After 2 ½ years, the time has come for us to move back to the USA.
But before you keep reading, let’s clear up a few things that may come to mind right away:
1) This is 100% positive!
2) Moving back now has been our plan since we moved to Austria. (We’ve actually exceeded our goal of living abroad for 2 years! WOO!)
3) We’ve always wanted to start a family at this point, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do. (No, we’re not pregnant, just excited and ready!)
4) Moving here has allowed us to budget and build for our future (while traveling!) In these 2.5 years, we’ve saved enough money to make this move back and afford to pick up where we left off.
5) Surviving Europe is not ending at all – just the opposite! (We have 4TB full of pictures and videos that you haven’t even seen yet. Endless topics and destinations we have yet to cover.)
6) We’re still here until December.
Although we are sad to leave our new home, we are starting a new exciting chapter of our life. A chapter that will be filled with many more adventures – of all different types.
Our 2-year Goal: Mission Accomplished.
When we initially decided to move to Austria we had a goal, like every person should. A goal to live abroad for 2 years. 2 years of traveling, adapting, growing and filling the first years of our marriage with experiences that would build a solid foundation.
We left to feel completely carefree. Just us, our open hearts and a map hanging on the wall to guide our dreams. We left to learn from other cultures, learn from ourselves and from each other.
And we knew those 2 years wouldn’t feel like just 2 years. They would be life-changing. Impacting the rest of our lives and every decision after.
But why the time limit?
Unfortunately, the only thing we cannot control in this life is time. So, as the clock ticks, we know that it’s time to start a family. Time to settle down and build our own little nest for the future.
And believe it or not, building that nest abroad presents brand new and more difficult tasks that we are choosing not to tackle … at this point at least. There are enough challenges that come with starting the next phase. So eliminating the uncertainty of where we live, without family close by, is where our priority lies.
With this in mind, for the past 2 years, we’ve been living our best lives in Austria, taking in every ounce of every experience – big and small.
These years have seemed like far more than just 2. It feels like we’ve actually slowed down time to make the most of every single second. While turning the completely “uncomfortable” into our “home.”
Because of it all, our relationship is unbreakable, our confidence has skyrocketed, our minds are open and our hearts have been filled to a capacity like never before.
As a couple, we aim to live a life of no regrets. Where every decision is made with what we truly want in mind. Are we making conscious decisions that we’re completely passionate about?
If you asked either of us before our move – “If you died tomorrow, what would you regret?” Well at that point, it was living abroad and traveling. Now, that’s been accomplished in ways neither of us ever thought possible. We did it and we did it in the most badass way. With no regrets.
Now, looking toward the future?
That desire for travel and adventure has definitely NOT gone away, trust me. We still plan to travel and explore – now and throughout our future – but, our priorities have simply changed for the moment.
I’m 30 and Erin (husband) is 32. It’s that time.
Time to pause and appreciate little moments. We will turn the excitement of visiting a new country or city every month into the excitement we’ll feel during every new milestone we take on. Houses, diapers, moves, jobs & all.
This is why we are making the bold decision to move back to the USA.
Staying true to yourself.
It’s always important to be in touch with what you want. To follow that little voice inside your head telling you what to do next. To know yourself and what’s in your heart, despite the distractions you face.
Trust me, there is a lot to distract us from moving back. I mean…we live in Austria and nothing is more distracting than the beauty here. Just like the beauty found in exploring new places, interacting with new people, new cultures, and languages – with just a few hours’ drive.
HOWEVER, both of us know ourselves and most importantly, what the other needs.
We are on the same team. And that team makes decisions together and puts our full joint effort into materializing those decisions.
Will we miss Austria? OF COURSE. Will we miss the spontaneity in our days? The freedom? Uh..YES! But we know this move is the right thing because we know ourselves.
And then years later, we’ll listen to our hearts and work toward something else – whether it’s at home or abroad. Because we will never stop dreaming with the dedication and persistence to match.
Surviving Europe: Moving Back AND Enhancing our Purpose
Now, our purpose has changed slightly, but we still have a definite purpose.
For our Ex-Expats:
For those that moved abroad and have since returned, we are your resource. Because Surviving Europe includes ‘surviving’ the return home too.
We know there will be obstacles. It will be hard to adjust, especially moving back to a country that isn’t exactly at its best. But we will overcome them. Just as we overcame every obstacle we faced in Austria, hand in hand.
And that is the mindset we wish to share with others that are having a hard time re-acclimating themselves.
We made it our mission to be honest and share real-life experiences of living in another country – good and bad (although the good always WINS!) and we will do the same for moving back.
Sure, we will be in the same country we grew up in, but we are not the same as when we left. That is a key expat struggle we know we cannot avoid.
For our fellow travelers/living abroad dreamers:
I am not exaggerating when I say we’ve only written about 10% of the places and topics that we have to share. With all the traveling and life lessons, we’ve had a hard time keeping up!
Whether it’s destinations like Italy, Malta, Croatia, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands (I could go on and on!). OR when it comes to advice and tips for moving abroad – how to sell your things, budgeting, expat struggles, and triumphs. Moments that changed us.
We still have so much more to say! So get ready for a lot more.
And…For ALL: It gets even better.
Having a blog like Surviving Europe is beyond fulfilling. We are so humbled when strangers reach out to us and say we’ve impacted their life in some way or when people feel like they truly know us from our stories. Even simply helping travelers get the most from each destination is a happy moment for us.
We couldn’t be prouder of that. But we are taking it a step further…
We will be writing a book.
The preparations, the emotions, the life changes, following through, leaving your comfort zone. Every phase of living abroad aka motivation CENTRAL!
Our hope is to make an even bigger impact on those thinking of moving abroad or searching for a life change, in need of encouragement and advice. We will take you all on this book-writing journey with us, which will not only hold us accountable but will get you involved.
It’s a whole new challenge that we cannot wait to take on.
So as of December, our life in Austria and constant travels will be put on hold, but our desire to continue to motivate, inform and set realistic expectations for our readers continues.
Stick with us everyone, Surviving Europe, Erin and Erin, is NOwhere near over. We are just getting started on the biggest and best adventure of all – life.