Six months, part two

Yesterday, I wrote about having been here for six months, and the homesickness I’m feeling.  It’s hard to be away from everyone, to be sure.

But, at the same time, it’s a major accomplishment.  Six months ago today, we arrived in Vienna.  We had rented a place for 10 days, but had no way to pay for it.  We had no Euros, spoke no German and had no phones that would work here.  I don’t think I will ever forget the moment we wheeled ourselves, and our stuff, out of the airport and stood on the curb, waiting for Dan’s friend to come and pick us up.  It was cold, it was gray.  We had ourselves, one stroller, 5 suitcases, 3 backpacks, two kids and a dog.

Damn.

And here we are.  We now have a beautiful place, in a wonderful part of the city.  We go grocery shopping, we ride the train, we go to the bank.  Benjamin goes to school.  We all understand a little German, and we’re learning to speak some, too.  We’re learning a lot about the culture and customs of Vienna.  We’re finding our way, and our place, here in Vienna.  We have a really pleasant life here.  We’re doing great.

We will probably be here for two years.  That means one quarter of our time here has passed.  That really motivates me to get out more, to do more, to get us in gear and travel more.  No matter how strongly we still often feel like we’ve just arrived (and in many ways, that’s true) marking this milestone reminds me that before I know it, we’ll be packing up and planning to move home.  We still have so much to do and see here, and I don’t want to leave Vienna with any regrets.

Living abroad gives you new perspective on the way things can be done, and it gives you true appreciation for great things that you’ve always taken for granted.  Whatever the future holds, however long (or short) we stay here, we have been here long enough to be changed by this experience.  We are all citizens of the world in a way that we weren’t very recently.

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