Hello Germany! Here we are – in our new home, our new life. Today is the second morning that I have a couple of hours to myself. The kids are in school and day-care, my husband is at work. And I finally feel like writing again and telling you a little bit about the past weeks and months and the process of transitioning to Germany. But where do I start?

transitioning to Germany

With moving tips and tricks? A travel guide to California or Hawaii? An overview of the amazing coffee shops in San Francisco? An essay on our short and very emotional final visit to Chattanooga, our home for the past 5 years? A post about the first weeks in Germany with many highs (seeing old friends and eating far too much Streuselkuchen and Spaghetti ice-cream sundaes) and lows (the weather, the smileless people)? How we are trying to find a new normal, a daily routine in our new house and home town? Or maybe I should write about the happy reunions with dear friends that we haven’t seen for several months or years? Or about doctor and public office visits, phase-in at day-care, the first days of German elementary school. The numerous differences between living in Germany or in the United States.

I’m pretty sure that by now it’s easy to imagine that all of this is too much a lot to put into words, not to mention to actively and consciously process.

Before we moved out of our house in Chattanooga, I told myself again and again:

Tina, take one day at a time and don’t think too far ahead.

It worked. And it’s still working. But I have to constantly remind myself to live by it:

One day at a time.

So instead of describing, explaining, processing thoughts, feelings, experiences in (too) many words, I’ve decided to take you on a visual journey. A journey that leads us from an empty house in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to beautiful places in California and Hawaii until we finally cross the Atlantic Ocean and arrive in Germany, our new old home country. Let’s do this!

transitioning to Germany

Empty shelves, empty living room, empty house. Oh how I loved these built-in shelves and closets!

travel with kids

On our way to the West Coast. With the end of the summer the kids now are travel and flying experts. Though we are still working on the elimination of the occasional motion sickness…

San Francisco with kids

Spectacular view from the top floor of our hotel in San Francisco. So glad that it took me a couple of days to realize that earthquakes are not uncommon in the area.

San Francisco with kids

Traveling with kids means that you are always looking for a playground. To rest, relax, unwind. You. Not the kids.

San Francisco with kids

My favorite part of our stay in San Francisco: biking across the Golden Gate Bridge. With sunshine!

California with kids

Spontaneous visit to the vineyards around Paso Robles – so beautiful, even for a non-wine drinker.

California Coastal Highway

Exploring California’s Pacific Coast Highway

Maui with kids

Another 5 hour plane ride. This time with Hawaiian Airlines to Maui.

Maui with kids

Maui beach life. All day, every day.

Maui with kids

The best banana bread on the island did we eat here.

transitioning to Germany

Final coffee and good-byes in Chattanooga.

transitioning to Germany

Welcome to my childhood Germany!

transitioning back to Germany

The rainbow that changed everything: the weather, my sleep, my mood.

transitioning to Germany

Welcome to our new home!

transitioning to Germany

Moving in and creating a new home. Box by box.

transitioning to Germany

I instantly fell in love with IKEA Salzburg. Wanna know why? It seems like an exact replica of the IKEA in Atlanta. Plus a really good coffee bar! #coffeeisalwaysagoodidea

transitioning to Germany

One of the things I love about life in Germany: we can ride our bikes everywhere, such as to buy beautiful flower bouquets at the weekly farmer’s market.

Celebrating first day of first grade with decorations by engelundbanditen

Celebrating first day of first grade with these fun muffin toppers by Engel & Banditen.

Electro boating on the Chiemsee

Whenever possible aka whenever the weather allows, we head out to explore Bavaria. Here we are enjoying the sun on an electro boat on the beautiful Chiemsee.

So this is how we spent our summer. Traveling across the world. Packing and unpacking. Creating and abandoning daily routines. It was a fun and exciting summer. It was an emotional and exhausting summer. Now I’m ready for a slow and relaxing and (hopefully) sunny fall, y’all!

I’ll write more about transitioning, moving, adapting, reverse culture shock or whatever else you call this strange and unique phase in my life. Once I feel ready. Once the words are there.

Until then I would like to answer at least one question. A question I get asked again and again:
Habt Ihr Euch schon eingelebt? Have you settled in yet?
To which my answer has been so far:
Nein. Not yet.

I know that it takes time. I try not to be impatient (which is so not me ;-)) and to take one day a time.

As always I would love to hear from you: what were your experiences when you moved to a new place? Any advice you have for me? Any stories you would like to share or questions you’d like to ask?

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