Moving abroad can be a tricky, wonderful, scary, difficult thing. When I packed a bag in July 2010 and hopped on a plane for an adventure of a more permanent sort, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. I had, perhaps, a fraction of an idea of what I was in for. Living in Germany with a dear friend with Europe on my doorstep, hurrah! Yes! Jawohl! But all of the ins and outs – the insurance, the registering, the visa renewal and restrictions, the renting rules and regulations, the TEFL industry, I was blissfully ignorant of. And as for the sheer emotional roller coaster you merrily board and strap yourself into, well I had absolutely no idea about that either. Previous travels had had end-dates, return tickets, known time frames. This one was indefinite. This one was moving somewhere and staying there, not hopping from hotel to hostel. This one had a whole new emotional framework with which to acquaint myself. And just as I had, just as I was starting to feel a little restless once more, ready for something new, I was shuttled into Weiden, a teeny town near the Czech border where I knew no one except the wonderful man I had joined. Six months later, things changed again and I moved back to Sydney to recharge, refuel, get my lust for overseas life back again.
Writing has been the best therapy, writing and wine with new friends and old. Here are the key pieces that came out of the confusion, homesickness, frustration, fear but also the satisfaction and excitement that has been like no other.
Boil the kettle and let’s begin.