The End of One Chapter, and a New One Begins: From Europe to California

We’re quickly coming to an end to our one year abroad. This coming early Monday morning Berlin time, we’ll be en route to Seattle. Excited, we anticipate our return to the States. Our first stop will be in Seattle for a few days, then we’ll spend a day and night (Valentine’s Day) in Portland before making the big drive down south to California.

Santa Barbara, CA

Santa Barbara, CA

The experience abroad has been both good and bad. In spite of our struggles living in France, we’re glad we did this sojourn, because we would always wonder if we hadn’t. It was a dream of ours to live in Paris/France. We did it. It’s over. And we didn’t like it. Now we know and can move on with our lives. The time in France has destroyed the image of what we thought of the French culture, as well as the country. It’s not at all like our short visit back in 2009: We had left in love with the place then. I can’t emphasize enough how living in a place is so much different from visiting, and although our fantasy came true but didn’t turn out to be what we expected, it’s okay. We’ll be more selective and cautious when choosing to live abroad somewhere else again. I won’t go into all the details here about why we dislike France, because it will be too long. Perhaps I will write a memoir someday about our time there — with all the grueling details.

On the other hand, our short time in Berlin has been great (love the Germans!). We wish we would have lived in Germany from the beginning. We would have been much happier with our daily living abroad. It is what it is, though. And we are happy to have spent our last month and a half in a better environment. It’s making the end of this chapter of our life a more satisfying experience. Of course, the traveling we’ve done abroad have also been wonderful. We loved it. We didn’t get to go to all of the places we wanted to visit, but I guess there’s always time in the future. However, I don’t think we’ll be returning to Europe for a while. At this point we have desires to travel elsewhere for a change before returning to this continent again.

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA

In this next chapter of our life, we’re looking forward to living in California, a plan of ours for many years. It will be nice to have our own place again — a home base with our own belongings and with the comforts of living our lifestyle. I look forward to easily obtaining the foods we once ate daily, and the ease of making raw foods when I want. The Santa Monica area will be great for this as well, with lots of raw restaurants to be found. We will be able to buy the things we want that’s from the States at any time and at a Whole Foods, other organic stores, or online now — all without the extra cost. This is something we have missed on this year abroad. Aside from food, we also look forward to physical activity. We’ve lacked outdoor activity while living abroad, and with our living spaces I haven’t been able to do my normal workout routines. Being fit and active is very important to us. We truly miss it and look forward to getting back to it like we used to. And living next to the Santa Monica Mountains will be awesome for our hiking, biking, and trail running needs.

Exploring California and LA is also something we look forward to. Thus for the majority of 2014, my posts will be primarily focused on our exploration and discoveries in LA, and our travels around California. I will also include some recipes, vegan restaurant reviews, haunted visits, hikes we do, and any travels outside the state.

Goleta, CA

Goleta, CA

So, this chapter abroad is now coming to an end, and I know some of you have just started following me. I hope I can provide interesting posts from Southern California. I welcome new and seasoned readers to this next chapter. And thank you everyone for reading and following us on our sojourn. I look forward to sharing our time in Agoura Hills and LA.




16 thoughts on “The End of One Chapter, and a New One Begins: From Europe to California

  1. How time flies! Welcome back, Angie and Nick! Thanks for all the wonderful postings. We like to live abroad one day when the children go to college. Austria or somewhere close to the Alps….

    Since your visit in Seattle will be short, we hope to connect with you in LA after you settle down. Until then, keep on writing!

    • Thanks, Tony. And thanks for reading my posts. It’s nice to know someone’s reading them. 🙂
      You and your wife should do the abroad thing. It’ll be a good experience.
      Yes, unfortunately my short time in Seattle is going to be super busy. Please do let me know if you’re in LA. We should definitely meet up.

  2. Interesting to read about your perspective on living abroad. Sort of reminds me how hard it was when I first moved to Germany. Best of luck in CA and enjoy the gorgeous weather there!

    • Thanks. Berlin was a lot easier and less frustrating for us; we knew we could have lived here longer than we did in France. However, we spent most of it in France dealing with the many things we dislike about the culture. It just wasn’t a good fit for us.

      • Ah, I see. I’ve lived in places that wasn’t a fit for me as well, and I can relate. I guess sometimes, you just have to try something to see if it works or not and it’s the trying that counts. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to live in Berlin as well in the future. 🙂

  3. I must say I was very disappointed with Paris too. But I think that French countryside can be nice and food is just amazing there. I love cooking French food. 🙂 Interestingly, just as you did, I also find Berlin a very welcoming place. I think it is my favourite European capital and it’s probably because it doesn’t feel like a capital at all. Keep on writing – I am looking forward to reading about your life in California.

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