At 3:55 p.m. Central time, Michael and I, the two dogs, and 200 pounds of our stuff flew from Dallas, Texas to Frankfurt, Germany. Neither of us slept during the flight. With dogs at our feet, we sipped tea and watched movies, patiently waiting for the plane to land.
As we flew, I worried. This is the craziest thing I've ever done. How insane are we? Michael has no job, we packed up our dogs, took a fraction of our belongings and left the rest behind, to enter a country we've never seen. But we had to try it. It's just something we set out to do.
The dogs behaved brilliantly on the flight. After landing, we took a short bus ride to the area where we went through customs before picking up our luggage. Our dogs, Hugo and Millie, did not go to the bathroom the entire time. Not since leaving Dallas. I don't know about you, but I couldn't do that.
We hopped a tiny bus that transported us to our new home: Heidelberg, Germany. We found our hotel and dropped off our luggage, which swallowed up the room. Our first order of business: explore. After all, this was our first glance of Germany and we wanted to experience it immediately, even jet lagged.
We headed to the Altstadt, or Old Town, where the bridge crosses the Neckar River. It offers awesome views of the castle and the Hauptstraße —the longest pedestrian walkway … in the world. Already it has my heart. This pic is unedited. OK?!
A bustling atmosphere, full of shops, I can already tell Orsay is going to be my new Forever 21, cafes, cobblestones, and corners filled with history. Michael and I kept pinching each other. Is this even real?
We walked up and down the streets, dipping into shops before taking in a breathtaking view of the sunset over the Old Bridge. I ran like the proverbial chicken with my head cut off, trying to snap the views.
Michael then reminded me: we live here. I can actually come and take pictures whenever I want.
Marveled. That's the word that springs to mind. I am marveled by the beauty. Beyond expectation. But while we're soaking in our new home, we are also keenly aware that we have to hit the pavement to find a place to live, a car to own, and a train ticket to Munich (for Oktoberfest!).
Funny/interesting things that have happened so far:
Yesterday, Sunday, we needed more dog food (we feed the dogs chicken. Right now we're in a hotel with no refrigerator, so we have to buy it every other day). But all the grocery stores were closed. Apparently, businesses are required by law to be closed on Sundays. Oh.
We eat our meals on towels in the hotel room. Our lunch/dinner has mainly consisted of peanut butter and out-of-this-world cherry jelly. I know I'll get sick of it, but it's new and exciting, so I don't really mind.
EVERYONE waits to cross the street. Unaware, Michael and I constantly cross the street. All the signs say “Bitte Warten,” which means please wait. But it's raining and I'm tired or hungry or anxious see everything and, well, NO cars are coming. So I'm going!
It's exciting with so many new things to explore, friendly people and temperature that actually feels like fall (unlike in Texas right now.) We are exhausted and still can't believe we actually did this. Is this still real life?
Read why we chose to move abroad: