My husband, Jason, and I moved from Colorado Springs to Germany in September 2013. Having lived in Germany from 2000-2003, we were thrilled to be returning albeit to a different part of the country. We live in Holzgerlingen, a small village outside Stuttgart. We enjoy exploring our new home and traveling around Europe. I speak enough German to get by (nur ein bischen) but I would never claim to be fluent! I’ve realized with a noun, a verb and possibly some hand gestures, I can make myself understood…similar to a two-year-old! 🙂
When we lived in Germany 2000-2003, Jason was active duty Air Force and we were stationed at Geilenkirchen, a small NATO base near Aachen. This time around, he works for a government contractor. It is a different experience, not only because we live in a different part of Germany, but because we don’t have the same level of support from the military. We have some base privileges, but not all. For example, our medical and dental care will be on the economy not on base.
Living here the first time, we took every opportunity to travel to places we had, up until that point, only heard about. We had three grade-schoolers in tow and every school break we would pile into our minivan and travel around Europe. In fact, one of them began to complain, “Why do we have to go to (fill in the destination)? Why can’t we just stay home?” At this point, we are nearing the empty-nest stage in our lives. Our youngest is 17 years old and a high school senior. Not surprisingly, our experiences will be much different from a dozen years ago: neither better nor worse, simply different.