Oh my goodness where do I even start!?
Let’s just start with an introduction shall we? I mean it HAS been a while.
Hello! I’m Karisa! A 31 year old wife of 8 years, mama of 2 for 4 years, and a business/design/photography/anything enthusiast! I’m what some would describe as a go getter. New business’ of any flavor get mind whirring. From starting a website, to making promotional material, to designing a store front, down to the nitty gritty details of how you get a business up off the ground and what makes (small) business owners flourish in their trade.
In the past year I’ve grown my wedding photography business, started an interior design business, helped launch a toddler play gym, designed a few websites, and have dabbled in learning about a few other business ventures! I’m not afraid to try new things, even if they totally fail. Hence why this next adventure may seem crazy to some, but also right up my alley!
WE’RE MOVING TO GERMANY
Who in the WHAT THE WHAT?!
Yes, you read right. After only three weeks of planning, we’ll be flying out on Sunday, February 2nd for a year long European adventure based out of Hamburg, Germany! Now you might have a few questions like anyone we’re friends with do!
Why are you moving to Germany?
Fair enough! My husband contracts for a robotics company in Seattle, Wa that makes machines for Airbus. Robots are apparently rather complicated and there is need for my husband to manage a project in person at the Airbus plant in Hamburg to get things moving at maximum potential! He will also be working on sales throughout the Airbus locations. So THANK YOU broken robots for this opportunity of a lifetime!
Where will you live?
Once we heard this was going to be a real opportunity. I jumped into Facebook group land and searched for “Hamburg Moms” and got into a community of 2500 expat families in Hamburg who helped me navigate some BIG decisions within pretty much 60 hours! With their knowledge I was able to search some German websites for long-term furnished rentals. Prices, locations, and styles of stays varied between country, city, upper apartment, whole house, suburbs, duplexes, yards, no yards, etc.
My criteria was loose, but the goal was to have at least 2 bedrooms and a lower floor unit. When I narrowed it down to two homes I put it to a vote on the Hamburg Mom’s Facebook group and received a clear majority vote on a particular house in a particular neighborhood. A neighborhood, that I read in the comments, was considered “very posh.” One lady was even rather vehemently against said neighborhood because it was “Too posh and too rich.”
Sold, I want the rich neighborhood. 😂 😂
I mean WHAT?! Ok yes. We contacted the listing manager who said the house was available for our long-term stay and we started the paperwork. Soon the owners contacted us (we were grateful to learn they were real people and we weren’t being scammed on this whole thing!) and they are extremely kind and excited to have our family live in the lower flat of the house they occupy with their two teenagers!
So here is the home we’ll be moving into in Blankanese, Hamburg Germany!
Wait, didn’t you want to build a house this year?
Oh ironies. The day we first started saying, “Oh my gosh, we’re going to Germany,” was the same day we received our building permits for our house! And here, when you receive your permits, you have to commence the build in the next 6 month or it will be void. You also must finish your build within a year and a half of receiving your permits. A little bit of a conundrum yes? So against all previous inclination and plans, we are going to have the house built while we are out of the country.
It’s as terrifying and amazing as it sounds. Terrifying in that we will not be able to check on the progress as it is being built, amazing because we’ll be able to move back into a completely finished house! More on all these thoughts in another post, but HOLY COW OUR HOUSE WILL BE BUILT. ANGELS ARE SINGING.
What are you doing with your rental and all your stuff?
Originally we were thinking this would only be a six month trip and we would probably move back in the end of summer and have to finish building our house ourselves. We hoped to keep our rental, either paying rent or sub leasing it so we could have a guarantee home to rent again upon return. Rentals here are scarce and hard to find! Then the landlords ripped the bandage off by revealing to us they’d been told by the county that their house was in violation of this and that and their tenants must be evicted by April.
When my husband shared this rather startling information with me, we both just started laughing. Like what?? We have to move out of the house and country in the next two weeks?? Are we crazy?! Yes? Ok! Hey, while we’re at it, let’s just sell all our furniture and decorations! And we did!
Within 10 days we sold or gave away 2 couches, 2 cribs, a desk, an office chair, the huge shelf unit, 2 dressers, pantry unit, TV, fake plants, kids clothes, kids books, barbecue, storage bins, shoe shelf, and 4 rugs!
It’s so freeing to let go of things in a time of grand transition. Not having to move and store these big items feels SO GOOD. When we come back to our house we’ll want to start fresh and now we’ll have to!
We did get a 10×10 storage unit and are storing things in our property shed till our return!
What about passports?
Out of the four of us, only dad had a current passport. So we went into Seattle and applied for expedited passports in person. They were blessedly approved and we were able to go pick them up a few days later! My favorite was trying to make Reuben take a serious picture, which is necessary, not for the passport, but for the German visa application! He would not stop smiling! haha, so I told him to be sad and this is what I got! Killing me smalls!
Do you have any plans while in Europe?
So many plans! Nothing in stone yet, but we’ve made a bucket list of monthly big weekend excursions with the kids as well as highlighting all the local adventures to be had! Places like San Sabastian, Spain; Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Switzerland; Denmark; Norway; Greece; and a few others!
First off, we’ll need to apply for our Visas, German bank accounts, German health insurance, and whatever else is on my husband’s extensive to-do list!
Keep in touch!
I can’t wait to just share the raw, real, and beautiful parts of this adventure with you all here! I’ll try to leave nothing out as we just GO! You can also follow along over at Instagram.com/petitemodernlife!