Changes, Life in Germany: an Unpublished Year

A snap taken on a quick trip up to Edinburgh, Scotland in June

It has been a hot minute since I’ve blogged, and have had itchy fingers to write again for some time. I’ve struggled with figuring out how to get back into it, especially since this year has had so many ups and downs, lots of new experiences, and yet has remained somewhat the same for us as we spend another 365 days living as expats in a foreign land.

Since I began writing in 2012, I have enjoyed sharing what life is like abroad, trip itineraries, and dabbled a bit in some photojournalism, but sometimes it’s also nice to share a few personal updates so you get to know who I am as an individual. I touched on this last year, and I haven’t changed my mind on it. The few moments I’ve had to even consider writing, I’ve ultimately spent working on the back end running updates and ultimately switching hosting plans because things were either down server-side or loading slowly, and as a WP site designer / developer that was a major no-go for me. If you’re curious, I switched from Bluehost to one of my favorite hosting companies I have grown to love as I work with other bloggers on a daily basis (yes I still run my own business over at Alpine Lane Creative). In the next few months I may work on the overall layout and design of LIAL to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate, so hang in there with me. 🙂 I spend 6-8 hours a day working on other blogger’s websites that when it comes to free time, the last thing I want to do is be on my computer.

Speaking of technology and posting updates, I’ve struggled with a love/hate (but mostly hate) relationship with Instagram this past year. Seems like no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get anywhere and it’s luck that even a mere fraction of my followers see my posts. The ever changing algorithm, purchase by Facebook, ad insertion every 3-5 posts, and of course the non-chronological order has left me discouraged as a ‘grammer as well as a viewer. I still use it on occasion, but I need to remember that this blog is my own and I am free to do as I wish and post how I wish! That remains the constant. If you see me post less and less on Instagram, I hope it’s because I’m posting more on here.

This year I’ve focused more on unplugging myself and have enjoyed hobbies that don’t include computerized technology. We moved to a new house back in March (closer to Derik’s work and about 1/3 the size of our last house… I blame our time in Korea for wanting to keep things small), and it came with a nice backyard that (with Derik’s help) I have cultivated into a garden. I successfully grew zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, and lettuce, yet miserably failed at peas, carrots, and corn. We also have two very fruitful apple trees that are ready to be harvested — so I’m going to give canning a go and make a ton of apple sauce. It’s been a learning experience and I’ve loved being outside and playing in the dirt. 🙂

Another hobby I’ve really gotten into is brewing Kombucha. I have both the regular and Jun strains and have the best time coming up with new flavors and see what works well and what doesn’t. Derik and I both love to drink it, and I love having a healthy alternative to beer and wine!

A year (and almost a half) has come and gone already in Germany, although it seems like just yesterday that I wrote this post about moving here. I am in love with living here, although we have had some not so great experiences, the culture, people, and way of life in general is so much slower-paced and makes me take a step back and enjoy the day to day a little more than I have before. Maybe I’m just slowing down myself (after all I am turning the big 3-0 this year) and reflecting on small moments more.

We still travel, but travel less and more purposefully. It’s not about getting every country checked off the list in a whirlwind fashion, but about really enjoying and immersing ourselves within each place we travel to. I have thousands of pictures and places I would love to share, and hopefully I can do that with you soon!

Now that I’ve bored you with the goings-on of my daily life, I figured I should probably share the most exciting news of our 2018 year with you. We have a little fellow adventurer joining us in December of this year! If you follow me on Instagram you’ve already known for quite some time, but I thought I would let me blog readers know. We are beyond excited for this new chapter of our lives and can’t wait to hold our little one.

Pregnancy hasn’t been the greatest to me, and I basically lived on water and cheese crackers for the first 16 weeks. We had a couple trips planned during that time, and I muscled through, but barely. I am very thankful and blessed with a loving husband that has been so patient with me and taken care of me during this time. Feeling our little one’s kicks and movements has made it all worth it!

The number one question I get about having our baby is if we still plan on living outside the U.S. and if we will continue to travel. For now the answer is yes, but let’s just take one year at a time! I want my child to grow up aware of other cultures and have an expanded view of the world. I know it won’t always be easy but we’ll make it work. We don’t plan on living outside the United States forever, and want to eventually buy/build our own house and establish some roots!

If you’ve been a long time reader, thank you for sticking with us through all the changes, challenges, continental moves, and beyond. If you’re new here — welcome to this crazy whirlwind Derik and I call life, that I choose to document occasionally! I know life looks a bit different on everyone, and we all have different goals, desires, hopes and dreams. I hope that through my sporadic and non-sensical posts, I can inspire and encourage in some way, as that is my ultimate goal for Living in Another Language. I would love to hear about what you’re interested in reading from me, would love it if you shared a list of your favorite blogs nowadays (I need to catch up), and would love to know how long you’ve been following along! Please share in the comments below. 🙂