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Moving Across the World

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.

Moving to Germany

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.

passportinhandgermany

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. dsc_0137This 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?

flowershop_heidelberg_germany

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.

heidelberg_2016_sunset

helene_heidelberg_bridge

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:

The Big Reveal

We're Moving to…

The Biggest Leap

Comments

I’m so worried because my dog will be traveling to meet me in Medellin in a couple of months…. but seeing yours behaved so well, I hope mine does too!

I know I´m late to the Party but I just found your Blog. I love that you love my beautiful hometown so much! <3

How did you get away with the dogs sitting in coach with you? I thought big dogs had to be crated and sit under with the luggage 🙁

Loving following your journey Helene! Your excitement is fun to see and reminds me of our big move a few years ago to Italy. Being an expat abroad is beautiful & exciting but not for the faint hearted. Enjoy every minute you can, and give yourself lots of grace on the hard days. It really is a roller coaster! xx

So awesome that you guys went for this big move! It looks like such a beautiful town, I can’t wait to hear more about it!

Wow what an inspiring story! I think its so important to move away and experience a new culture. I admire your courage and I am very inspired by you two!

Jac Fleurant
http://www.herwearabouts.com

Oh my gosh! This sounds like such an amazing adventure! I’ll be folllowing along ?

Your trip sounds so awesome already – I lived in Regensburg, Germany last year and had the time of my life! Germany is by far my favorite country. It’s actually illegal to cross the street on red which is why everyone waits – it was an adjustment I had to make too! Have fun!

Annessa
http://www.seekingsunshine.com

Best of luck on your new journey! Moving to a new country is scary and exciting, and the next few months will be a roller coaster of emotions, but it is so worth it in the end!

http://www.ofbeesandbonnets.com

I can already tell you I am on that coaster, but it has also been so much fun!!

This is so exciting! I’m so happy for the two of you, and I definitely admire your courage! I cannot wait to follow you along this adventure. 🙂

Thanks so much! I will be posting much much more. 🙂

This is so exciting!!!!! I love that you two are doing this because why the HECK NOT?! I am so excited to follow along. Keep on jay walking.

EXACTLY! and you know I’m going to keep crossing those streets without a care.

Girl, I admire you for having the courage to move across the world. My husband lived in Japan for a year on military orders but I’ve never left the country before. We just moved from Maine to California (again with the military) and that’s the biggest move I’ve ever done haha we’ve been even here two weeks and it’s been quite the change. I was anxiety ridden the entire drive here. We didn’t have a home here. I didn’t have a job lined up. We only knew a couple people nearby and have zero family out here. It was terrifying. I couldn’t imagine moving to a whole other country. I give you mad props girl haha I hope you love it there and I can’t wait to read more!

xo, Keating | Mimosas and Manicures
http://www.mimosasandmanicures.com

Thanks so so much- and seriously that is a huge move! We know no one. Not one single person, so this will surely be an adventure, but I’m ready for the challenge!!

Eek this was so fun to read! I have been loving your snaps and Instagram pictures. Germany truly looks beautiful and it’s wild that you actually live there and can explore all that it has to offer! Glad to hear you guys are settling in well!

thanks so much friend! It is seriously so stunning!

Glad you are having a good time so far!

Meg | Elmpetra

This is so exciting! Good luck to both of you!

Thanks so much Jessica! 🙂

Hahaha the closed on Sundays is always a hard lesson! It will all become normal very soon – keep finding the excitement in all the little things 🙂

I will friend. I can’t wait to see you!!!!!!

It’s so beautiful! Good luck to you all! 🙂

Thanks so much Paula, I need all the luck I can get!

Gosh this just sounds amazing. I am so excited for you!!

thanks so much!! I am LOVING it.

I love that picture of you looking at the bridge/lake. Soooo pretty! I love looking at your snaps too so it makes me feel like I’m there with you. I’m glad you guys had a safe trip and that’s crazy your dogs held it for that long! such good dogs.

Can’t wait to see how Germany treats you guys, so far so good though 🙂

Girl you need to come visit, it’s INCREDIBLE!

Good luck on your new adventures! Frankfurt looks gorgeous!

We aren’t in Franfurt. We landed in Frankfurt. These are all pics from Heidelberg, where we’ll be living!

Oh Helene this is so amazing!! I’m so happy that you’re having a blast so far, Germany is such a wonderful country, I wish you all the best ✌?️?

I am loving it so much. I can’t wait to explore more!

I think you are amazing, I would be too damn scared to do that, move to another country, a country that speaks a different language then me but then I only speak english

well thanks so much Jo-Anne!

So excited that you guys are having a blast so far. If I could work remotely from my job i’d be in another country asap. So proud of you and Michael for making the leap! Good luck in your house hunt, I can’t wait to read more.

Thank you so much! It definitely took a LOT of effort, but so far, SO worth it!!

Oh wow!!! I’m so excited for you. I look forward to hearing more about your adventures in your new home. It looks so beautiful.

Lynn Winters

It is gorgeous Lynn! I think everyone should come visit.

Welcome home! I am so excited for you! When are you doing Oktoberfest?! Justin and I were talking about going even though we have planned nothing! Either that, or we will go to the one in Stuttgart which supposedly is less “touristy” and then do Munich next year!

Luckily, we knew about Sundays, but sometimes we just miss being able to run some errands on that day! And the crossing the street…read about that too. So, we were surprised because in Frankfurt, you get a mix of both given its quite modern and international. But I am sure in Heidelberg it is just how I read!

Sounds like you may have done the ESA route? We did too! Can’t wait to hopefully get together soon and talk about it all!

We are going on Monday through Thursday for Oktoberfest! and oooh i wanna check out the Stuttgart one! I am sure it’s hard to forget you can’t run errands on Sundays, that’s crazy to me.

This all sounds so lovely. Have fun and learn lots! All the bestest.

I am trying to learn as much as I can .

Herzlich Willkommen Helene! I just moved back to Germany after 5 years in the United States and can’t wait to read about your experiences! Have fun, enjoy and be patient with the Germans. They might seem unfriendly and cold at first, it just takes time to warm a German’s heart. But then you have a friend for a lifetime!

no, seriously everyone has been INCREDIBLY nice. I actually can’t get over how nice everyone. like the nicest ever!

ahhhh! so exciting. wishing you all the best and loving following along.

Thanks so much Kristen!! I am loving it so far.

It looks like a DREAM! I can’t believe how beautiful it is. When I look at pics of Europe, it makes me wonder why America didn’t make all their cities look like European ones.

It looks like a fairytale! So happy to hear you made it over safe and sound 🙂

thanks so much friend!! we are loving it. i can’t wait to explore more.

It’s the cutest place! I’m glad you are loving it so far. Crossing my fingers you find a place to live soon!

thanks so much! i am seriously loving it so much! and thank you…. let’s hope.

I’ve seriously loved following along on your adventure so far and can’t wait to read/see more! Good luck finding a car and place to live. Your doggies are such angels…….I could never “hold it” that long! Hahaha

omg me either! I have no idea how they made it that long, I would not be able to do it!

Your life is such an adventure right now!!! I’m so glad you are embracing the newness and marveling at everything!

it is!! it’s the biggest adventure I’ve been on for sure!! thanks friend 🙂

This looks like THE cutest town! I’m so excited to see what your future blog posts look like! Living there looks like so much fun!
Good luck!
xx Kenzie // Kenzieblogslife.blogspot.com

it seriously is, it’s so pretty and the people are so friendly!

So exciting! Good luck with your flat search! Just be aware that some Germans will tell.you.off. if they see you crossing on “Bitte warten”. You have been warned! 😉

haha I am sure they will!!!

This is amazing! I am so excited for you. Totally living vicariously through you right now! Good luck with your apartment hunt!

well thanks girl!! I am so excited to share more!

Welcome to Europe! So happy for you, though kinda horrified by the amount of luggage you carried! I can barely deal with less than 18 kg of stuff in a nice four-wheeled suitcase and a bag. D: I’m about the take a bus from Groningen to Eindhoven and from there to Paris – I love how cheap this Flixbus thing is, even if it’s not a train + it takes forever.

Yeah it was tough, but i mean it was for such a short time and most of the time we weren’t wheeling it around, just after the flight. it wasnt too bad!!

Congrats on making it there! I’m sure the pups wouldn’t mind getting pb sandwiches 😉

Alyssa @ http://feathersandstripes.com

haha they get lil romeo dog food 🙂

That’s awesome the dogs did so well on the flight! For future reference, what airline did you fly? I know some have stricter rules about pets in the cabin.

We flew united but to be honest we had to jump though quite a few hoops to do it.

I would really love to see a blog post about the hoops you jumped for this at some point? I have a doggie I’d like to fly overseas with and can’t see any way to have her in the cabin with me because of people’s allergies, fears, barking, etc. She is only 25lb too. Super strict. It’s been a brick wall. I just want to fly back home. 🙁

I would LOVE to hear more about this too!

Hey there! I am definitely working on a post on that! What carrier are you trying to use?

I will use any carrier it takes to get my dog home with me in the cabin! She can’t be crated due to past history. Driving from Germany to the UK is no problem if that is what I have to do. <3

Thanks friend!! it’s been so fun so far!

Ah sounds so awesome so far! Glad you guys got there safely and are enjoying everything! (Oh and my dogs totally would NOT have been that well behaved on a long flight haha. Great job Hugo and Millie!!)

I am shocked they were that well behaved, really! it was not like them haha

Looking foward to following along on your adventures abroad!

Thanks so much Rachell, much more to come!

This whole post made me smile. I’m glad you’re enjoying your new adventure! The photos are stunning. It makes me miss Germany so much. I need to go back ASAP. Can’t wait to continue to follow along. I’m loving the snaps.

I cannot believe I’ve never been here- it’s incredible!!

So so so gorgeous!! I actually read an article that Thrillist posted last week about the 9 American habits I dropped when I moved to Germany. I saw that businesses were closed on Sundays and the waiting to cross the street rule. I’d be JUST like you, let me go! GO GO GO!

we are going across the street. I don’t care what anyone says. And you didn’t send me that article?!

What a beautiful town, Helene!! I’m so incredibly jealous and happy for you and Michael. ? I can’t wait to keep following along!

Thank you so much Lauren!! It is seriously stunning here.

So exciting! I would love to move abroad somewhere but unfortunately my job and my hubby’s job won’t allow that so I’ll live vicariously through you! I’m glad the trip over to Germany went easy.

I wouldn’t call it easy, but i would say we were lucky how well it went! and much more to come ;)!

Oh my goooosh what an exciting adventure!! I’m so excited to follow along to read about adjusting to your new home. What an adorable little town.

it really is so cool, and so european! much more to come!

So very exciting! Wow, it’s beautiful there too! Love that the dogs just got to be at your feet on the plane!!! Can’t wait to see more!!!

Welcome to Europe!!! These first few weeks are such a roller coaster of a time, but what an epic adventure! Best of luck on your house search.

Thnks friend! Man you are right about a rollercoaster. I am in for a ride, that’s for sure!

Loving your SC updates, Helene! Did the dogs fly in the cabin with you or in cargo?

I say in the post!! They were with us the whole time, at our feet 🙂

They were so good the whole time! we were lucky.

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