent from Munich also met with little response. Then, just before Christmas, in December 2016, they took the plunge anyway. They packed everything up, left Munich behind and moved into Thorben's children's room. "And from then on, everything happened very quickly," says Nora. They found a flat in Warendorf, jobs a little later, and there was even a free place for little Pepe in a day-care centre.
Then, a year ago, their second child Minna was born, and the Marks were happy to now be near their families. "We wouldn't do anything differently and would take the step again and again," they say. In addition, many of their old school friends have returned in the meantime - and they have also remained loyal to handball. "In the same team, with the same people. It's as if you've never been away," says Thorben. They also brought their hiking hobby with them from Munich to the region - "but we call that walking here," they say and laugh. But cycling is more fun again for them in Münsterland. Not only is it much safer than in Munich, but thanks to the lack of mountains it is also not quite as strenuous...