How I Met Your Adventure: From Casinos to Castles06 December 2013
How I Met Your Adventure is a series of posts featuring you, my readers! Whether it's that time you almost got arrested in Rome or a heartwarming story about finding love in Tokyo, I want to hear your unique travel story.
Hello to all of Aryn's fabulous readers!
I'm Deanna, a city girl from Vegas, who fell head-over-heals for both another a country and a man from that country! We tried living in the states, but it just didn't work for us. So, one day we decided to pack up what we could, sell the rest and move our family back to Germany! I was so proud of us for taking such a huge leap of faith that I decided to blog about it and that's how From Casinos To Castles all began. I blog about being an expat, a mother, the gorgeous place I live and the trials and tribulations of it all.
How has it been adjusting to your new life abroad? Any challenges?
I lived in Germany from 2008-2010, but was here as a military spouse. It has been more challenging this time around because I am here as a true expat with no access to any American type shopping or benefits. I think it has also been more challenging this time because I have my, now 17 month old son with me. It makes it a lot harder to just go exploring as my day has to be planned around his schedule. He also is like any other toddler who needs to be busy, gets bored easily and has zero patience.
How is raising a child abroad?
Haha. I think I may have just answered a portion of this above! We chose to move back here because of our son. The German lifestyle is so family oriented and life is still simple and safe. That being said, it is frustrating for me because I'm not yet fluent in the German language. To make his doctor appointments, sign him up for Kita (kindergarten/preschool) anything like that requires my husband. My husband doesn't mind doing it, of course, but he works and I'm home. It makes more sense for me to handle it, but until I know the language, I can't.
You've mentioned that there are very few Americans in your area, how did you go about finding your fellow expats?
There are more Americans as you get closer to the military base in Spangdahlem, which is only about 30 minutes away. The problem with that is it is hard to meet military families when you are not a part of the base. You have no access to the base without a military member or family member and many of their Facebook groups and things are specific to being a military spouse or that group. The expats I have found have been through blogging, but I have utilized sites such as Meetup, Justlanded and Internations. These are all great sites and will be more beneficial for me when it is easier for me to get out and about.
What are some touristy things to do in your area?
This is a VERY touristy area! I think many Americans may not always be aware of it because Bavaria is more well known than Germany. Many Americans don't even realize there is a difference between Bavaria and Germany (Munich is part of Bavaria where the traditional Oktoberfest is held). The area I live in is surrounded by The Mosel River and vineyards all around. This region produces much of the German wine sold all throughout the world! There are wine probes, boat tours, gorgeous castles and so much history. We live 12km from Trier which is Germany's oldest city! This region has beauty and charm is like no other!
I'm curious, as your blog name suggested, just how many castles have you visited since your move? Which was your favorite?
I only moved here in May and so far have not been to any castles this time around. However, when I lived here previously, I saw somewhere between 10-20 castles. There are so many and many I don't even remember the names. My favorite so far is Burg Eltz, but I am dying to see King Ludwig II's Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria.
What's been your biggest adventure?
Definitely moving here this time around! We sold almost everything we owned so we could move here. We have started our lives completely over and we did this with a toddler! My husband and I make a great team and while we are so proud of ourselves for taking this huge leap, we can't deny the stress that came along with this journey. It is a lot of hard work, but the good things are always worth fighting for!