Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pre-Germany Update #1

Hello everyone! In my last blog post I shared my new plans to spend a year as an au pair in Germany. Time has flown by and it is now only 19 days until I leave for my big adventure! 
I'll be living in Maisach, Germany.
Even though the trip is right around the corner, I’m not feeling anxious (yet). Since I’m spending a whole year in Germany as opposed to the short four months I spent in England, I don’t feel as much pressure to plan. There are several cities I’ve chosen as “must-sees”- Krakow, Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague- but other than those trips, I’m going to see where the year takes me. I know my travels will depend a lot on my schedule, new friends, budget, and how I adjust to the culture, so I don’t want to plan very much in advance. I have my plane ticket and I’ve renewed my British passport, so my main focus has been on packing. In retrospect, I brought a lot of clothes to England that I thought would be versatile and comfortable and weren’t super casual, but they were clothes that didn’t really suit a young girl traveling in Europe. I’ve been preparing for my German trip by going through my clothes and sorting out things that have both form and function. I think I’ll be a lot happier with my clothing choices on this trip. I’ve also bought a few new goodies for the trip. My most exciting purchase has been a little Polaroid-style Instax camera. Two of my friends have them, and they are so cute and fun! I love that I will be able to take pictures instantly and include them in the letters I mail home. The next few weeks will be filled with more packing and sorting...often tedious, but necessary.

The next few weeks will also be filled with happy celebrations and visits with friends. This weekend one of my good friends is getting married, and then another one of my good friends is getting married the very next weekend! Both girls are wonderful friends who will make lovely brides. I am so happy for them both! Both wedding take place in Houston which gives me opportunity to see a lot of friends before my trip. Sometime in the week before I leave, I will also be going with my mom and sisters to visit my grandparents and family out in west Texas. Until writing this post I hadn’t felt any anxiety or nervousness about the trip, but now I feel the premonition of the pain of parting and the homesickness I will soon feel. I’m happy, but in a melancholy Simon and Garfunkel-esque way.

In other news, my time working at the preschool is almost over. It’s been a busy and stressful four months, but I know I will miss all of my kids so much. I’m going to try not to cry on the last day!  Aside from working (work, eat, sleep, repeat…) I’ve been doing a lot of reading. Right now I’m reading The Summer Before the War, a story about a Latin magistra who moves to a small English village before WWI. Since my list of books to read is extensive and the free space in my suitcase isn’t, I’ve been thinking hard about which books to read before my trip. Before I leave my goal is to finish The World’s First Love and read Man’s Search for Meaning, Leisure: The Basis of Culture, The Old Man and the Sea, Girls in White Dresses, and The Book Thief. My prediction is that I’ll read two of these...maybe three. Although I’ve been reading a lot, my growing addiction to Gilmore Girls competes for my free time. Fortunately, though, Rory’s love of reading inspires me to read more, too, so I think it balances out. Unfortunately, Lorelai love of coffee also encourages me to drink more coffee, which may not be quite so positive an influence.
That’s all I have for now, folks! From now on I will be blogging more regularly to share around my new life and travels in Germany. Please keep me in your prayers as I prepare for my trip! Auf Wiedersehen!