I think I’ve made it pretty clear of the things that I don’t like about living here and the struggles with adjusting. I should also take the time and mention the things that I do like about living here, so that those reading don’t think that it’s all doom and gloom.
(not in any particular order)
1) Eiskaffee: There’s something about really good Viennese coffee poured over ice cream topped with whipped cream and wafers that just makes my taste buds so darn happy.
2) Public transportation: I’ve mentioned this in a few posts already, but I absolutely LOVE the system here. I can get anywhere in the city in less than 30 minutes. There is no need for a car here, even with kids! A friend of mine has two kids under the age of 5 and has gotten around just fine over the last two years she’s been here. Her blog is a great resource for those traveling/living abroad with kids. She’s truly inspirational.
3) City living: I was born and raised in the suburbs of Maryland. The only time I got a taste of city life was my childhood summers in Taipei and traveling. It’s fantastic to be able to walk to the grocery store, drugstore, bagel shop, bakery and even to our dog’s vet.
4) Our apartment/flat: We share the top floor with two other flats. They are called “Dachwohnung” and according to my German teacher are sought after when people are looking for the quintessential Viennese flat. I love that our place has an open floor plan. I love the fact that our landlord was thoughtful enough to implement some American amenities when he had this place built (i.e storage space, exhaust fans in the bathrooms, A/C, etc). I love that it’s modern, yet has some traditional Viennese characteristics, especially the parquet hardwood floors. I love the location too. Can you tell that I love our place? The ONLY downside (if you can even call it that) is Hub’s commute to work. It takes him 30 minutes door-to-door. From where we’re from stateside, it’s nothing in comparison. Especially when you aren’t the one doing the driving!
5) The architecture is unreal and everyday that I’m out and about, I have to pinch myself that I’m not only in Europe, but living here.
6) The Expat community: I’ve met some wonderful people from all over the world and they’ve been so unbelievably helpful and supportive. It’s great having a support system that truly understands the undertaking of living abroad.
7) Travels: We have done a few trips outside of Vienna and have many more lined up for the coming months/years. Back stateside, we were known as the “world travelers” to our family and friends. Here, no one bats an eye when we say “we are going to________ for a this many days/weeks”. Everyone we have come in contact with has traveled extensively around the world. We even have friends who are younger than us (by a few years) that have also traveled to 5 of the 7 continents.
8) Not being rushed out of food establishments: It’s a given to stay as long as you like (unless you didn’t have a reservation, and they were nice enough to squeeze you in before the party with reservations arrive). I love the fact that I can linger with a friend for hours before we need to get home and have dinner with our families.
So as you can see, there are many things that I do like/love about living here. It will probably be the same things that I miss most when our time here is done. Maybe I will even miss the things that I’ve been frustrated with too.