Combating the Repatriation Blues »

So much truth and so much I can relate to in this article. 

This past weekend we took our first trip to Chicago since we’ve been back in the US. It was such a fun weekend but we didn’t just go for the fun - Ryan ran the Chicago Marathon on Sunday! He has been training so hard for this race and it paid off. His official time was 3:27:02! This was a big time personal best for him, beating his last PR by over 20 minutes. I am so proud of him and all of the hard work he put in to reaching his goal! The race environment in Chicago was really fun to see in person too. There were 1.7 million spectators cheering on over 45,000 runners and it is quite the sight to see. It ALMOST makes you want to run a marathon yourself. 

In addition to the marathon, we also got to spend time with lots of Purdue friends and I got to see my brother who lives in Chicago now as well. The whole weekend went by entirely too fast but luckily I get to see most of my friends next weekend for a wedding in Indianapolis. Already looking forward to our next trip to the Windy City!

Last weekend we ventured back to Illinois to celebrate Ryan’s brother’s wedding. It was such a fun weekend filled with so much love. We got to see both of our families and also Purdue friends we haven’t seen since we moved back from Germany.

Congratulations, Sean & Anne!! We are so happy for you and can’t wait for the many trips and family adventures in our future!

Random Thoughts on Repat Life

- I really, REALLY miss walking to do my daily errands. At one point right after our move to Germany I would have given anything to just drive to do my errands but after 3.5 years I got used to the built-in daily exercise. 

- On the same note I miss my 5th floor walk-up. I don’t miss the actual act of being breathless every time I got to my front door but my body misses the built-in exercise. The difference in scaling 5 flights of stairs several times a day vs 1 flight of stairs is also very apparent on the scale right now. 

- I miss being able to go out to eat and not accidentally consuming 5,000 calories. Ok, maybe this is a little bit of an exaggeration, but really. Food is SO good here but also many times SO bad for you and a lot of times you have no idea how many calories you are consuming. All States needs to get on board with California’s law of printing nutrition info on restaurant menus. 

- I LOVE how quickly I can do laundry. In Germany loads of laundry not only took 1 hour or more to complete but  I also couldn’t run my washer and dryer at the same time which made laundry quite the chore. It would take me an entire day to do 4 loads of laundry. In the US I can run the washer and dryer simultaneously and complete all of our laundry in 3 hours. 

- I forgot how hot summer is in Atlanta. And unfortunately it’s not really showing signs of cooling down anytime soon. 

- On the same note I forgot how amazing air conditioning and ceiling fans are. 

- I still can’t get over the convenience factor of life in the US. Stores are open LATE and on SUNDAYS! God Bless America!

- I am loving my job so far! That being said this is the most difficult transition of getting used to life back in the US for me. Getting used to a work schedule is hard, especially when it comes to beauty sleep! I was so used to getting 8+ hours of sleep every night that getting up early is quite difficult and I also find it hard to get everything done. When I wasn’t working I would often get asked "WHAT DO YOU DOOOO ALL DAY??" Well…. I checked things off my to do list and not only got them done but I also got to pursue new things and take up new hobbies. I am loving what I’m doing but it’s also difficult to get everything done on your to-do list, relax, and spend time with your husband and friends in the few hours you have when you get done with work for the day.

- I still can’t get over how quickly our 3.5 years in Germany went and how fast the time has gone since we have been back. We have already been back in Atlanta for 2.5 months!

Life in Atlanta…

I’ve been doing a pretty horrible job of keeping you updated on our transition into life back in Atlanta, sorry for that! 

Today marks exactly 2 months since we moved in to our place in Atlanta. I can’t believe how fast the time has gone! We are feeling very settled at this point. Our apartment feels like home and we have reconnected with most of our friends in Atlanta. I’m so grateful that we moved back to a city where we already have an amazing network of friends. Having such great friends here has made the transition a lot easier than I thought it might be. 

Since our trip to San Francisco we have spent most of our time in Atlanta but we have gotten to take a couple of long weekend trips as well. We went to Hilton Head at the end of July with a group of 4 couples and had a great time. It was my first time there and a nice relaxing weekend with friends.

Over Labor Day weekend we headed to Washington DC for my Uncle’s wedding. It was so great to see and catch up with family that we haven’t seen in an embarrassingly long period of time. The wedding was a beautiful, intimate affair with family and close friends in their backyard -  complete with a catered BBQ and yard games. A relaxing and fun event for the couple and their guests! We also had the chance to go in to the district to meet up with a close Purdue friend one of the nights to make our trip complete. 

And probably the most exciting news of all is that I got a job!! I’ve been in the process of job searching since well before we left Germany and found a company that provides services for expats to ease their transition such as intercultural education and spousal assistance. I am going to be coordinating the services my new company provides for expats and their families by communicating with the corporate clients (expat employers), family clients (families moving abroad) and the subject matter experts providing the training. I am so excited that I not only found a job fairly quickly after being unemployed for the last 3.5 years, but also that I found a position that I am passionate about and is so fitting for my experience abroad. Tomorrow is my first day and I’m already looking forward to the start of my true transition back in to life in the US. 

Overall the reverse culture shock is not as bad as I anticipated. We are really enjoying being home and especially closer to family and friends again. Although there are definitely things I miss about our life in Germany I am very content with my life right now and feel like I am exactly where I need to be. 

"Only in America do we equate workaholism with virtue and view time spent at the shore or in the mountains or in the desert as time wasted — as evidence of laziness."

Once we got to Atlanta we didn’t stay put for long! We drove down to Atlanta on July 6th, the movers delivered our container to our new apartment on July 8th and July 9th Ryan had to leave for a work trip to Kansas City and San Francisco. When we found out Ryan had to go to San Francisco for work we decided that I would meet him there for the weekend!

Friday night we went to a Giant’s game and Saturday we spent the day exploring Fisherman’s Wharf, The Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and other areas of the city. A quick trip but we had so much fun and so much amazing food. Next time Ryan has the opportunity to work in San Francisco I think a return trip for me and a visit to Napa is going to be in order. 

After our experience abroad and all of the traveling we did in Europe we decided we needed to spend some more time seeing all of the wonderful sights that our own country has to offer and I think we are off to a great start! 

I can’t believe it has already been 4 years! What an incredible adventure we have had spending the first 3.5 years of our marriage abroad and seeing 40 countries. Now I’m looking forward to settling back in and seeing what year 4 has in store for us back at home. Happy Anniversary, my Love!

TBT | 4th of July 2014 Boat Parade on Ryan’s parent’s lake

We left Iceland on July 1st and said goodbye to Europe for the foreseeable future. It was kind of weird knowing we weren’t going to be returning to the continent in a few weeks after a visit at home but also comforting knowing that we were finally going home for good! 

We spent our first week back in Illinois getting cars and going through all of the items we had in storage at our parents’ homes. It was like Christmas going through all of the items we left behind, most of which were wedding presents that we only got 3 months of use out of before we had to leave for Germany. That week we also got to spend lots of time with both of our families and it was wonderful getting to see everyone. The best part was knowing that it wouldn’t be 6-12 months before we got to see everyone again. 

Another highlight of the week was actually getting to celebrate Independence Day back in the good ol’ USA! The 4th of July is always a holiday when I felt homesick over in Germany. It’s hard seeing pictures of everyone getting together and celebrating the 4th with cookouts and fireworks when it’s just a normal day in Nuremberg. This year we were extremely grateful for the chance to celebrate with our families and to count our blessings that we are once again residents of The United States of America.