Too often, when we are surrounded by challenges, I think that we forget to take stock of all the good things that surround us. I am facing many challenges here in Magdeburg, Germany but I have also experienced some absolutely amazing and wonderful things as well.
1) Good Friends: I have met and reconnected with some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life. Brendan and Stina are like family to me, and they continue to do so many little things to make me feel comfortable and loved. I love that they live right across the court yard so that I can visit them whenever I want and sharing meals together is easy. Our upstairs neighbors are a couple of college boys who are kind and fun. We met another woman named Christina from TN living in Magdeburg with her German boyfriend who has been incredibly open and kind. Our friend, Emily, is also working at Berlitz. She's travelled all over the world and has a lot of great stories to tell.
2) Affordable living: I think I've mentioned (but its worth repeating) we have furnished our entire flat with furniture that we were either given or found on the street. There is a store that is completely free, and groceries are so cheep compared to the US (.32 euros for bread - thats about 50 cents). Heath insurance is cheaper and better.
3) Public Transportation: The tram is awesome. It runs frequently and gets you where you want to go quickly (granted, Magdeburg isn't that big).
4) Our flat: despite its view of our neighbor's living room, it has high ceilings, huge windows, and is just about the perfect size for us (I love living in a small space - who knew?)
5) Smaller Carbon Footprint: No one here uses a dryer to dry their clothes. They have about 10 million different recycling options, including a program where you buy the bottle in addition to its contents, and don't get your money back until you return it. Less people drive. Bikes are everywhere - on the sidewalks - I've almost been run over twice. I thought I would miss my dryer, microwave, and dishwasher, but I don't. I do miss my garbage disposal.
So, its not all bad. My biggest frustration is the language barrier. Things that should be easy, like getting a background check for work, become insurmountable obstacles in the face of a language barrier.
Life updates: Adam still hasn't found a job and our house in Seattle isn't renting. The part time teaching position I was able to secure probably won't even cover the cost of new plane tickets, so we're thinking that we will be forced to return from our adventure early. We have return plane tickets already paid for on April 20th. We'll lose our apartment deposit here, but its cheaper than new plane tickets.
Of course, part of me just wants to throw caution to the wind and take off for Thailand, knowing quite well that Adam won't be able to look for a job, let alone work from Thailand, but I do get sick of being so responsible.