September 27, 2013

14 countries, 15 months and countless adventures/experiences later...'s time to head back to toronto! We are moving to Toronto on September 30th. The past few months have been busy doing moving stuff, taking stuffed suitcases back to Toronto, selling furniture, trying to get our phone, television etc contracts cancelled in German (which resulted in our phones getting cancelled on the 3rd instead of 30th, our TV guys bugging us to not leave them and that they'll give us a better deal - umm, we said we're leaving the country? Or maybe we said something else because it was a German conversation after all).

And also traveling. The first week of September, we took a family trip with Umair's parents down to the South of Spain (I want to blog about it, but that will probably happen after the move!). And just this week, Umair and I went for a 6 day road trip to Croatia (blogging about this too, someday!). In fact, I'm typing this as we drive back to Munich from Croatia through the lovely Slovenia. We've been to Slovenia before. Might stop around a lake for lunch today. (we did stop by the lovely Lake Bohinj that day...yes, I wrote this post a few days ago, and finishing it off today.)

How do I feel about moving back to Toronto? I'm not sure. It's a bittersweet feeling. Toronto is home and being close to family and friends will be awesome. In fact, it'll still be a new experience for me because we'll be living in downtown and I've always wanted to live in downtown, definitely looking forward to that. But Munich is where I started my married life, and that's how I've known my married life to be uptil now. Plus all the traveling. Oh, the traveling....I definitely will miss the spontaneity of getting up and going anywhere for a weekend or even a day trip.

I am absolutely grateful to have had this amazing experience of living in Europe. To be able to learn about different cultures, travel, broaden my horizon just a little bit more. Life has been good, and kind. And a bit surreal and even unreal at times. And I've had my fair share of surreal and unreal -ness! So maybe it's time to finally end my super long vacation and get back to reality. 

Just a few things running across my mind about what I will and will not miss about life in Europe...

I will miss:

  • cobblestone streets! even after living in europe for 15 months, I love walking on cobblestones, it makes me feel like I'm in ancient times.
  • side street cafes/outdoor cafes/just the European cafe culture in general. Loved living right by one of the main areas of Munich, which is filled with side street cafes and shops. 

  • adorable, colourful buildings.
The bright blue! The yellow! Lime green! This is Burano Island, close to Venice. Which we visited again just 2 days ago. And I haven't even blogged about the first time have I? 

  • catching a train and being in a different country in as little as couple hours. where the culture is different, the language is different. 
  • drinking spezi (mix of coke fanta and sprite) 
  • yummy wood oven pizzas because of the many Italians in Munich. I can never go back to Pizza Pizza or Pizza Hut.
  • Umair getting ready for work early morning in Barcelona, and then heading straight to work in a couple hours in Munich. Or...having breakfast in Croatia, lunch in Slovenia and dinner in Germany! (which is what we're doing today). 
  • randomly deciding on a saturday morning to take a train and be in a medieval little town. 
  • seeing so many ahh-mazing sights that my mind boggles at the amount of beauty this world holds. And I have only seen a fraction of it. 
  • the mango gelato 15min walk from our place! it's the best mango ice cream i've ever had, and i've tried many around europe. 
  • adding to the above point, I'll miss our walks to the ice cream place before or after dinner. there better be a decent (I'm gonna be practical and not expect the awesome gelatos I'm used to here, so decent will do) ice cream place close to our downtown condo. 
  • living in a place which is so rich in history. So rich that there are still historical bombs emerging from the city. They found a WW2 bomb like 5 mins from our place last September!! Crazy. 
  • Hitting up castles after castles. and randomly finding a castle while driving through Austria.
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  • conversing on google translate. did I tell you about the time I got our dish washer fixed by conversing with the German technician through google translate? fun times! 
  • wearing my dirndl during oktoberfest and dragging Umair to my favourite ride ever - roller coaster with 5 of those 360degree loops! 
  • running in the English Gardens. Which I didn't do as much as I would've liked to. 
  • our favourite Mexican take out 5 minutes from our place which was our go-to place when neither of us was in the mood to cook. 
  • Umair having a crazy total of 33 days of vacation.

Not gonna miss:

  • being away from family and friends.
  • fumbling on my phone to translate what I need while standing in the grocery store. 
  • trying to figure out what kind of flour to use to make crepes. Because Germans don't do all-purpose flour. Each kind of flour has a different purpose. Duh, you silly North Americans.  
  • staying at home while Umair worked away long hours, because I couldn't work/didn't have a work permit. 
  • having someone speak to me in a language I don't understand and in return giving them blank stares. I promise I'm otherwise not an unfriendly person! 
  • being the only ones to be asked by cops for passport checks on a train filled with people. Train filled with Germans. Minus the one brown couple. Don't tell me those cops weren't racist punks. 
  • lack of multiculturalism here.
  • Not being able to find a proper salon and spa. Seriously, I had to go through 5 different ones to find about getting eyebrows done because they all had no clue what I was talking about and instead suggested permanent makeup. Um no thanks! Also, have been told by few different girls here that manis and pedis are weird here. So, hello lots and lots of manis and pedis in tdot!
  • asking for something at a store in germany and when words would fail me, using my hands to explain what I want, feeling like a 3 year old. 
There might be more....but I think this is it for now. I started writing this post like 5 days ago, and just getting around to posting it. Moving is no fun at all! And for some very strange reason, we have a lot of stuff. Like... A LOT OF STUFF. It's never ending. I'm not sure how or why. 

I blame it on Umair's eccentric shoe collection. 

PS- I will still continue writing here, about the travels I haven't written about, life in downtown Toronto, and what the future is looking out to be.