Something about seeing our family squeezed into one little picture puts a huge smile on my face and warms my heart like nothing else.
Since we’ve moved to Germany – exactly one year ago! – our family time has been reduced to two weeks at a time every 8 weeks or so. When we made the decision to give Germany a try we knew it would be awhile before my husband could move to Germany too but we went for it anyway. We focused on the benefits of this living the ‘dual country life’. A year later, we look back and we see sooooo many ups, so many benefits, so many pros … but we also know what a huuuuge sacrifice we all have made. We keep telling ourselves that this sacrifice taught us to appreciate the time we do have together even more! We see every moment we get to spend together as a gift and an investment for the future.
We are giving our three kids more opportunities by living in Europe, we feel that their horizon has already been broadened. I know we are not the only family that has made this huge sacrifice, done the hard work – for months, for years! But I keep reminding myself of what a very wise man once said to us back in Los Angeles: ‘Without struggle there is no progress!’
Here in Germany, we live in the capital of the country’s most northern state, Schleswig-Holstein. We are surrounded by water in the East (Baltic Sea), and the West (North Sea). Our hometown, Kiel, is the capital of this state. Though Kiel is a relatively small city it’s nautical attributes, the international cruise ships, it’s proximity to Scandinavia make it a very vibrant and international city. I absolutely LOVE the sea, the sail boats, the cruise ships, the beaches. For me the perfect place to raise a family. Thankfully the kids are catching on to it as well. They enjoy being surrounded by the ships and boats and the life on the water very much – tendency rising!!! 🙂
Here is Kiel’s town hall:
But the surrounding towns and cities are also worth visiting. Luebeck for example.
And close to Lübeck, the quaint beach town Timmendorfer Strand:
Germany’s most popular island (North Sea): Sylt!
And just a short drive north-east of Kiel, the beautiful Baltic town of Eckernfoerde:
My favorite day trip has always been the gorgeous world metropolis: Hamburg!! Put it in your top 10 places to visit when in Europe! You won’t regret it. I promise!
And when in Hamburg you absolutely must stop in Lüneburg! It is a histroric gem just a short drive south-east of Hamburg.
But as they same in Germany: Zu Hause ist es doch immer noch am besten! (translate: Home is home!)
Kiel, our home of 12 months. Beautiful in spring & summer:
(We hang out at the Kiellinie – all the time and watched the ferries, cruise ships and the occasional submarine cruise on by!)