taking stock

i was hoping that my time in the united states would help me figure some things out… to take a step back from life in europe and glean some clarity from looking at the whole adventure from afar. now i’m heading back to czech republic, the country that takes hold of you (or as kafka once said, “grasps you in its claws ”) and doesn’t let you go where it’s hard to make these big decisions about the future.

the easy stuff: i knew i would return to the czech republic. (already kinda had that return plane ticket!) i knew i would spend at least one more school year there. yep, committed at least through june 2016, bam.

unfortunately, i didn’t have any startling, mind-rocking revelations about exactly what we are doing there and for how long. but some things i did manage to figure out:

i won’t live in cz forever. the blue ocean and mountains will call me eventually, and i expect to return home. sometime. only exception: if by some struck of genius luck that i finally move to berlin. (hayyy, berliners?…)

i am really not sure i will return to the emerald city. we spent some wonderful time in seattle, but this time back in the pacific northwest made me realize how much of an island girl i truly am for the long-haul, not so much a city girl. (unless that city is, ahem…

we have more travels over here to do! the best part about living in the heart of central europe is the fantastic travel opportunities… let’s be honest. something big for those with itchy, wanderlustin’ feet like mine! we made a bit of a short-list of ideas for the next school year and i’m pretty excited about the “first draft”.  also to come: visiting a 30th country at the age of 30. what will it be? croatia? norway? finland? romania? 

on my third “blogaversary” and anniversary of this adventure, this is sort of a taking stock kind of post. i certainly did not expect to be adventuring this long. but man, it’s treated us so good and my visit back home in the united states and being surrounded with american life only helps to propel us ahead for new adventures in the coming year. 

sometimes articles that float around the interweb like this one, while empowering, make me waver only slightly, momentarily, in what i am doing. the author states that age 30 is when “many of us experience our first big career payoffs, and allow ourselves to finally exhale a little because for once, it doesn’t feel like we’re building our lives from scratch”. exhale? charles what now? i can’t really relate to this statement, and it only makes me realize what a different path i have chosen and that i am on compared to the average 29 year old woman. the only reason i can exhale is because we’ve got a great thing going right now in a lil’ country that is too good to leave, at this point in time. the phrase “big career payoffs” falls flat; rings hollow for me, but unforgettable experience, travels, and whether i know it or not, building a life in a foreign country across the world from home do not.

so: do i think i am making the most financially-sensical choice? no. do i think i am really going for it and living the one life i’ve been given? yeah. i don’t expect that i am going to be able to exhale too much in the future. or when i decide to inevitably repatriate and have to regroup. but i am perhaps naively optimistic that everything will work out just fine in the end and that whatever happens during or after my expatriation, i will land on my feet. after all, i’ve got my husband. we’ve got our experiences, stories, growth, and knowledge. we are paving our own way, and we’re going to be alright.

have you read any of the aforementioned articles? (”the power of 29′”& “why ‘don’t worry, just travel’ is stupid advice”) i’d be curious to know your thoughts.