We've made it. To our new home. This week feels like 2 months and also only feels like 2 days. We've done so much, seen so much, been so many places. Jet lag makes us stay up until weird hours and sleep until mid day. I know we need to break the habit now, but dang it, we're tired!
Moving to a new country sounds romantic. In a way it is. We are still in the honeymoon stage of newness and gloss that I'm sure comes with any move. Yet even so, I'm seeing the darkness around the corner. The sadness, depression of leaving my family and friends, the loneliness, and the overwhelming, crushing weight that we can't back out. We're here to stay.
That may seem a little melodramatic for some of you, but I feel the need to be honest. I'm working through the process of understanding Culture Shock and how to combat it successfully. I've found that acknowledging my weaknesses, expressing them to Kevin, spending time in The Word, and remembering that we moved here for a purpose much bigger than our happiness helps me maintain a sense of peace through even the dark moments. Moving internationally has, in the last week, proven to be the best, most freeing, most overwhelmingly stressful, and hardest thing we've ever done. And we're only one week in! I can't imagine the journey in store for us through these next three years.
On a less heavy note, this week we've learned many things. I will write them out in a nice little list below:
1. Learned how to check odd-sized luggage.
2. Learned how to rent an apartment through AirBnB (which ROCKS btw, totally do that)
3. Learned how to read european road signs (talk about confusing)
4. Learned how to navigate using maps and no cell phones (no data without a carrier!) (don't hate, old people, it's just how we were raised)
5. Learned how to shop at Lidle, the dutch equivalent of Aldi (and how not to pay with a credit card here, and how to find an ATM close by)
6. Learned how to catch the CORRECT bus that's actually across the street from the bus we need to be on (and then proceed to learn which buses take us where and where the stops are located...BIG WIN!)
7. Learned how to successfully find our way home when the night buses to our little town shut down (because it gets dark so much later here we often forget what time it actually is until it's too late to catch a bus)
8. Learned how and where to procure an OV Chipkaart (and what the heck that even is)
9. Learned how to say "Excuse me" in dutch and then use it with a stranger (Success!!)
10. Learned how to get from our apartment to the local shops (butcher, produce, grocery, flower, etc) and back.
So you see, even in the first week we've had major wins. We're excited about learning new things and expanding our daily experiences, and sobered by the reality of what we're doing. We're looking forward to all that's to come.
Unfortunately, as it's 2:02am here (it only feels like 11...jet lag...what a jerk), i'll be cutting this post short. However I thought i'd leave you with a few pictures I edited from our Iceland trip.
Just a heads-up: they're mostly of my smoldering spouse. Being married to a man who could make money just with his gorgeous face has its perks, a.k.a. photo shoot time in Iceland...
I may add a few others later, and am hoping in the next few days to add more pictures (and a more detailed description) of our first few days in our new town. Good night, friends