Visas, German, and Moving: Another Life Update
Hello, hi, guten tag. I’m back! Is anyone else having a super crazy spring? It’s so hard to believe that it’s already April 1. Life has been a total roller coaster ride over here, and I feel like I’m just coming up for air, so I thought I would share what I’ve been up to the past few months.
- Visas are my nemesis. In early February, we went to renew our visas and ran into a few unexpected snags. This put us into major panic mode and we rushed to get everything in order before the end of February. However, our visas expired and now we are playing the waiting game with the local government. Thankfully we are Americans and get three months visa free in Europe, so we are taking advantage of that while we wait on the visa office. We will have the visas completed in the next few weeks, and we are 100% going out and celebrating once they are in hand. What a process! I can’t wait until it’s over with. All I have to say….Austria makes it SO. HARD. for Americans to stay in the country.
- Sprechen sie Deutsch? Part of the visa process involved me passing a basic German test. Since we weren’t planning on that at all, I found myself panicking. There were two ways for me to latch onto Andy’s visa : a) sign up for a 12 week A1 German course or b) pass the basic A1 German test. Since we already have a new apartment in Vienna and have to be out of our old one in Leoben on May 1 (see below), the 12 week course wasn’t an option. So, I had to either learn basic German in a month or travel back and forth from Vienna to Leoben for a class. Naturally, I chose the first option, and I spent the entire month of March learning everything I could about the German language. Andy bought me a few study guides, and we spent every evening practicing vocabulary during dinner. When it was all said and done, I clocked 40 hours of study time in addition to working my regular full time job, and it was a good thing I spent all of that time studying! When I took the 3 hour test yesterday, I definitely passed with flying colors and it’s so nice to know that I still possess the crazy study habits I developed in college. Moving forward, I would love to become completely fluent, so once we move to Vienna I will definitely take courses to help me achieve that goal.
- Moving woes. As I mentioned earlier, Andy and I are moving to Vienna for some exciting work opportunities. We had originally met with a realtor back in January to view a brand new, gorgeous apartment and loved it so much that we asked to get the papers drawn up. The move-in date was May 1, and it fit perfectly with our schedules and newly-acquired visa timeline. But what would an adventure be without a few bumps in the road?! A few weeks ago, we were notified that we were denied for the apartment because we are American and not Austrian (say what??…). After getting over the initial shock, I started to freak out because on May 1, our current lease is up and we need to move. So, we spent an entire evening eating ice cream and scouring the real estate market in Vienna; thankfully I just happened to find something that is fabulous, fits our wish list, and is in a great location. Everything has a way of working out, but sometimes I wish it wasn’t so last-minute and rushed! With that said, April will be nuts–between finishing up our visas, moving to our new place, and getting settled, a glass of wine (or five) on my new balcony will be well deserved.
- There’s always time to travel. Even with our busy spring, we still have found time to travel and see some beautiful things. The weather FINALLY warmed up (and by warmed up, I mean “not freezing”), and the sun is making a more frequent appearance, which has awakened my hibernating wanderlust. Since the snow and -10 degree weather have forced us to be inside all winter, we’ve been making an active effort to do things on the weekends to get out of the apartment and stop feeling stir crazy. One of the things we did in March was travel to Hallstatt, Austria for the day!
The one thing I’m bummed about is that we had planned on attending the tulip festival in Amsterdam this month. However, we have no free weekends thanks to moving and our visas, so we decided to wait until next year and not have it be a rushed trip. I really wanted to see the tulips, have some adventures, and experience a different country this spring, but it just won’t happen right now. However, we are going to Ljubjuana, Slovenia and Lake Bled next weekend! It’s not a far drive for us, so we will spend three full days enjoying Slovenia and soaking up the scenery. I’ve heard it’s gorgeous; have you been?!
We are also going to Budapest and Bratislava in May for our 7 year wedding anniversary! First of all, how has it been 7 years? Second, this is the 3rd year we have traveled somewhere cool for our anniversary. Year #5 was spent in Prague, year #6 in DisneyWorld, and year #7 in Budapest! We are so fortunate to travel and see amazing things, but I’m even more lucky to have this guy by my side through it all. He’s the yin to my yang and it just works so well. Here’s to a busy, but productive spring!
What are your plans for this spring season? Are you going anywhere or doing anything fun? I would love to hear!