We’ve been in Berlin for 4 days now and I can’t believe how quickly it has begun to feel like home. I think the biggest reason for that is that we were able to move straight into our new home, which I will feature in a blog post soon! We really do love it here. I already love the community we’re a part of, with other Embassy families all around us and showing up at my door with food and friendship. I love the view from my back windows and being able to walk to the Grunewald (a VERY large park) within a matter of minutes. But there’s also a lot to get used to about the culture here in Berlin. Here’s a snapshot of my first impressions of this great city of Berlin.
I actually had my biggest TCK moment when I was filling out my graduation paperwork for college. While sitting down with the admissions office counselor, answering questions about what information they would put in the graduation pamphlet next to my name the counselor asked me where I was from. I sat there completely wide-eyed and I’m certain this was the first time she had ever heard a graduating senior answer this question in the way I did: “Um…can I call my mom and ask?” (Make sure to read Part 1 first if you haven’t!)
It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN! We are officially 26 days out from our big move to Berlin! We realized just last week how quickly our departure is approaching. We sat down and went over the entire moving checklist for the month and a half before our move. It’s a doozy! I’m having a hard time not feeling overwhelmed at the sheer length of the checklist of items that will go into this move. Here’s a look at what our current checklist looks like:
So I’ve hinted at my life as a military kid, but I’ve never really told the story of my upbringing as a military kid and a self-proclaimed “third culture kid” (TCK). I say self-proclaimed because I feel that the term TCK is mostly used in reference to kids who grow up overseas away from their parent’s home country. However, I feel that my story aligns very well with the overarching meaning of the term. That I grew up in multiple places and away from my parent’s home “culture.”
We are in the heat of our moving prep and it really feels like it’s coming up fast on us now! In just 16 days we will be packing out and our belongings will be separated four ways: with us on our flight, on a later flight, on a cargo ship and in storage. In the housing we are given in Berlin we are provided with furniture so we have been selling off most of our furniture. I am currently sitting on our couch, one of the last pieces of furniture remaining on our main floor. Going through our house and preparing for our move has given us the opportunity get rid of some things and give back, something we will continue with our children as we move in the future.
We’re going to be moving around a lot as our children grow up. It’s just part of the job in the Foreign Service. I moved around quite a bit as a military brat. It taught me resilience and adaptability. I met friends from all over the country and the world during my moves to different bases. Papa Bear and I wanted the same things for our children but we know it won’t always be easy. We want to help make their transitions to different countries as smooth as possible, which is why I’m so glad I found out about the “Kids on the Move” workbook from afterschoolplans.com.
With recent terror attacks from all over the world fresh in our minds, fear has begun to take hold of many people. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what could happen. Fear of moving to “unsafe” places in the world. Some family members of ours have expressed fear and anxiety at the thought of us moving to Europe in such a seemingly volatile time. However, what I have always worked to keep at the forefront of my mind is that we are only on this earth for a certain period of time and we never know how long that time may be. We have to live our lives to the fullest no matter how much time we may have left here.
In order to give our children a semblance of “home” we actually bought a home in Virginia where we will head back to between posts. We bought this home knowing that we were moving out of the country but our plan was to rent it out while away. However, many of you may have already had a home here in the States or whichever country you are from. So you may not have had it set in your mind that you wanted to rent out said home. There are pros and cons to selling and renting. These are the questions to ask yourself when making the decision.
Hi! Welcome to my blog “Growing Up Expat!” My family and I will be moving to Berlin (Germany, not Maryland, New Jersey or Pennsylvania. I found there are many cities of Berlin in the States!) in August of this year. We are so excited to embark on this adventure of expat parenthood but I also have many fears and anxieties about moving to a new country. Becoming a mom has been enough of a life change without throwing in immersing ourselves into a new culture and learning a new language.