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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Norris

Update: What our family has been up to

I've done a pretty poor job of blogging since we moved to Germany, and for good reason! Our family has been very busy with traveling, spending time with family and enjoying our new home in Lich. Instead of sitting in front of my computer, I've been enjoying exploring our new town and spending time with my in-laws. Its been a wonderful past two months in Europe.

However, I feel my hiatus on writing needs to come to an end and I'm excited to put into words all of the amazing and eye opening experiences we've had lately.

So here is a quick recap on what we've been up to these past two months.

Road trip through Tuscany

To kick off our time in Europe, we flew to Tuscany with my MIL for my birthday. Tuscany has always been my number one must-see destination and I can confidently say it exceeded all of my expectations. It is by far my favorite destination we have ever traveled to and I left with countless memories I will always cherish.

We went to infamous museums, ate way too much pasta, drank some of the best wine I've ever had, watched sunsets over olive fields, and simply relaxed in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

Every town looked like it came straight out of a movie set and the people were warm and so eager to share their culture and history with us. Is it cliche to call it a perfect vacation? Because it pretty much feels that way. I left Tuscany with a love of their food, culture, dozens of postcard-worthy pictures and the desire to explore more of Italy.


Our new home

After a few weeks of living out of family's house or in hotels, we were ready to move into the house we rented in Lich. We had only seen pictures of the home online and we were eager to check out where we will be living for the next 6 months. I'm not going to lie, I was a bit anxious.

However, as soon as I stepped inside I knew we were "home". This house couldn't be any more perfect for our family. Its an updated German home that has kept its modern, 80s vibe near perfectly. We rented the house furnished which was super convenient for us and its only about 20 minutes away from Ryan's family. Win-win!

And the cool thing is the retired couple we rented it from decided to make their life-long dream of living in Paris come true. Like us, they packed up and moved to another country to have a mini-adventure which was perfect timing for when we wanted to move to Germany. I feel like some major stars aligned for both of our families for this to have happened so seamlessly.

My absolute favorite thing about this home is the backyard - its an oasis of fruit! Two cherry trees, an apple tree, a peach tree, raspberries, currants, gooseberries and more. I have had so much fun taking a bucket to our backyard and picking fruit with Milena then making cakes, pies or just eating them fresh.


Learning to drive in Germany

Dread. Panic. Borderline-fear. All of these emotions are what I felt when I thought about driving in Germany. I knew once we decided to move here it was going to be a challenge for me to figure out the Autubahn, and whats worse I had to learn to to drive manual.

You're probably thinking, "wait, you can't drive stick?!". I never learned and never thought I would need it. Little did I know I'd be moving to a country where nearly every vehicle is manual.

I'll have to brag and say I learned the basics fairly quickly with little to no errors... in a deserted field. Now, the roads and street lights are a whole different story. For three weeks I was a bundle of stress, sweat and tears driving around our town with either Ryan or my MIL. I hated it. 100% hated driving.

I was constantly stressed and worried. So not only was I having to learn to drive stick, but I was learning new traffic laws and driving etiquette in a foreign country.

Germans drive fast, aggressive and while that normally wouldn't bother me (I am from Dallas by the way) it was almost too much for me to handle while learning to drive manual. I endured honking, some yelling, and many frustrated Germans. But thankfully I didn't let that deter me and with Ryan's encouragement I think I've figured it out. I've slowly started driving by myself and have little to no mistakes lately.

So while I still get a bunch of nerves when I drive, they are starting to calm down and I feel much more confident while on the roads. To say I'm proud of myself is an understatement!


Road trip to London

I've been to London several times, and while its a great city I never felt the need to return... until my family booked flights to England in June! So we took off in our car from Frankfurt, crossed over the English Channel on a ferry and miraculously survived driving on the left side of the road to meet my family in London.

We spent a whole week in England with my family and some friends who live outside of Oxford. It was a great trip not only because the weather was perfect and I finally got to see Stonehenge, but we were able to spend some quality time with family. Moving abroad has been an incredible experience, but there is nothing like spending time with family and I sure miss them all like crazy!

family trip to Stonehenge

I'm putting together write ups on our trips and some tips on living in Germany that I hope to share soon!

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