A hard and fast reset

In the weeks leading up to our international move to Garmisch, Germany, we were busy selling a house, packing all our things, preparing for a new job, figuring out logistics of traveling with a dog, saying goodbye to family, celebrating with out of town friends, and trying to maximize our last days in a city tied to so many fond memories. We were willingly taking on multiple of life’s most stressful events at once because we were confident in our decision, our motivation, and our ability to feel good through the whole process. 

Moving day hit and it was Go Time despite anything we had or had not finished in Cincinnati. We landed in Germany after 21 hours of travel time. From the Munich airport, we still had to drive to Garmisch. My new boss (whom I had never met and obviously wanted to make a positive first impression on) picked us up directly from the airport. In hindsight, I think we had hurtled past the point of exhaustion and were a bit delirious on that first car ride. It just was so darn exciting though… and if you know Austin and I, you know that we aren’t great at concealing our excitement. My poor new introverted boss LOL but really, it was fine. We chatted about all were we seeing as I had my first ever Autobahn experience. The chauffeured car ride facilitated my ability to take in the new types of vegetation, vehicles, and landscapes around. And my god, were we driving straight into the most striking mountain range and through some of the quaintest towns I had ever seen. 

Phew. We made it to our temporary home for the first 10 days, a small cabin on the campgrounds of the Army Garrison. We finally took a breath before getting a lay of the land and walking to our one appointment of the afternoon. We were COMPLETELY spent before 4pm. That night, there was a magnificent thunderstorm. I swear, it was rare. Maybe not for Garmisch, but for most people’s experience. The thunder was booming, yet the sound of the storm was peaceful and comforting on our little cabin. I’ll never forget it. I glanced at my watch to see 9 and was convinced we had slept all night until 9am. In reality, it was 9pm and I had only been asleep for three hours. My internal clock was clearly all awack, but I breathed deeply in that moment and realized how good I felt. I could feel my mind and body resetting as I let the sound of the rain lull me back to sleep.

Cabin post 1

Day after day, the reality of this life reset was so apparent to us. It was such a contrast from the hustle and bustle of life in Cincinnati. We left stressful jobs and endless pull on our time, replaced by living in a cabin in the middle of a small German town, surrounded by bountiful nature and mountain views on every horizon. We quickly started assimilating to life and work here. We don’t have a car, adding to the welcomed, but somewhat stark realignment of time and energy. We walked over 70 miles in our first 7 days, as we wanted to explore both the city and the surrounding wilderness of this new place. 149,315 steps accumulated so naturally, we didn’t even realize we had logged so many miles. Austin and I have always enjoyed walking together as time set aside to talk and stay active, but this was different. Walking and incorporating wellness is a way of life here.

Since we don’t yet have a kitchen, we have been eating out a lot here. This may seem awesome until you realize that the Germans use meals as a time to communicate and enjoy. It’s not a quick “grab and go” situation. The waiter/waitress will never give you the bill unless you work to get their attention and ask. This was hard for us at first. It was another presentation of contrast to life in the US. We have slowly learned to avoid frustration in these settings. Why were we always so rushed? Back in the states, we often hurried back to get home to the dog, but have found that dogs are welcome in basically all settings (except for the grocery store) here. We are learning to bring her along and to embrace the slower pace. I don’t really know how this stressful life event ended up being calming for us, but I’m pretty sure we were just ready for a reset. We had identified a need to leave behind some of the stresses weighing on us from Cincinnati and we worked hard to achieve the goal of moving to Germany’s playground. We prepared adequately, controlling the things we could in the process and took the inevitable challenges in stride once we got here.

We may always keep a bit of the American hustle culture within us, but I must say that prioritizing inner peace at our own pace feels wunderbar 😊

One Comment

  1. Maureen Roberts

    Hello! How are you three doing? I am so delighted by your thoughts, your words and the beautiful photos of you in your new world. I only have a moment to write, so just wanted to send you some love and good wishes on your German journey. You look and sound wonderful, I am so happy for you.
    I look forward to hearing more. M.xoxo

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