Has it truly been half a year already since we moved here? Our time adjusting and adapting has not been boring, to say the least. Since the last post, we have found a home, church family, gone on multiple day and weekend trips in and out of Germany (more on that later), finally received internet after 5 months (say, whaaaat???), had our first visitors from the states, and have officially settled in to the thing called life as an expat.
It is summer here, though as we speak it is rainy and coooold! We had maybe 4-5 days of “hot” weather in the upper 80’s, but that was pretty much the extend of our summer heat. Our home is an older German house, built in the 80’s, but like most other German homes, lacks air-conditioning. Fans and cool mornings/evenings save us from melting during the hottest days, but we really cannot complain because the weather is generally pretty wonderful.
Our house is surrounded by fruit trees galore: Apple (5 trees, what will I do with all those apples?), Pear, Cherry, and Hazelnut. We have wild strawberries coating half of our yard, multiple rose bushes bursting with white, pink, and orange roses, and many beautiful wild flowers everywhere else. I’m in a gardeners paradise, but as I do not have green-thumb, I hope I don’t end up unintentionally killing off everything the tenants before us had worked so hard for.
We have enjoyed touring local Germany, especially the wine walks and festivals. We have gone out of Germany as well, to Prague and Luxembourg! So far, Prague has been a favorite, though Luxembourg is a very close second. We have trips planned throughout the year already, saving some of our bigger adventures for when we have guests arriving this fall! Some of our day trips have included: Trier (so far I’ve been 3 times!), Mannheim (Easter Market), Oppenheim (wine walk!), Worms, the Rhine River (Rudesheim and a river cruise), Bacharach (also on the Rhine), and St. Avold, France (ok, just to go to Cora, the famed French supermarket). I have plenty of pictures of most of the places I mentioned, and will do small posts about each one at a later time. Right now, catch up seems daunting!
Basically, everything I mentioned above has been our life in a very small nutshell. Since we’ve moved here, life has been taking a fast pace and only getting faster! I have to constantly remind myself that time is, above all, precious. To enjoy each moment, especially those at home with our two daughters. Even more important than traveling is being home to read or play and be “present” in the activities of their childhood. Often, I believe that kids can become lost (metaphorically speaking) when given a second seat to the travel wishes and adventures of their parents, simply being carted around and taken out of routine (which is important to most young children’s state of emotional and mental well-being). We are still learning to be an expat family, and while I do believe that traveling is educational and beneficial to kids growing up, I also believe that it is just as important to have a stable home and family life (I’m not talking marriage here, I mean routine, “familiarity”, etc). But maybe that’s just me, a self-proclaimed home-body, who loves the comfort of home…I would be interested to hear the thoughts of other young families. Especially those who have been traveling and moving since their kids were young, and are now older and can better see the influence of a nomad and “high-travel” lifestyle.
Until next time,