I’ve been dreading this day for a long time.
After 3 years, that felt more like 3 months, I’m leaving Europe. And with such a heavy heart.
I can’t even begin to express what this place has done for me. In the past 3 years, I think I’ve grown more as a human being than I have in the 22 years prior to that. My eyes, ears, heart, mind and soul have been unlocked by the diverse cultures, perspectives and beauty that I would have never grown accustomed to had I stayed in the obscure confines of the midwest, USA.
I have explored historical sites that I had only learned about in school, sunbathed on the most famous beaches in the world, walked the halls of 1000-year-old castles, filled my belly with traditional cuisines, and created everlasting memories that I can replay in my mind for years to come.
But everything good has to come to an end, right?
At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Good things always end. That doesn’t mean that a good thing won’t ever happen again, but I’m not sure about how good I’m going to feel returning back to the US.
Three short years ago, my hub’s job assigned him to Germany. And you know what the crazy thing is? When I first found out we would be moving to Europe, I was pretty upset about it. My dad had recently been diagnosed with cancer, I was continuing my education through grad school, and, even though I always wanted to escape my small town in Indiana, I just wasn’t sure I actually had the guts to do it.
But, I made the jump. And my goodness, I’m so happy I did.
Where I’m from, when people move across the country, it’s a pretty big deal. So, you can imagine the buzz we created when they all found out we were moving across the world.
Not many people ever leave my hometown. The norm is to graduate high school, maybe attend the local college, snag a job, get married, have babies (not necessarily in that order), and settle into a life where you can literally see your entire future laid out in front of you. Small town folks become complacent and completely satisfied with working the same job until retirement, then living out the rest of their days there.
There’s nothing wrong with that life; millions, if not billions, of people live that way. I just never wanted that for myself. And honestly, before coming to Europe, I think I may have been on the track to that.
So, what’s next you ask? The new assignment for my hub’s job is sending us 5600 miles away from Germany to Northern California, a mere 2200 miles from the farmland I reign from in Indiana.
I’ll be hitching a flight from Frankfurt to Indiana, packing up 25 years of my life in a matter of days, then shoving it all into a U-Haul to embark on the 32 hour drive towards the west coast.
Am I going to be happy? Will the location satisfy me like Europe has? Will I still have opportunities to travel and see the world?
All of these questions linger around my mind every day and I’m not sure if I’ll have an answer for them anytime soon.
But, what’s life without an adventure, right?
So, come along with me on this new escapade and see where it takes me.
Maybe, when it’s all over, I’ll be fortunate enough to return to Europe 🤞🏼