Why, hello! It has been nearly a year since I’ve last written on my little space on the web. It’s funny – when I was a newlywed and making a few dollars from blogging, I used to imagine living in Europe and travel blogging for a living. Now we’re actually living in Europe, but I haven’t blogged in months because I’ve been so busy with work, school, and motherhood…let alone traveling! Let me quickly recap what this past almost year has looked like before I talk about the future.
I’m still working. For the first 1.5 years of our time here, I was working 2 jobs: remotely in HR consulting (the job I started back in May 2019) and another job on the base, teaching about the civilian employment process to soldiers that are in the process of leaving the military. In April, I left the latter position – as much as I enjoyed it, we switched from remote workshops to in-person in January 2022, and working in person was incredibly draining. I found myself too exhausted to do anything when I came home, and my weekends were spent catching up on housework and schoolwork. Definitely not conducive to the life I have to live as the primary person responsible for parenting our toddler and taking care of our home.
If you’ll notice in the previous paragraph, I mentioned schoolwork. That’s right, I’m back in school! After a nearly 3-year break thanks to new motherhood, moving overseas, and working 2 jobs, I decided to finish my (Second) Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration: Human Resources that I started wayyyy back in 2017. Between CLEP exams and credits for previous professional work experience, I’m fairly close to finishing! My goal is to graduate in Spring or Summer 2023 so that I can jump straight into an MBA: HR program after we move next fall.
Speaking of the move next fall, we don’t have a clue where we’re going and won’t know until a few months before we depart Germany. It’s a little frustrating because I can’t apply for new jobs or secure a childcare spot until we know where we’re going, but we won’t know where we’re going until the last minute. Le sigh.
Anyway, I mentioned I want to talk more about what my plans are for this site in the future. It’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for a DECADE! A lot has changed in my life during that time, obviously. The older I get, the more I feel protective about certain aspects of life and do not want to share those with others. So, my plans are to use this website to exclusively recap our travels. I’m not planning to write any “lifestyle” pieces because, well, life is a little complicated and I have complicated feelings on a variety of things, and it’s just best if I keep those to myself 😉
But before I jump into those posts, I want to first say that blogging/social media is a highlight reel. We share the good, but not the bad. Know that even though it appears that we live the perfect life, getting paid to live in Europe and traveling in our spare time, perception is not reality. It’s been a hard, hard few years and this “overseas military life” is not a 3-year vacation. It’s incredibly frustrating sharing about the struggles of the life we live, when often the response we hear is, “Must be nice to be in Europe.” Yes… but that doesn’t negate the fact that it is freaking hard to have a spouse whose job takes him away on a moment’s notice while parenting a toddler with no “village” to rely on while coping with the underemployment that (unfortunately) comes with being a military spouse. And traveling Europe with a toddler… oy vey! It’s difficult, but we do it anyway because we’re only going to be stationed in Europe once, and quite honestly, the alternative is sitting in our house for 3 years, wishing time away. Sadly, I’ve tried to share before about the difficulties of this life, but I’ve faced a lot of criticism over it. So, I won’t share about it anymore, other than this once. Just know that for every “amazing” trip you see on here, you don’t see what’s happening behind the scenes.
Anyway, back to traveling. In the year I’ve been away from this website, we’ve taken a number of trips that I can’t wait to share about:
-2 week trip to Italy: Venice, Rome/Vatican City, and Florence, with stops in San Marino and the Dolomites
-Weekend in Prague, Czechia
-Weekend in Bastogne, Belgium
-Weekend in Amsterdam, Netherlands
-2 week road trip to Spain (Barcelona) & Portugal (Libson), with stops in Andorra, Gibraltar & Monaco
-Weekend in Bratislava, Slovakia
-Week in Garmisch, Germany (sans husband and toddler!) for a religious & a professional conference
-Weekend in Budapest, Hungary
-4 days in Belgium (sans husband and toddler!) to celebrate my upcoming 30th birthday with a friend
-2 week road trip through Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia
Our time in Europe is quickly winding down. We have been here for 21 months and have only 15 months left. There’s so much that I want to see and experience here, but I know we won’t be able to do it all. But we’re gonna try 😉