A new year. A blank page. A fresh start. – www.tinabusch.com

2017.

Wow. So here we are.

A new year. A blank page. A fresh start. 2016 is history.

Recently, I’ve been reading many reviews of 2016 as well as goals and resolutions for 2017 on my favorite blogs. This inspired me to do the same – looking back, briefly, to 2016 and then, more importantly, looking ahead at the new year. What does 2017 have in store for you and for me?

2016 was a challenging, exciting, painful and very emotional year. For me personally and for us as a family. Blog-wise it was not a good my worst year so far, especially if you look at the statistics (which I don’t do too often). Fewer posts means less readers, less comments and interaction. Which equals less fun.

But that’s absolutely ok.

Last year the blog didn’t have a high priority in my life. Instead I poured all of my energy (and more) into my family, focusing above all on a smooth transition from a much loved, exciting and different American way of life to an unknown and “normal” life in Germany. As I promised I took you along on our journey of moving back: from my Look & See trip in April, to moving day in June, and getting used to life in Germany in October. This journey also included unpredictable long stretches of silence. Because I realized very quickly that some experiences are too raw, too chaotic and messy, and so personal that they can’t be shared in real time. Maybe never.

But that’s absolutely ok.

So what are my plans for 2017? What’s in store for you, my dear blog readers, in the upcoming days, weeks and months?

A fresh start!

In 2017 my blog is turning 3 and I’m excited to make it a fun, creative and inspiring blogging year. For me and for you!

I really missed my little corner of the internet during the last couple of months! I miss my mornings in my office which I would spend writing and researching blog posts, always with a latte at my side. I miss coming up with ideas for photos, then taking, editing and sharing them. I miss connecting with you here on my blog and also on Facebook and Instagram. I miss learning something new every day. I miss being inspired and creative.

So here’s to a fresh start. Are you in?

The topics that I’m going to write about are still going to embrace my life, my experiences, my interests. Which means: anything related to coffee (of course), new destinations that we are exploring as a family, and, once in a while, I might be spilling the beans about being a mom of a first grader and a 4-year-old Kindergarten-Kind. You will also read more about my favorite podcasts, the books that pile up on my nightstand, and get an insight into the blogging world in Germany, the USA and other corners of the world.

I’m also continuing to write about expat life and my personal repatriation story. My expat experiences will always be an integral part of who I am now. After five months back in Germany a normality has arrived, with daily routines, old and new friendships, favorite places. The lows are getting less frequent, but they are still deep. We are not over it yet. I have not fully arrived yet. Maybe I will never truly arrive and feel at home again. Because a part of my heart will always belong to Chattanooga, this beautiful and exciting town in the Tennessee Valley.

But that’s absolutely ok.

Because I know that there is room for more. I have a big heart.

I’ve also decided to bring the The Weekend Files / Link Love-posts back. So many of you told me that they miss my weekly round-up posts. And so do I! Not only do they help me to write more frequently and consistently, but I also love reading weekly round-up posts of favorite reads, links, things, thoughts and moments myself. This is how I often come across the best reads on the internet! I can’t wait to have a regular date with my readers again and share the good stuff with you every Friday!

But there is more.

2017 is the year I’m going to turn 40. I don’t know whether it’s actually the big 4 that makes me thoughtful, sceptical, questioning. Maybe it’s that my kids and their schedules give me a little bit more freedom. Maybe it’s the fact that my life is marked by a deep cut with our move to Germany and an unavoidable re-orientation. And now after the dust has settled and the other three family members are going their ways (more or less), it is my turn to put my life to test.

More likely it’s a combination of all of the above.

I hardly had anything to go back to when we returned to Germany. No job. No career. No neighbors. No circle of friends. No daily routines. I had no choice but to start fresh and to make very conscious decisions a hundred times a day. Every day.

And I know that I’m not who I used to be 10 years ago. I’m not who I used to be 5 years ago.

And that’s absolutely ok!

Because I can’t and I don’t want to pick my life up where I left off. Instead I keep asking myself: What now? What next? What do I want?

That’s why I’m allowing not only my blog but also myself a fresh start.

Everything is possible.

To fresh starts in 2017!

Happy new year, y’all!