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As my parents drive me to the airport, it finally hits me – I’m actually leaving for an entire year.

Although I have been imagining this new life in my head ever since I signed my Au Pair contract, it somehow never quite felt real. But here I am. Plopped into the middle of a new city and a new life for the next year to come. And I couldn’t be happier.

The neighborhood

My journey goes rather smoothly until I arrive in Frankfurt and get held up at customs – then in security (I’m one of the lucky few to be searched, and the guard is unfortunately quite thorough in her investigation). This leaves me with 5 minutes to get to my gate.  Panicking, I start in an awkward jog as my bags only allow me to produce a sort of sped up waddle. In my rush, my laptop slips out of my grip and onto the pavement. I have no choice but to keep moving, hoping for the best and that my computer still functions.

As I exit the airport, my new host-family, Sven, Claudia, Jolina (5 yrs) and Tristan (2 yrs), greet me with smiles and open arms, the kids holding a homemade sign that reads “Welcome Hannah,” which makes me feel at home already.

My home for the next year

We arrive at the house and I look around in delight as we walk into their beautiful living room with large double doors that open onto the patio. I am then lead downstairs to my room, and my jaw drops. My room is straight out of a magazine, coordinated with white, reds, and oranges atop modern white furniture. I essentially have my own little apartment in the basement of my host-family’s home, complete with my own bathroom and entryway.

That evening, we eat dinner on the patio and I begin to converse with the kids and get to know them a bit better. I brought them each coloring books, a pink princess one for Jolina and a car one for Tristan, and they are a huge hit. The kids want to begin coloring immediately, and I join in while enjoying dinner and talking with the parents. As the kids move inside to play after dinner, I remain on the porch with Sven and Claudia, enjoying a refreshing German beer and talking into the night.

My Room

As I finally wander to bed, I sink into a deep sleep with a smile on my face. Despite my apprehensions, today turned out to be a lovely experience, and it is only the beginning.

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Hello all! Welcome to my blog that will track my adventures, discoveries, challenges, and everything in-between during my time spent in Munich, Germany this coming year.

To those of you who may not know, I will be spending the next year of my life living with a German family and caring for their two children – these are people I couldn’t feel luckier to be working for.  I can already tell it is going to be a fantastic year and I feel blessed to have come into contact with them.  They live in a beautiful home in the heart of Munich, one of the most charming cities I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.  I am thrilled to call this place my home, and my departure date is now no more than two short weeks away.

…which has left me in a bit of a panic.  Those that know me well know that I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to take care of every last detail.  In some areas of my life, I prefer to go where the wind blows me and find it exciting not having a plan or a known sense of direction – but not when it comes to packing, especially when it means packing up my entire life for a year and moving to a foreign country.  What ever will I do if I run out of my favorite curl cream?!  Those with unruly hair can sympathize with me on this one.  Yes, I know its not the end of the world if I forget something or run out of anything, especially since it’s not like I’m moving to the North Pole or the middle of the Amazon Rainforest  – but alas, I like to feel prepared.

So here I am, at the two week mark.  So far, I have managed to make every kind of appointment I can imagine, from the dentist to a hair cut.  I am also scrambling to perfect my resume in the slight chance that I come across an amazing online editing gig that I can work on from my own computer in Munich.  Not to mention, I am leaving behind some of the most beautiful people I have ever known, whom I feel honored to call my family and friends – which means I need to make time to partaaay it up with them before I leave.

14 days. 336 hours. 20, 160 minutes until my life as I know it changes in every single way possible.  It’s scary and intimidating. But it’s also exciting – I’m ready to embrace this new chapter and see where it will take me.  As I exit the college life and finally enter the real world, I am about to embark on a journey that will change and shape who I am – and that my dear friends, is pretty damn exciting.  Hello, Europe!

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