Highs & Lows of Moving Abroad

Moving to Germany has been one of the best decisions of my life. Vinn and I are closer than ever, we’ve been to more countries than I ever thought possible and we are broadening our horizons each and every day.

As with culture shock, when you experience two great things, the next day you’ll go through one negative thing. And today, I thought I’d share the highs and lows for me. The best thing is that, at the end of the day, there will always be more highs than lows.

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High – The second I walked off the plane, I felt a sense of relief. After being apart from Vinn for a week, it didn’t matter where I landed, it just mattered that we were together. Everything felt right and that this new home of ours for the next three years would bring so many new experiences and be the best part of our lives.

Low – The newness wore off quickly. After a week of living here, everything that used to be exciting became a nuisance. At first I loved going down the street to the bakery to get a pretzel and a cappuccino  and then it got harder because I wanted something different and I couldn’t ask for it. The language barrier has been a lot tougher than I imagined, and after that first week, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that I wasn’t just visiting Germany, I was going to be living here for three years.

High – The first trip was the best trip. Our first trip was to Salzburg and is still a top favorite. It was everything I wanted it to be. It was taking our dreams of moving to Europe and actually making it a reality. It encompassed everything. We were able to get in our car, drive 4 hours and be in another country. And then we got to spend 3 incredible days checking things off our bucket list.

Low – Loneliness is real. I’ve written about this topic before and it has been the toughest thing about moving here. To leave my career, my friends, my family is incredibly difficult whether you move from one state or across the Atlantic Ocean. There were days when I would just sit in the dark, watching some sappy movies and crying. Wishing that I could pick up the phone, talk to my best friend and plan a weekend visit.

High – Technology is a great thing. When I was battling loneliness, I could text someone to talk, I just had to make sure it wasn’t too early! I’ve been guilty of texting my mom at 3 AM her time because something happened in my morning. Thanks to FaceTime, GChat, What’sApp, iMessage and social media, I can still stay in touch with everyone back home. It’s amazing to still feel connected to all the people I love no matter where I live. I can’t imagine how people moved here without technology. I’m extremely thankful for it each and every day.

Low – Living in a hotel is not as glamorous is it may seem. In the beginning, it was fun to not have to do any cleaning and to have someone else replace our towels, but living in one room, with no kitchen or laundry room, certainly takes its toll. For two months we lived in  hotel that didn’t include breakfast, was old, didn’t have a gym. But, it made me appreciate our apartment that much more.

High – This is the best decision I’ve ever made. Even with all the lows, not knowing exactly what I’m going to do for work, being away from family, this has been the best decision we’ve ever made. After one year, I feel more settled, feel like I have friends and feel so lucky to be able to travel around Europe with my most favorite person (and 4-legged, furry baby) in the entire world.

What are the highs and lows from something recent in your life?

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