When I started this blog in 2013, I never thought I’d stop. It’s been a little over a year since I last posted. I’ve thought about my blog from time to time, especially after each trip we’ve taken since. In 2015, the blog was mainly just journaling our trips. I miss that. Because even though I wrote about our daily lives in the beginning, it evolved into so much more. The whole reason that I started this blog was: to journal about all of our adventures. I’ve missed out on about two years of the places we’ve been able to experience. It was also the great loss of our Hershey that completely halted almost everything in my life. It left a gaping hole in my heart and zapped away any passion I had for anything. I thought the grief I had for my dad’s death was bad, this took it to a whole other level. It was almost like an avalanche of all the losses in my life came crashing down on me. It was so bad that I had to be treated for PTSD/anxiety and clinical depression, which is something I was already diagnosed with in 2011. It makes every day a struggle. I’m a very private person and have been reluctant to share something like this so publicly, but I no longer want to hide behind the stigma of my mental health.
Hubs and I just came back from spending five days in Dubrovnik, Croatia. And as I sit here this morning, a spark of energy came about me to start blogging again. It came out of nowhere. So, now, I want to dust off the cobwebs and start journaling about our adventures yet again. I want to be able to look back when I’m old and gray- and re-live (or help us remember) one of the most life changing experiences of our lives.
Has it really been a year since we moved to Vienna? It’s incredible how quickly time passes as we become older. It still feels like yesterday when we were boarding our flight out of Dulles. This past year has been life-changing, and to say it’s been a challenge is putting it mildly.
This has certainly been a transitional year filled with travels, frustrations, many laughs and tears. This experience has not only changed me, but my relationship with Hubs and our families. I can honestly say that I’m no longer the same person I was before this adventure. I’m less fearful of the unknown and evolving into a better person because of it. Although I was never one to have very thick skin, slowly but surely, that has definitely changed too. I’ve also learned to do things on my own that used to make me extremely uncomfortable – such as going to unfamiliar places, taking public transportation, traveling alone and even eating alone at a restaurant. I’d still prefer to do these things with other people, but I’m learning that I’m perfectly capable of doing the hard things all by myself.
The travels we’ve done this year alone have made this journey so rewarding. To be able to say that we’ve taken trips to Salzburg, London, Budapest, Amsterdam, Prague, Taiwan, and India is pretty incredible. This aspect of the journey has been a dream come true and it’s these moments that personally make this crazy adventure worthwhile.
It’s hard to believe a year has gone by already. And through it all, I do not regret once for choosing to take on this huge endeavor. Most expats would agree that you reach a turning point at the first year mark. It could go two ways – you either start feeling more at home or you absolutely hate it. I’ve been lucky to have made a few friends and meeting new ones every chance I get. I’d like to think that I’m well on my way to finally finding a middle ground and really calling Vienna “home”.