I have been using an engineering, 3-Dimensional software package called CATIA for the last few years at Freightliner. This is our ticket to Germany. Almost all the automotive companies use this software and coupled with my engineering degree, this makes me valuable to the car design craziness in Germany. Many of the companies that I may work for are in Southern Germany, near Stuttgart and Munich. We have visited Munich a couple times and it is beautiful. Alps, beer, and a great quality of life. There are jobs in the north of Germany and in Holland and Sweden, so based on availability we shall see where they need me. We are trying to stay flexible but I think the Munich area would be ideal for us--a larger city, close to the mountains, and easy to get to anywhere in Europe via plane, train, or AUTOBAHN. Oh--I am sure many of you are wondering about the language issue. English (luckily for me) is the business language over there, but of course we will be needing German at the supermarket and bank. Sad but true, we are lucky to speak English since many Europeans know it, although it is sad that we know no other language. I always felt that being forced to learn is the best way, so we will see how that pans out. Mayzie will be picking it up before we do probably.
Will Jenna work? no!! That's a great thing about this, too, is that I will make enough money for Jenna to stay home. We hope to get Mayzie in a school as soon as we get over there so that will give Jenna lots of free time, which I know she is very excited about. I suppose if she becomes fluent in German she can get a job, or maybe down at the Hard Rock Cafe waiting tables (hahaha). I feel good about this because Jenna has always pulled through when I am jobless and she makes more money than me, so I always felt I had her to fall back on, so now I can take care of her and Mayzie LIKE A REAL MAN (but don't get used to it Jenna, there will be a time when I need you to WORK LIKE A DOG haha).
Mayzie? This will be an amazing experience for us, but especially for her--i am so happy that we can do this for her--there will be some adjustment, for sure, but I have no doubt that she will thrive. The hardest part will be being away from her grandparents and cousins, which makes me sad but I hope they understand why we are doing this. Maybe they don't even realize why. I hope they do.
What about the dog? Oskar is coming too! We got his microchip in, we got his rabies shots updated, all the paper work done, he's good to go. Hopefully we can find an apartment with a garden for him to do his bizness.
How Long? The plan is to stay over there for 2 years.
Why Now? This is hard to explain, but it feels right. Jenna and I do not like to get comfortable. When I say comfortable I don't mean a nice big LazyBoy recliner, we do like that, but we realize how easy it is to get bogged down with jobs and the garage filling up and material things keeping us from doing what we want to do, to be free. When everyday is just like the last, it is time to do something different. This is where we are at. I usually am ready to make a change in lifestyle and geography after about 1 to 1.5 years. Jenna is ready at about 3 years. We are at 2 years right now since buying our house so I guess we compromised! There is never a perfect time for a big lifestyle change... WHY ARE WE DOING THIS? I didn't write this, but this is so perfect:
When I spend any length of time somewhere — whether it's two months in Paris or an hour at the side of the road waiting on a bus — I can't help but wonder,"what would it be like to live here forever?" Giving that question a bit of thought almost always leads to the same conclusion: It would be great to live here, wherever here is, but what about that town just down the road? If there's a downside to vagabonding it's that there just isn't enough time.Everywhere I go I end up thinking, I should spend more time here, I should live here... I should know what it's like to work in a cigar factory in Leon, fish in the Mekong, live in a floating house on Tonle Sap, sell hot dogs at Fenway Park, trade stocks in New York, wander the Thar Desert by camel, navigate the Danube, see the way Denali looks at sunset, the smell the Sonora Desert after a rain, taste the dust of a Juarez street, know how to make tortillas, what Mate tastes like, feel autumn in Paris, spend a winter in Moscow, a summer in Death Valley. I should be able to not just visit places, but inhabit them.There is, so far as I know, only one short life. And in this life I will do very few of these things. Sometimes I think that's very sad, but then the bus comes and you're on to the next town, free to start the dream over again.We have to keep challenging ourselves, avoid the rut, and try as many new things as possible. I realize that with age, house, dog and kids this is becoming more and more difficult, so it takes a huge push to up-root and move forward. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife who goes along with me and a kid who is super flexible. I can still have my dreams: