And suddenly, in a few days, it will be three months since we made our journey. In these three months, I’ve begun working, found an amazing sitter for Tristan, explored a few castles, met some wonderfully welcoming co-workers, learned to drive the German roads, learned to move fast in the checkout line, eaten an insane amount of McDonald’s (which I rarely ate in the States), eaten my weight in brotchen, moved into the perfect home with the sweetest landlords, not done laundry in a month (finally, my washer/dryer come on Thursday!), eaten things I thought were something else, and absolutely fallen even more in love with this country. As it stands, right in this very moment, I am 1000% happy with my decision to make this move.
There are certainly things I miss from my home in the States (ahem, a shower I can fully spread my arms out in), but they are minor in comparison with the joy and ease with which I feel here. As the weather begins to warm and brighten, I can only imagine that this feeling will expand and grow. I never thought I would see myself somewhere in the life that I currently live. Not so long ago it seemed utterly unattainable. But here I am – and sometimes I pinch myself to be sure it’s not some dream. I live in Europe.
The lockdown has certainly made things a bit more difficult. Stores are closed. Castles are closed. Many borders are closed. Travel is difficult, so Italy, Greece, the UK, Spain, and other places will have to be visited in the future, but there is so much to see in our area if one only takes the time to do a little research. Tristan and I have visited three castles so far. Three more castles than we would have seen sitting back in Virgina. I’m planning some urban hikes for the kid and I. We can see it all if we try.
So, it’s not the lack of being able to travel abroad that bums me out. What bums me out is that others cannot come visit me here. I want to show everyone our home, our city, this beautiful country! I want to drag people through the grocery stores, to the recycling centers, around the trails behind our house. I want to drive them down the autobahn and show them how close we live to France. I want to show them the green fields here rival the green fields in Ireland and the windmills that loom over the hills like giants. Gazing down on a village from a hilltop castle is a view that a photograph could never accurately portray – and I want you to see it!
And despite all of it, I am so thankful to be here. I feel safety in my health and wellbeing, both physically and psychologically. The hurdle of change doesn’t seem so large anymore, and I find that I can talk myself down from the ledge easier. Life is good here.
While I feel comfortable and confident at home, comfort at work is taking some time. It’s never easy to begin a new job, but I feel it’s been a bit more difficult to transition from one hospital to another in a completely different system. It’s a challenge learning the different policies, methods, likes and dislikes of each provider. I often feel like a bumbling mess, awkward and fat fingered. More importantly, I feel helpless in emergent situations – I know what I need to do, but how the hell do I do it here. And so, I designate myself as the runner as I try and listen for key words to save in my brain for later. I know this hurdle and challenge will pass as well. In all honesty, I find this hurdle the hardest to climb over as there is nothing worse to me than feeling or being useless – I feel accomplished when I am a cog in the wheel that performs excellent team work. When I am a pebble in the cog, jamming the wheel, I feel disappointed in myself as I know I can do better. The saving grace in this, I believe, has been the amazingly wonderful coworkers I am getting to know and adore. They are exceptionally welcoming, understanding, patient, and encouraging… and I beg for their continued patience!
Tristan has been adjusting well. There are hiccups and hurdles, but they are the same as they would have been in Virginia. It has been difficult for him to meet friends as the kids he’s run into in the neighborhood have only spoken German. Ms. Julia (his sitter), has begun to work on German with him. In the meantime, he speaks with his friends from home and explores the vast trail system behind our house. He’s eager to climb the cliffs and get back into the climbing gyms when they open. He’s eager to find a trail down to the stadtmitte so he can buy Fred Farkle’s to his little heart’s content. And we both are eager for Lily to heal so we can get back to taking her on our adventures.
Soon life will settle even more into routine as we await big adventures for our future.
Thank you for your continued support as I dive into the blog life. I’ve never kept up so well with journaling, but I’ve also never had something so exciting to share!
What are some things you would like to hear about or what are some questions that you might have? Ask me in the comments below!