2015 has been the year of changing plans. As a good friend of ours says: “A plan is just a list of things that won’t happen.” That has certainly been true for us this year!
We started the year with a plan to move to Munich where I had a job lined up and ended up cutting our trip to Morocco short and moving to Berlin for M to take a job. The job is with a small firm that a larger international company just bought out and while there was promise of M being moved down to Munich in the near future, there was no definitive timeline.
Since we decided that there wasn’t enough excitement and uncertainty in our lives we decided to start a family and I promptly got pregnant. Further complicating things, my body doesn’t seem to appreciate this pregnancy thing very much and I quickly succumbed to almost three full months of constant “morning” sickness. It was, of course, during these months that the tutoring and course review job I have through an online startup picked up and I struggled to teach some physics between trips to the bathroom. Needless to say, I took a long pause in my German learning activities while coping!
The change in work and city plans resulted in some stress around the fact that without my job I didn’t have a visa to live in Germany. We oscillated between plans of me hiding from the German winter in Vietnam and the Philippians for a few months in order to be able to renew my Schengen Visa entry and simply pushing up our wedding date. Eventually, with the new knowledge of the baby on the way, we settled this with a courthouse wedding, attended by our parents and two of my siblings. Through this whole experience we have learned a lot about jumping through various governmental hoops, but the end result is that I can now legally live in Germany and am married to the person I was planning to marry!
As I was finally getting over the worst of the sickness, M’s company finally announced a timeline for moving him down to Munich. Instead of a few months, such a move was going to be over a year out. As we had been living in temporary housing (with a friend, then a furnished sublet) in anticipation of a move, we finally started looking for apartments. As luck would have it, a friend was moving out of his rent-controlled place and we were able to take it over. Of course, finding the apartment turned out to be the easiest part of the whole moving ordeal. While we know that I have trouble with kitchen appliances in Germany, moving and furnishing an apartment can teach you a lot about the differences between countries and cultures. Perhaps that is a rant discussion for another post…
We’re still working on that part of the plan. Germany has some incredible parental leave and vacation policies that will likely allow us to do a bit of traveling. This time, with an infant in tow!