As I was putting together today’s feature, I realized that three out of the last four bloggers that I’m featuring live overseas. For some reason this simple idea struck me as really neat. 🙂 Today’s blogger is Sarah, and she and her family are currently living in Germany! What stands out the most to me about Sarah is how generous she was with information about Germany to send to my sister before they moved there a couple months ago. I was floored by the how helpful she was to a complete stranger. That spoke volumes to me, and since then, both my sister and I have poured over her blog. She has great content! I hope you’ll pop over and look around at her site. Meet Sarah!
Q: Tell us a little bit about who you are in three sentences or less.
A: I’m Sarah, (very!!) new mom to Finn and submarine wife to Mike. I love horses, the Boston Red Sox, Diet Coke (lots of Diet Coke), traveling, and any time I get to spend with my friends and family.
Q: When/why did you start your blog, and what do you enjoy writing about the most?
A: I started my blog after college when I served in an inner city school through an Americorps program called City Year. I wanted to document all of the crazy things that the kids said and did. I took a blogging break when I moved back home for school, but started it back up when my husband and I moved abroad. It’s been a great way to document our travels and adventures, as well as share our life with our family and friends back home. I love having somewhere to record all of our adventures, but I also love writing about the everyday things, such as books I’m reading or a movie that Mike and I enjoyed.
Q: You just had a baby! Welcome precious Finnegan! Tell us all about him. ☺
A: Oh, sweet Finn! We are so in love, albeit extremely sleep deprived. He was born on April 14th, 2017 and we’re over the moon in love. We spent a week in the hospital with some jaundice issues and are now adjusting to life at home. Finn is in the sleepy newborn phase, but when he is awake, his eyes are wide open and he is checking things out. We say he looks so suspicious looking at everything because he has perfected the side eye look and just kind of stares at things all over the place. It cracks us up. We are feeling so overwhelmed and happy with his arrival. Now if we could just get some sleep…
Q: The military has sent you and your husband to some really neat duty stations the last few years. Where have you lived and how did you end up with those assignments?
A: We have lucked out completely when it comes to duty stations. Right after we got engaged, my now-husband was selected for the Olmsted Scholarship. The Olmsted Foundation gives scholarships to military officers across all branches to study and travel abroad. It’s a three year program with the first year as language training and then the next two spent abroad in complete cultural immersion studying at a university. When my husband was interviewing for the Olmsted, we submitted a list of places around the world that we wanted to go and ended up with our second choice of Izmir, Turkey. My husband spent the next year in Washington, DC studying Turkish and then in June of 2015, we moved to Izmir. After a wonderfully adventurous year there, the military recalled all dependents (me!) out of safety concerns, so I spent the next two months at Ramstein AF base and then another month at home in the States before my husband could get new orders to Berlin, Germany. We arrived in Berlin in July and have been here ever since. We’ll be returning to the United States and heading to Groton, CT for department head school in August. Needless to say, it’s been a unique first couple years of marriage, but it’s been a ton of fun and a once in a lifetime opportunity!
Q: What do you enjoy the most about living abroad?
A: I love the opportunity for growth that comes with living abroad and being culturally immersed. I feel like I have grown so much as a person after living in Turkey and Berlin. Living in Turkey was a complete 180 from our lives in DC and a great opportunity to learn about a completely different culture. I taught English to college students in Turkey and it was a great opportunity to learn about all sorts of different parts of Turkish culture. I loved hearing about things such as Turkish weddings, holiday traditions, and families. While German culture is pretty similar to the United States, there are still lots of opportunities to learn and grow here as well. It’s probably obvious, but the travel is also a huge perk of living abroad. I’ve been to 30 countries since moving abroad, which blows my mind! It’s an amazing benefit of the Olmsted Foundation and living abroad. I laugh because sometimes I’ll be telling my friends or family about our weekend plans and casually mention something like “Yeah, we’re going to Portugal this weekend,” and then realize how crazy that sounds.
Q: What are some of the hardest parts about living abroad with the military? What do you miss about the States?
A: As amazing as this opportunity is, it’s not easy. I think I spent the first six month counting down until we could go back to the United States. Moving abroad, especially somewhere as different as Turkey and without the built in military community support, brought a huge number of challenges. Little things like finding comfort foods to the bigger things like being able to communicate and meet people are all challenges we faced in our first few months in both Turkey and Berlin. I would still say that we haven’t made a ton of friends. On top of that, I’m very close with my family and being away from them for so long has been tough. I think I cried every day for the month of December when I would think about not spending Christmas with them. Having a baby abroad has also been a true test. Mike and I have really had to rely on each other since we don’t have huge support system here. I don’t regret having our baby now, but there have been so many times where I wish I were home with my family to help out. I think so many people see our pictures and hear our travel stories and think that it’s this picture perfect experience, but there have been some really hard moments.
Q: Who do you think would really enjoy your blog?
A: Well I think the blog is in a little bit of a transition right now. For the past two years, it’s been primarily a personal travel blog, so anyone who likes travel blogs would enjoy it. We just welcomed sweet Finn and we’re heading back to the United States in August where my husband will return to a more normal military schedule (if there is such a thing), so the blog will probably become more family/lifestyle oriented and less travel based, but we’re excited to explore New England and the United States.
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
And just for fun…
- Comedy or Thriller movies? Comedy for sure!
- Travel by car or plane? Probably car, but the convenience of plane travel can’t be beat
- Small or big dogs? Big dogs
- Salty or sweet snack? I have a huge sweet tooth
In case you’re new to Whimsical September…
Hi! I’m Erica! I created the Saturday Sit-Down series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in late 2017 and would love to feature you! Email me at WHIMSICALSEPTEMBER@YAHOO.COM to get in touch.