6 Months ago we moved abroad to Austria. That means 7 months ago we were sitting in our offices, finalizing our new life goals of traveling and moving abroad, making a never-ending to do list that we hoped would make them both a reality. And after our list was (FINALLY) completed, we took off with 4 suitcases, 2 backpacks, and 2 one-way tickets to Salzburg.
When you land, it’s almost like you don’t have a chance to think or process what just happened. It’s go, go, go until you’re settled. Now, 6 months later, we can officially say that Salzburg feels more like home. But this feeling didn’t come easy…
We’ve NEVER done so much in such a short amount of time. Here’s a quick rundown, so you fully understand –
- Found an apartment that we furnished and decorated
- Set up a new phone plan, internet plan, cable – ALL that fun stuff!
- Bought a scooter (Yes that is how we get around!)
- Researched how to stay here for more than 6 months (our Visa D expired at the end of the year)
- Found a solution to stay here long term (which came with new and unexpected requirements…)
- Took an intense German course (with zero previous knowledge of German!)
- Passed our A1 German exam – a requirement for our new residence permit
- Saved the LARGE amount of money required to apply for our residence permit
- Secured work contracts that allowed us to continue to make money and live here
- Traveled in Austria, Greece, Finland, France, Switzerland and Sweden
- Spent 2 weeks in USA for the holidays to reunite with family
- Applied for our Residence Permit
- Got accepted for our Residence Permit. YAY!
- …Oh yeah, and worked 40+ hours a week in between all of that.
If it seems like I’m boasting about our accomplishments, it’s because I totally am. When you work this hard, you’re allowed to be proud of yourself. But I’m not looking for a pat on the back, I am trying to prove that passion and determination are everything. We fully committed ourselves to following through and believed in what we were doing, every step of the way.
It was the hardest thing that we’ve ever done, but we did it – together! That seems to be the theme of this entire adventure abroad. Ambitious goals, hard work, frustrations, realizations, laughter and even tears. But achieving those ambitious goals is what makes it all worth it.
Our New Life Goals for 2016
Now that the dust has settled, our life here in Austria is just beginning. So what does that mean for 2016? What new life goals came from our experiences here? Aside from tackling all the little obstacles that are inevitable when you pick up and move to another country, we can finally refocus on what we came here to do, inspire you!
And after taking a few weeks to evaluate our website, we realized that we’d gotten slightly off track. Instead of solely focusing on using our personal stories to make moving abroad feel more accessible, we were trying to keep up with everyone else. A trap you can easily fall into with all the amazing travel blogs out there.
We were getting distracted with highlighting the best of each destination, which is not what our site is meant to do. What we did find is that every travel experience is accompanied by at least one lesson, and that is how we can add our Surviving Europe twist to the destinations we visit. Highlighting those lessons is how we can help make your life easier, whether you’re moving or traveling abroad.
With this major realization for 2016, we decided to make another commitment to ourselves and to you. With everything that we learned after moving abroad, every emotion we’ve experienced, and after 6 months of complete (and amazing!) chaos, we’ve decided to turn it all into a book. A way to speak to those that dream of taking the road less traveled, but feel it’s out of reach.
It will be a collection of our personal stories throughout this process. Preparing for a move abroad, the obstacles and emotions that come with adapting to change. And of course adjusting your mindset to be successful, no matter where you are in the world.
So are you ready?! 2016 is bound to be the best year yet. For you, for us and for Surviving Europe!