“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’m not sure there is a way to become an expat besides just taking the leap. Actually, a leap from a cliff into a murky pool of water. There is no way to know if, on the other side of a Trans-Atlantic move, it will work out until you try it.
It’s like diving into a murky water, fast moving in parts and slow moving in others, and the views along the river are all unknown. Everything is unknown. Where will we go? What will we do? Where will we live? How will we make a life in the complete unknown?
Those were all questions in my mind when I leaped, with my husband and three young sons, into the darkened water that was a move across the Atlantic, from quiet and predictable suburban Ohio, USA, to an endlessly interesting village just outside Prague, Czech Republic, three years ago. It was an act of faith.
Before the move, during the swirl of days of selling our house and cars, and packing our furniture for its two month trip across the ocean, we had a two-day seminar with a Cultural Trainer to prepare us for our new country of residence, to help brace us for becoming citizens outside our home country, expats. Most of the things our trainer said were daunting, and all seemed impossible. But I made a practice of making mental notes to keep me for the coming months and years. Those notes — they have all paid off in full. And, after three years, I can honestly say ALL of the unbelievable things the trainer said have been or become true.
We have experienced a lot. I have a lot of stories to tell. But almost all the true stories will have to wait to be told until we are again citizens living on US soil … but those stories will come. I can’t wait to tell them.
Until then, I can say that we have lived in Prague and really loved it. Prague is the most beautiful city in the world, and I mean that wholeheartedly. Every time I get to peek around a corner and catch a glimpse at any view, it truly still takes my breath away. In every season of the year, this regal dame called Prague is stunning. I feel so blessed to have had three years here immersed in such historic beauty. It has fed my creative heart in every way.
While I won’t miss many things about daily living in a post-Communist state — the dorm-sized refrigerator, screenless windows, hvac-less house, deplorable shopping conditions, etc.– I will greatly miss the fabulous friends we have made and the amazing travel we have been able to do. We have been able to see more than I ever dreamed possible with our whole family, including spending time in and driving to and through most European countries. It has been beyond fabulous. We’ll have a lifetime worth of memories as treasures, for sure.
So what will we do in this final year in Prague?
Soak up everything possible. And venture back to the Alps and to Italy as many times as we can squeeze into our time left.
I am so very grateful. Thanks for following along on my past three years here! It’s been so fun to share it with you all. And, as with all of life, there are lots of adventures to come … that is for sure. Each day is an act of faith. Here’s to living it well!