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one year in the books

September 22, 2020

August 6- We moved to Germany almost a year ago next week. I remember last summer feeling like one list after the other as we prepared our sea shipment, then our air, then packed about 13 bags to bring with us on United. As much as I was nervous, I was excited for a change. Who doesn’t imagine living somewhere totally new?

We arrived to Munich and had a driver arranged to take us to Ulm. It’s about an hour and a half from there and our driver didn’t speak english. Welcome to reality! It was downpouring outside and my eyes were darting from each one of my children’s faces to try and read how they were feeling. Thankfully, Tom had been working in Germany for 6 months before we came and he had handled a ton of the moving details – like having all our IKEA purchases assembled before we arrived so we could walk in and get settled more easily. (ps. if you can, have everything assembled by IKEA- we had 2 full truckloads delivered- can you guess how long this would have taken us? Turns out 3 full days by 2 hired IKEA experts)

With emotions and jet lag, it’s an up and down road for the first couple weeks. You run on adrenaline for awhile, and I was swept up in our cute town and travel opportunities. But then, reality sets in and it occurs to you this is your life – and with a language barrier, I had to get busy learning some deutsch!

Brooke’s journal after week one
These are the flags last year of where every country a student is from. 🙂

Our kids attend an International School and that part of the transition was very helpful. The common language is English although they take German almost everyday. My middle son also takes Spanish and French- 3 languages every week! Kids are from over 25 countries!! and almost half the students are German. Always good for an American to feel like a minority, I think! There is only one class per grade and the max is 20 students. All my kids attend school on the same campus. They take a public bus to and from school that kids ride alone as early as 6. You may know this, but kids have a tremendous amount of freedom in Germany – it is very common to see kids walking alone or to a store with no parents. My kids love this. It will be the hardest loss for my son in middle school when we return to the USA.

Ulm is a really charming town
I love our apartment and our location

September 22- Like most things, I have a strong start and then get busy with other things! Now we have been back for over a month and my kids are back in school, only wearing masks when they enter the building or change classes. It is a much more normal environment than we could have even anticipated, and I feel lucky.

I am staying somewhat busy- starting German classes again (I know so many words but my pronunciation is terrible), cooking, running errands, running the Danube, and playing tennis once a week. I miss my American friend a lot – she was in my building and my partner in crime. It’s just a new normal and I am adjusting. We have many other very nice friends and we are having fun on our weekends and enjoying the biergartens as our weather has been incredible so far. With our small refrigerator, I am at the market or grocery almost everyday. Here is my cart I pull around town:

As for how I feel between year one and year two, it’s a total breath of fresh air. I feel like we know what we are doing most of the time, I understand trash separation like a pro, the kids are settled, Tom is settled, I am settled! We are already trying to live for every month as we think this year will be our last. It’s tempting to keep on going to other spots, but we have to consider our oldest son in highschool so it will be a group decision. I love that I am continually learning, feeling “awake” to signs, conversations, differences, similarities. I have thought about things I never thought about before- and met people who are from places I had never heard of. I get sad when I think that will change. I can’t imagine if we had turned down this opportunity – and I feel lucky Tom was offered the chance to run a company in Bavaria. Year 2 is getting our groove, relaxing more, and trying to travel as much as we can in a global pandemic year. To sum it up- when you get the chance, take it. If you want to see more pictures, please follow me on instagram @theconciergemom.
Fisherman’s Village in Ulm
our incredible view of the Munster
Last year’s Bavarian breakfast
We have traveled so many awesome places
3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy permalink
    September 22, 2020 12:34 pm

    I love this! It takes me back to your beginning days and the AMAZING times that have unfolded for you over the past year. Such a gift for your children as well. And more to come!!

    • theconciergemom permalink*
      September 23, 2020 12:35 am

      Thanks, Nancy! 🙂 Love you!

  2. September 23, 2020 4:31 pm

    So happy to see this post appear in my inbox!

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