So, big news. I quit my job. I will only be driving to the office for 25 more times. Yes, I´m counting them. I have been considering doing this basically since last summer and was going back and forth in my head about it. How will I live? And where? Will I have enough money? Can I pay the health insurance? What about the taxes? What about Lu? Should I really do this? Can I really afford to do this? Million questions.
I actually liked working here. 8 years ago, coming to Germany, being a foreigner, with a baby on the way, it was a long and hard way getting this job. After intensively learning the new language, working internships without an income, running to the kindergarten often picking up Lu in the last minute, finally getting a real contract in the field I have studied and have a diploma in felt like such a relief and kind of a big success. I made it, I moved, I learned, I assimilated, I made new friends, got a job and dived into the new culture as much as my heart allowed me to. It has taken a lot of nerves, patience and time to get to where I am today.
Do I really want to throw it all away now? Well yes. The answer is definitely yes.
This winter, I have reached a point where it was totally clear to me that I have to change things. It is what you make it. Complaining about being homesick, will not bring me anywhere. Quitting my job and having more free time to enjoy life, might do just that.
I know a lot of you think I am living a dream life of some sort. Almost every weekend in airports, flying around Europe, holidays here and holidays there. But what you don´t see is – all this takes lots of money and energy.
Did you know that a flight to Slovenia from Hanover usually costs me between 300-400€? Per person, return. As there are no cheap airline connections, I have no other choice but to fly with the big ones, I find it extremely amusing when I hear someone asking if a ticket to Bangkok for 280€ is a good price or should they wait. The heck. Due to the job I am of course not flexible with my dates and need Friday-Sunday connections. Meaning I basically get up around 3am to catch the early morning flight on a Friday, returning very late on Sunday. Almost all destinations I usually fly to require a stopover so the journey can end up taking up to 8 hours. Sundays I fall in bed between 1 and 2 am and the alarm goes on Monday at 6. In between it is of course fun! But, it has its costs. I´ve been spending most of my paycheck on flights, hotels and airport garages for the past 2 years. The bartender at Hanover airport knows my name. That says it all. I always travel only with hand luggage and I can pack my bag in 5 minutes. I buy my clothes at Munich airport, because they have nice shops and it is the only time I have time. All of this has gotten me a nice status at Lufthansa so I am able to enjoy the lounges while waiting at the airports. Not to mention all the miles I have gathered, using them for upgrades is definitely a bonus.
But it is all for the „wrong“ reasons. I am taking off every weekend simply because I cannot stand being at “home” that never felt like home. It is indeed a bit of running away.
And I am tired, to be honest. The truth is also, I am homesick. And have been for years. It is not fun at all, especially when you sometimes don´t even know where home is anymore.
Will I miss all this action?
For sure I will a little bit. Having being totally independent, not having to look at every penny I spend, taking a taxi instead of waiting for the train, expensive dinners, hopping European capitals on the weekends – it is fun. It is comfortable. And it is sort of freedom. But I think waking up at the back of our Land Rover in the middle of nowhere somewhere up north in Norway or down south in Albania next to the man of my dreams will make me feel much more free.
So in this desperate need of changing the routine I gave my notice in February and I will receive my last paycheck in June.
What happens after? Plans, plans, plans. As much as I love always having a plan, I actually have no long term plan right now.
I know, scary, right? Life has taught me things don´t always go as planned so what´s the point in always having one. But we do have some ideas of course. Spending more time in Slovenia and France, returning to Germany occasionally, being more out in the nature, do more sports, read more, write more, connect more, figure out in peace where to go next, but most of all just taking a break and putting yourself first for once. I feel so lucky my current financial situation is allowing me to do so.
Yet, it was not an easy choice. And it is scary. But, it is life and I prefer to live it my way and follow my heart instead of doing what everyone else wants me to do.
So, that´s it, a little update from my personal life, we are heading to Scandinavia and the Baltic countries shortly after my last work day, with our almost finished Land Rover so stay tuned if you wish to follow this road trip. In the mean time, there are some posts to be written and many things to taken care of before we leave.