Welcome to Adventures Abroad, the Continuing Story. Today is the day that I was supposed to be wrapping up an 8-month military tour in Stuttgart, Germany and hopping on what would surely be a cramped plane that would take me back to the States. Eight months is a ridiculously short period of time in the grand scheme of things, but even more so when you are enjoying everything that being abroad offers. And, while I miss my family and friends and my hubby when he is not here, I just wasn’t ready to go back yet.
Then came the good news. I was offered an extension by leadership here, and the folks back home thankfully agreed to let me stay. The best part? It is for the entire year. Twelve more months of traveling, meeting new people, continuing the good times with the people I have met and the opportunity to start what I should have started eight months ago – this blog. If nothing else, even if no one reads it, I will have all of the good (and I’m sure some not so good) memories documented. I realized about five months into being here that I should have started a blog, or at the very least, kept a journal about John and I’s experience here – because I will definitely want all of the memories of our time in Europe.
We have managed to squeeze a crazy amount of traveling in the short 8-months that I have been over here, which considering that John was only here for about four and a half months of that – we have been quite busy. There is an endless amount of places to see here (I’m not even kind of kidding – my Excel spreadsheet with the list of all the places I want to go has six tabs with four countries to each page…ridiculous!) and the best part is that pretty much all of it is well within driving distance.
Munich (the first place we went to overnight when John got to Germany in April) is only two hours away:
Prague, our second adventure, is an easy-five hour drive through the pretty Germany and Czech Republic countrysides:
The gorgeous island of Ireland is a short 2-hour plane ride away:
John had to go back to the States for a month, so in June, I went on a road trip to Switzerland, the border of which is just two hours south:
My friend Karyn came to visit at the end of June, and among the many places we visited, one was wine tasting along the French Wine Route, which is just over an hour and a half away:
Karyn and I also visited Patton’s grave in Luxembourg, 2.5 hours north of here, at one of the American Military Cemeteries in Europe:
John’s return to Germany in July took us to the historical town of Berlin, which is five hours north of here:
Paris, which was at the top of my bucket list, is an easy 3.5 hour train ride away.
The Italian border is five hours south, and three hours in is the amazing Cinque Terre:
My mom came to visit us in late August and among the many places we went, one of the best was to Salzburg, Austria, which is a mere 3.5 hour drive west:
All of this in addition to the wonderful little day trips that are possible in the beautiful country that is Germany! (More on that later…this post will be way to long if I don’t stop now!)
In total, we have visited eight countries in eight months, which is simply amazing. And of course, I do work – normally 13+ hour days, but I really enjoy the people I work with so the time goes fast, and who can really complain when the off-time means we get to travel to amazing places!
I am so excited to see what the next year holds and I’m thankful that I get the chance to stay and experience it!