We did it! We moved to Germany! We arrived about 2.5 weeks ago and with the exception of not having found an apartment yet, we’re pretty settled in.
Here are some of the highlights of the move and the last few weeks:
A week and a half of not working was NOT enough to prepare for the actual move itself. Even though we’ve known for months that we’d be moving, we were frantically packing until the last minute and that still was not enough time. We definitely have a pile of unorganized things at Richard’s parents house that will have to wait until we visit them later this year.
Saying goodbye to Stella was the hardest part of the move. She started having seizures in December and we later found out that she had a brain tumor, so unfortunately we had to say our final goodbye to her a few days before we left. We wish we didn’t have to say goodbye, but she lived a good long doggy life and we got to spoil her with people food, walks, cuddles and love until the very end.
All of the complicated logistics happened before we got on the plane. The last week and a half included selling things, packing our bags, setting things aside for storage, moving the furniture we want to keep to Richard’s parents, and selling my car and Richard’s motorcycle. We also had to pick up random documents and paperwork. Things felt pretty easy once we got on that plane.
Zeke was a champ on the plane (for the most part). He cried a bit and only made one serious escape attempt, but otherwise his trip was pretty uneventful. He was really good going through both security checkpoints, too. I’ll be writing a more in-depth post about the experience of bringing him across the pond.
Hamburg is wonderful, but it’s not that easy to find an apartment. So far, we’re loving Hamburg! Things are definitely different here, but they really aren’t all that different. We’re still looking for an apartment, so we’ll be in an Airbnb for a bit (and schlepping our luggage back and forth). We’re hoping to move to our new (to be determined) apartment sometime next month.
Richard has started work already and it’s going well for him. I’m taking a much-welcomed break before I start working again in June. I’ve officially been off the clock for a month now and it’s been glorious! I start on June 1, so I only have 2.5 more weeks of freedom. In typical Nicole fashion, I’ve come up with some goals for my month to keep me accountable:
- Brush up on German: I signed up for four weeks of an intensive language course. This has been taking up the majority of my time. I spend about 4 hours in class and then about 2 hours additionally studying at home. It’s been exhausting, to say the least.
- Train for half marathon: I finally started to run again after taking a pretty lengthy break after the Richmond Half Marathon last November. I’ve signed up for the Hamburg Halbmarathon which will be at the end of June, so I have a lot of training to do between now and then.
- Finish wedding thank you notes: Unfortunately, a casualty in our moving commotion was the thank you cards that I ordered a long time ago. They didn’t make it into any of our bags or boxes, so I needed to order new ones. Once they arrive I’ll be able to finally cross that item off of my to do list.
- Reorganize digital files: Some of my digital files have becomes very disorganized. I need to go through them and get them organized for my own sanity.
- Find apartment: We need a permanent place to live in Hamburg! We’ve narrowed down our search pretty well. We know what neighborhoods we want to live in, how much we can spend, and so forth. Now we just need to wait for a property to pop up that works (and chooses us!). I was hoping “move and furnish apartment” would be on my list of things to do before starting work, but it appears that it’s going to have to happen after I start.
- Take care of visa and moving logistics: This item has been pretty slow going, but we need to register our address, apply for visas, open German bank accounts, and other random logistical items. These should be wrapped up before I start work, but they are still ongoing.
- Plan our travel schedule: One of the most exciting things about living in Germany is that we’re going to be able to travel to so many places! We need to sit down and figure out where we want to go and when we want to go. We’ll wait until after we get settled into our new apartment, but we’d love to aim to go somewhere new about once per month while we’re here.
So that’s that! It still feels surreal that we actually moved to a new country. I’m so excited about the experiences that await us and looking forward to doing something completely new.