We have survived living in a new land for nearly one year, and the top two questions I am asked when talking with friends and family are, “So, where have you been recently?” and “What are your travel plans in the coming months?”.
I knew we would be traveling extensively when we moved to Europe, but I also wanted to be able to maintain a sense of normalcy for my family. Perhaps a common misconception about families or individuals who move overseas is that our time here is one long vacation! Unfortunately, it’s not…necessarily. Being able to explore new cities and countries is just a perk, and it still involves budgeting, scheduling, and planning.
My husband and I have a “Europe bucket-list”, which is a small list of places or experiences we must see or do by the end of our time here. So far we have only crossed off one item on that list, which was visiting the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. “Mad” King Ludwig’s fairytale castle, a must-see on most tourists lists when they come to Germany. So glad we were able to go, and check it off ours!
Though our bucket list needs a little attention, we have had the opportunity to travel many other places, including Prague, in the Czech Republic, Mallorca, Spain, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg, and various day-trips throughout Germany. It is true to say we have visited more destinations and have seen a greater number of historical sights than we ever had living in the states, but as I mentioned above, they are scheduled around and planned according to our “normal” lives. Work duties, appointments, house and yard work, activities for the kids, and church are still a large part of our family routine. Like I said above, traveling is a perk, but it’s one we make a priority!
Before we moved to Germany, I was nervous about living in a new culture and traveling with young children. I have grown in confidence and have been able to manage a toddler and baby with less stress over time. We have traveled in buses, cars, planes, and have gone on long and short trips. We are gaining plenty of experience when it comes to knowing how to make traveling easier and more fun with young children! As we continue to live and learn during our time in Germany, I hope to write more posts that will encourage young parents to make time in their normal routines to explore and travel- even if you have small children! Believe it or not, traveling can be as stressful and complicated as you make it out to be. All it takes is a little flexibility, patience, and making your trip your own. More on that in a future post!
My next post will be a travel post! Hint: An island known for a delicious, flaky pastry, the “Ensaimada”, and sunny beaches! If you are wondering where to take your family for vacation next year, you won’t want to miss this post. It is the perfect location for a family get-away!