After more than twenty years abroad, I'm seeing Germany with new eyes once again, as Kim adjusts to life over here. She arrived a little more than a week ago, and is definitely in that honeymoon stage of being an expat. I love experiencing the joy in her eyes as we do things that I haven't had the chance or taken the time to do over the past years, like visiting the Christmas market or looking at the lights. I forget how beautiful things are here until someone else points it out.
Her arrival has also given me the incentive to get out and about more and to look to meet new people. As many of you have experienced, a divorce or breakup means redefining your friendships. I realized that I hadn't invested enough effort in past years into meeting new people or maintaining old friendships. With the rush of kids and family, it's difficult to make yourself get out and do things, especially when you are working a lot and coordinating the rest of your life. I know that Jan is really taking the time to do the same -- and I am glad of it. He's putting time into his running and seems to be making plans to do things again.
Part of my intent with getting out more is to focus on developing friendships for Kim and me as a couple, but also so that she doesn't fall into the trap of expat isolation. You know what I mean...The partner is at work, you're stuck at home, you don't really know anyone, and you end up hiding away. Kim's not intimidated by life here or the lack of language, and is venturing out on her own as much as she can. Even within a few days of arriving she'd gone to an expat meetup and organized a business meeting. Maintaining that independence is so important -- and as she says, it's good for her development!
I expect Kim will be starting some sort of integration course soon so she can learn German and really get moving with her oil business in this part of the world. That will be her main focus from here on out. She's curious about the language and not afraid to use it, so I expect there will be no issues on that front. And the kids keep her on track -- no matter what.Noah's teaching her very important words about bodily functions and such. Watch out world!