This has been a long time coming. Drumroll please!
We are moving to Germany!
In many ways, last year’s trip overseas was an eye opener, at least for me! After spending three blissful weeks with my family and dearest friends, it was really hard to transition back to living here in Texas. Isolated from all of my family and friends, in a quite suburb, husband traveling for work, empty fridge, almost 100F … I remember, the moment we landed at D/FW airport I knew I wanted to go back. Back to Europe, back to my family and my closest friends. Back to LIFE! Never before had the thought of living in Europe seemed like a realistic option to me. Especially ever since we started having children three years after leaving everyone and everything behind, packing two suitcase, purchasing a one-way flight from Hamburg to Miami to be with the love of my life…
(Here, we are being tourists in South Beach)
(At the beach in Ft. Lauderdale.)
(And finally getting cozy in our first apartment in the suburbs of Ft. Lauderdale)
In the thirteen years that I have lived in the US I’ve missed ‘home’ I have to say but ever since we started having children back in 2004 I kept telling myself that raising my children here – their home country – would be much easier. They have friends here, they like their school, they speak the language etc. etc. But suddenly on that day last July standing in that line for immigration at the airport it dawned on me that giving Germany a try would be the best learning experience for my children. In fact, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I shared my thoughts with my husband who was on board immediately without any hesitation. After the initial enthusiasm my realistic self got to planning and weighing all the pros and cons of such a big move. We started drawing out the Master Plan! Germany here we come one step at a time! Here’s just a piece of my list of to-do’s recently:
- apply for German passports for all three kids
- start sewing away from fabric stash
- decide whether Hamburg or Kiel would be the best fit for our family
- purchase plane tickets
- let all friends know, thanks Facebook!
- participate in community garage sale – get rid of all junk!
- take inventory of all items to be posted to craigslist
- take pictures for craigslist
- give notice to landlord
- start packing what has to go with us now and what we can store here for later delivery
- final garage sale in June
- donate rest to Allen Outreach
- make list of all services that need to be cancelled: lawn care, pest control, power, water, gas, cable, internet, insurance, cell phone provider
- let the kids’ school know that we won’t be returning next school year
By the time I published this post we have made some major progress. April, let me tell you, is kicking a** and taking names! I’ve been one busy bee since April 1st! Stella and I made a trip to the Home Depot and got into high gear.
- Tickets are booked for mid June – one way!!!
- Friends have been notified.
- Landlord knows.
- Kids are excited.
- School knows.
- Although we love Hamburg, we decided to settle down in smaller city Kiel first since we have family there.
- And just for the record: I have tamed my fabric shopping tremendously and started sewing away from my stash… I have a feeling that once we move I’ll have to focus on making us a new home instead of my sewing pretty skirts for my girls 🙁 Oh well.
We’ve already had a garage sale and were able to get rid of all the junk.
Now all I have left is large pieces of furniture.
Coincidentally, luckily a high school friend of my husband’s is moving back to the US after spending the last decade in China. That saves me a lot of trouble and at the same time makes me happy to have such wonderful people ‘inherit’ our stuff. All that’s left for me to sell are some of the kids’ larger toys which I’ve listed on craigslist.
The house is clearing out day by day and looking better as we are getting rid of things. This should serve as a reminder to me that less is more and how much I enjoy a decluttered living space. I am hoping that this cleaning, clearing, decluttering process will help set the tone of our brand new life in Germany. After all, how often do you get to start over in life? I am eternally grateful for this opportunity. Germany, here we come!
(Looking forward to seeing these gorgeous sailboats in Kiel pretty soon.)