This morning, I’m continuing the conversation about our upcoming move to Germany. Despite my excitement about this big adventure, this will probably be my last Germany-related post for the next few months. We still have 7 months left here in Iowa, and I want to do my best to enjoy our remaining time here. Plus, there’s not a whole lot to talk about until we begin gearing up for the move in September! I’d also like to finally finish recapping our Hawaiian babymoon and our long weekend in Arizona before we move to Europe and begin a whole new set of travels! 🙂
What do you think will be the biggest culture shock?
I’m not sure if it will be living in Europe or re-adjusting to life on an Army installation! Although moving to Iowa was an adjustment, it’s been nice to be away from “the flagpole.” I’ll have to get used to not holding Andy’s hand when he’s in uniform, walking on his left side so he can salute, pulling over the car for reveille and retreat, etc.
What about your electronic devices?
Government housing has both 110V and 220V outlets, while German houses are solely 220V. Based on Andy’s rank, we think we will be in government housing, so I’m planning to take our electronics abroad. If for some reason, we end up in a German house, we’ll just buy transformers. Granted, they shorten the life of electronics, but we’ll take that risk! After all, the worst that happens is we accidentally blow it up and need to buy a new one. No biggie.
How will you be moving your stuff abroad? How much can you bring?
The military has contracted movers responsible for packing and shipping our belongings. Weight allowances are determined by a soldier’s rank, which for Andy is 11,000 pounds. I’m a bit nervous about this because we’ve added quite a bit of furniture to our household since arriving in Iowa (a new couch, 2 new nightstands, a new bed frame and mattress/box springs, an antique desk, patio furniture, a lawnmower, and Drew’s rocking chair, crib, & dresser…holy cow, that’s a lot!) For reference, our load was around 7,000 pounds when we moved to Iowa.
Is it safe?
Obviously, wherever you live or travel, you need to be alert and make smart decisions. You can be a victim of crime abroad as well as within America. But no, we would not consider Germany to be unsafe. If it were, I promise you the military wouldn’t let Drew or me go along 😉
Will Andy deploy while you’re in Germany?
Given the high OPTEMPO of the units stationed overseas, we anticipate Andy deploying again. At the very least, he will be “in the field” for training regularly. He’s excited to be an Engineer again!
Will you be taking your cars?
Yes! The military pays for us to ship one vehicle, and since we paid cash for my almost-brand-new car back in July 2018, it was a no-brainer to bring it with us. However, we weren’t sure what to do about Andy’s truck that we bought in January 2019. We still owe about $14,000 on it, and since streets are more narrow in Germany, we considered selling it, paying off the loan, and pocketing the remaining cash (if any) to buy a “clunker” in Germany. However, we really love our truck! It seemed like such a waste to sell it so soon after buying it, and it’s in great condition. So, we decided to pay the out-of-pocket costs to ship it to Germany as well. Andy will only drive it to and from work, but it beats keeping it in American storage for 3 years!
Will you still be pursuing debt freedom? (We currently owe 14k on Andy’s truck.)
Yes! We won’t be as aggressive about it as we were during our previous journeys to debt freedom because we’d like to explore as much of Europe as we can, but we still would like to pay it off early. Our goal is to pay off the truck loan before we move back to the States in 2023.
Will you have to exchange your money into Euros?
Yes and no. Andy’s paycheck (and mine as well) will still be in US dollars, but we will need to use Euros when shopping off-post, paying our landlord and utilities (if we live off-post), our cell phone bill, etc. For someone like me who thrives on budgeting (seriously, payday is the highlight of my month!), it’s going to be a new challenge.
What will you miss about the States?
There’s a lot we will miss about the States, but our wallets will not miss Chick-fil-A, Target, and two-day shipping through Amazon Prime!
What are you looking forward to in Germany?
Definitely the travel opportunities!!! We’ve always wanted to visit Europe, and now we will be just a day’s drive from a dozen different countries!
Eek! I still can’t believe we’re moving to Germany!!!