Adventures Abroad (The Continuing Story)

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:

At the top of St. Peter's, an awesome view of Munich - one of our favorite places in Germany!

At the top of St. Peter’s, an awesome view of Munich – one of our favorite places in Germany!

Prague, our second adventure, is an easy-five hour drive through the pretty Germany and Czech Republic countrysides:

One of the prettiest places we have been!

One of the prettiest places we have been!

The gorgeous island of Ireland is a short 2-hour plane ride away:

Ten days of exploring Ireland in May was a great introduction to the island!

Ten days of exploring Ireland in May was a great introduction to the island!

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:

Switzerland is incredibly picturesque...it's almost unreal how pretty it is!

Switzerland is incredibly picturesque…it’s almost unreal how pretty it is!

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:

The Alsace Wine Route is like something out of a fairy tale with adorable villages lined by vineyards!

The Alsace Wine Route is like something out of a fairy tale with adorable villages lined by vineyards!

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:

Patton's grave site rests in front of his troops.

Patton’s grave site rests in front of his troops.

John’s return to Germany in July took us to the historical town of Berlin, which is five hours north of here:

Berlin is a very complex town and the history is apparent from the start as it is unlike any other German town I have visited. I'm glad we went, but I wouldn't say it was my favorite.

Berlin is a very complex town and the history is apparent from the start as it is unlike any other German town I have visited. I’m glad we went, but I wouldn’t say it was my favorite.

Paris, which was at the top of my bucket list, is an easy 3.5 hour train ride away.

I loved Paris and can't wait to go back now that we have hit all the obligatory places. Now, I want to just go and enjoy the city!

I loved Paris and can’t wait to go back now that we have hit all the obligatory places. Now, I want to just go and enjoy the city!

The Italian border is five hours south, and three hours in is the amazing Cinque Terre:

Cinque Terre is at the top of my list of places we have visited. It is amazing and I can't wait to go back!

Cinque Terre is at the top of my list of places we have visited. It is amazing and I can’t wait to go back!

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:

We went on the Fraulein Maria Bike Tour, which is not only great if you like the movie, "The Sound of Music," but is also a great way to learn about the history of the town!

We went on the Fraulein Maria Bike Tour, which is not only great if you like the movie, “The Sound of Music,” but is also a great way to learn about the history of the town!

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!

2 thoughts on “Adventures Abroad (The Continuing Story)

  1. Hooray for you, boo for all of us stateside! But we are traveling to France next summer for a wedding and to catch some of the Le Tour so maybe we can meet up then!

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