oneyearabroad

I’m back home!

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I spent my last days in the US with the people I was closest to the whole year. My hostfamily and my girls 🙂

We went for last dinners, last shopping, last visits and last conversations before we’re gonna see us again. Some in a couple weeks, some in a year, my hostfamily hopefully in 2 years when I go back to visit.

Monday, July 11th, was the day. I had my suitcases packed, cleaned my room out, had thrown away junks full of trash and was ready to go home. My hostfamily dropped me off at the airport, I checked in, got through security and was on my own. Exactly like year before. Waiting for 3 hours until the flight is gonna go. Drinking a last Java Chip Frappuccino. Finding out the flight is gonna be half an hour late. Having another Starbucks Coffee. Finally getting into the plane, where everyone already speaks German and everyone is excited. I’m excited, but also confused and not really realizing, that my year is now officially over. I am looking forward to going back and seeing my family again, my friends, my hometown.. But I also know that I am gonna miss this. Living with people that became my family during the year, the people I trust and the people I was able to talk about everything and everyone. We went on vacations together, had our crisis, worked together and simply lived together. It is weird giving this up.

But here I am, in the plane, still answering in English when people talk to me.

I’m landing at 5 in the morning and am out of the exit with my suitcases about 20 minutes later, where Hanna is already waiting for me ☺️ She got up at 3am just to come and pick me up. 🙈☺️

It’s good to be back.

Back in my hometown we do some sightseeing (haha🙈) and have some brunch. Meet another one of my friends for a couple minutes, stroll through the city, pick up my brother after school, surprise my daddy at work and are at my house right before my mom gets home. She is surprised, but happy, of course, when she sees me.:)

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Since then, the weeks have been flying by.

I went to see my sister in Ludwigsburg and we visited Stuttgart together, I visited my friend David in Karlsruhe and met Luzi, the girl I met at my Rocky Mountain Tour, again.

I went out with friends, enjoyed beeing able to drink beer and wine again, got back together with my boyfriend Jonas, and spent some qualitytime with my family.

Right now I am waiting for feedback from Universities, hoping that someone takes me. If not, I will probably staying in Trier for at least the next year, to start studying here.

I guess that’s it. My au pair adventure is officially over now. Life goes on and what stays are memories of an amazing year, where I got to travel, live with an amazing family and made some really good friends!

Even though it also was a tough year, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

 

Love, Kathi ❤️

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week 43/44/45

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Summer has started and everything and nothing is happening.😊

We went indoor skydiving, watched me before you, had my oldest’s birthday party (2 weeks early), went to the pride festival in DC, saw Melanie Martinez, Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor live.

Celebrated my oldest’s graduation from elementary school and the beginning of summer, went to the pool a lot, had a girls’ night, watched me before you, watched now you see me, went to see Finding Dory.

Had day camp where I helped out, shot some arrows with bows, shot some BB’s, learned something about medicine, tried not to die in all the thunder storms and tornado warning (don’t worry, we all made it), played some soccer, watched some soccer, went to the pool, went out for brunch, tried to not spend money, met for ice cream, watched another movie, went to parks, went out for dinner, spent time resting, went for walks, and again to the pool.

Days are long but with not so much stress. 4 days until my next vacation and 14 to the last plane that I’m gonna take in this adventure. 15 days until I’m landing in Germany and need to go back to my old life. 15 days that couldn’t be any slower and a whole year that is over and went flying away. It’s a weird stage and it’s gonna be hard to leave, but good to be home 😊

Love, Kathi ❤️

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week 41/42 / Virginia beach

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The week that Hanna was still here, we spent with shopping, picnics, planes starting over our heads and finally some sleeping, after we hadn’t had slept in during our whole vacation.🙈

We had some nice last couple days and I am really glad she got to come here and spent time with me 🙂

We also needed to say goodbye to our beloved friend Rabea, whose year (or 2)  as an au pair is finished here and she’s going back to Germany. We already miss her and we’re glad that we spent so much time together and will definitely see her again as soon as possible!

After I had dropped her off at the airport and spent the first time alone in my bed again since over a month(!) (since Lydia and Hanna were here right after each other), we packed our stuff on Friday again and went off to go on another vacation (or more like a weekend trip🙈).

My host mum and me picked up the boys right after school and hit the road towards Virginia Beach! We had planned to go camping for the next three days. Let’s see how that turned out:

We got there late at night and needed to set up the tent in the dark, which wasn’t that easy, since American people, whenever they go camping, they don’t just bring air mattresses and a tent. We have a 8-person tent (for the 5 of us) and brought bunkbeds. (yes, you heard right: BUNKBEDS.) Since we got not really lucky with our neighbors, the campground service people moved us somewhere else while we spent the day at the beach, ate pizza and spend the evening at the pool on the campground.

For Sunday there was a tropical storm predicted, so we packed up our stuff, booked a hotel for the night, spend the morning at the beach, the afternoon at the Virginia Aquarium and headed to Newport News that night, where we finally had a comfortable bed again.🙈

When we woke up on Monday morning, Memorial Day, we went for breakfast, spent some time at the Virginia Living Museum and had dinner with my host mum’s sister and her family in Richmond.

We got home late, after a fun, but really exhausting weekend.

Since it was Memorial weekend, the pool season has officially started! We spent a few afternoons this weeks there, since the boys don’t have a lot of homework anymore.

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Summer is finally here! 

We didn’t do much this weekend, though. I was sick on Friday and spent the whole day in bed. On Saturday I had one last cluster meeting and spent about 7 hours a mall with Marie, before we went (once again) to Rabea’s host family’s house, to get to know the new au pair better and see her little host kid again and talk to her host parents, and make sure, that we are still welcome there 🙈

I worked Sunday (the disadvantages of being an au pair) and skyped with some of my loves at home (or in Ukraine).

I guess the next few weeks are not gonna be too exciting, even though they are my last ones. The days that I have left are counted and I can’t wait to finally be back in Germany!

37 more days and I will leave my home here to return to my actual life and home and need to worry about where to go and what to do with my future 😃

But until then, there’s a pool waiting for me and a lot of sunny days here in Virginia 🙂

Love, Kathi ❤️

week 39/40 Cali/New York

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It’s been 2 crazy weeks a´with a whole lot of new impressions and a lot of lovely people around me.☺️

Monday morning, I needed to say goodbye to Lydia, who had been staying with me for almost a week, who’s journey went on towards Philadelphia and Chicago. But it didn’t take too long (just the normal working day), until we had another guest in the house. one of my best friends, Hanna, (most of you may know her), had come to visit me for a little more than 2 weeks (yes, she is still here☺️). We had planned to go on a little vacation together, so Wednesday night, we got into our plane and flew all the way across the country, where we landed in LA, in beautiful California. We stayed with a couch surfing host in San Pedro, about an hour away from downtown, who was really nice and flexible.

The first 3 days we spent exploring in LA. We went downtown, to Hollywood, took a walk up towards the Griffith Observatory, drove to Beverly Hills, walked through the pretty (and REALLY expensive) shopping streets, saw the famous Santa Monica Pier, walked down to Venice Beach with it’s cute little stores, had some In’n’out Burger (not as good as everyone says!), went to Long Beach, got really sunburned, ate a lot of food, and took even more pictures ☺️

Saturday night we caught a bus to San Francisco, drove the whole night, arrived there without any sleep early in the morning and went for a good breakfast first. We walked around the town, saw the fisherman’s wharves, walked up to Lombardi street, took the famous cable car, climbed all the way up to the Coit tower (but didn’t go up, the line was huge!), took a bus to the painted ladies, went on to the beach, got back to downtown, because the beach was too cold and windy, grabbed dinner at California Pizza Kitchen (Not as good as at the east coast!) and met with our couch surfer there, to just go to bed and sleep after a long and exhausting day. The next morning, we grabbed some coffee and a little snack, before we went to the one spot that no one in San Francisco should ever miss! The Golden Gate Bridge!

Standing in front of it seems a little unreal, because we’ve seen it in pictures and drawings and books, but going in all these cities in the US and visiting all their famous sights, sometimes seems to be surreal and you can’t really believe it.

We took a lot of pictures, and decided, to walk all the way to the other side, to also get a great view of the bridge and the San Francisco skyline. From there we took an Uber to go to a place called ‘Hippie Tree’. I had only seen pictures and we didn’t really know, what to expect, but arriving at the top of the hill, we found a huge tree with a swing on it and an incredible view over the bridge and the city. From there we took a ferry back to downtown and went a little shopping because we still had time until our bus back to LA left again.

After a long and restless night in the bus, we arrived in LA super early and made our way to Inglewood, where we met Louisa and Magda, friends from back home, in their hostel. We took a cab to Venice Beach again, had breakfast and caught up about our adventures from the last year. we spent the day walking up towards Santa Monica, doing some shopping, watching the sunset at the beach and having a nice dinner there.

Back in San Pedro, we spent the last time with our couch surfer John, who was an amazing host! ☺️

And then it was Wednesday already, our last day in the sunny state. We brought all of our stuff to Louisa’s and Magda’s hostel, because it was close to the airport, drove all together to Hollywood, where we had dinner and walked down part of the Walk of Fame, before we drove downtown again, where we found some great spots to take pictures and also a really cute store. As the time went by, we headed back to the hostel, ordered some pizza and off we went to the airport, to fly back, across the country to DC.

We arrived at home around 7, had a typically crazy morning with my host family, did some laundry, unpacked our bags, packed again, and left around 10 to get to DC for our Bus to New York.

Arriving there, Lydia was already awaiting us at the Bus Terminal. Because we couldn’t go to our couch surfer right away, we went to Times Square (What else to do in New York? 🙈)

We had some struggles with our couch surfer, but had a roof over our heads during the night. So the next morning, we packed all of our stuff again, arranged some other place to sleep, stored our luggage at the train station and went on with our touristy sightseeing trip. We visited the 9/11 Memorial, which is always beautifully sad. I think they did a good job with putting up the two pools with all the names on the edges and the water falling down at the exact same place where the twin towers had been standing.

We went on to the Brooklyn Bridge and even crossed it (first time for me!), had some coffee in Brooklyn and took the subway back uptown. We had dinner, walked a little through midtown, picked up our stuff and made our way to our new host. Who kicked us out the next day again (We got really lucky with shitty hosts in ny.🙈). But before we got his message around 7pm, we had breakfast, went to central park, met Marie and her friend, took pictures, got some coffee and went shopping.

Then it took us another 2 hours to find another host for the night, we found one while we were trying to get food, so we just took the pizza out, met with our new and final host, had dinner on his rooftop with a beautiful view of the city and finally went to bed.

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We spent our last day having some delicious Sunday’s brunch, saying goodbye to Lydia, doing some last minute shopping and finally getting into the bus to make it all the way to Ashburn again, which took us about 7 hours today.

Here we are now, totally exhausted from all the impressions we got and things we saw, so we’re just gonna sleep and not think about all the work that needs to be done tomorrow and pretty much every day after that.

Have a good start in your week!

Love, Kathi ❤️

week 38

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It’s been a rainy week. I think there was not one day without rain except today. Which would be okay with my normal working schedule, but I had a visitor staying at my house: Lydia! After we spent our days in New Orleans together, she went to visit our friend Nora in North Carolina, before she came up to Virginia on Tuesday.😊

Despite the weather, we had a really nice time, that we spent shopping, eating and taking pictures. (Yes, that’s pretty much all we did.) We had brunch with Marie on Tuesday, went shopping on Thursday, had Cheesecake on Friday and watched Mothersday Friday night. Saturday we slept in, went to my twins’ birthday party and continued to party (or more like eating cake and pizza) at Mina’s house, who finally turned 19 (why do I feel old, even though I’m just a year older?)

Only today (Sunday) that it was warmer again, we could finally go outside and make a little sightseeing tour in DC. We were joined by Vicci and we all had a lot of fun walking through the city and exploring things even we had not seen before.🙈

 

 

Also, on Thursday we got to see Captain America: Civil War, which was really good.😊

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Love, Kathi ❤️

week 32-35 / being home

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I know, it’s been a while. I admit it: I was too lazy. And also, I figured, that it’s not the most interesting thing to read about how I spend a weekend in bed 😃

Anyway, now three weekends have passed and I got to spend a lot of quality time with my friends here, so it’s worth telling it 😊

The  first weekend of April, we spent Friday night at the cheesecake factory, had a class and went shopping for dresses on Saturday, ate at the California pizza kitchen that night and spent Sunday at Rabea’s.

 

On April 8th, it was Rabea’s 21st birthday! So we all went to her house, had some Texan Barbecue, cake and a lot of fun. The 21+ people went out later that night, while we needed to go home 😃🙈

The day after, I had another class in DC, and we met at Jane’s house afterwards to get ready for the International Ball at the Naval Academy in Annapolis! We had heard from former Au Pairs about it and had a great night! They had different snacks (even German!), good music and, of course, a lot of handsome men in uniforms! 🙊😍

 

 

I spent Sunday in bed, we didn’t get home until after 2am, so I was happy to not have any plans. Except the twins’ birthday. They had already had their party the day before, because that was the only day, their aunts and grandparents could come, so on Sunday we didn’t really celebrate. But they got presents and there was still some selfmade cake! ☺️

 

 

And finally last weekend, I spent with the girls again. (yes, I know, it’s getting boring to read.) We basically just ate. I went to Silver Diner with Marie on Friday, we had class on Saturday, went to eat Döner in DC, helped Rabea pack boxes to ship to Germany, went to the Cheesecake Factory, slept over at Rabea’s, brought the packages to the polish company (not without buying some German goods at their store!) and went to eat at California Pizza Kitchen. Yes, we really just ate. And spent way  too much money. 😫🙈

I did have a good time with my friends the last couple weeks, but I am graving vacations! By now, it’s only 7 more days to my next one, but it feels like I am really in need of getting out of my daily routine. 7 more days to New Orleans and one of my German friends! ☺️

See you then!

Love, Kathi ❤️

 

week 31/32 Atlanta/Springbreak/Easter

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Happy Easter, everyone! I hope everyone who celebrates it, spends the day with their families and loved ones.❤️

 

I haven’t been updating my blog last week, because there was just no time for it.

Last Friday, we had the car packed and right after school ended, we took of to another road trip. Today’s destination:

Atlanta, Georgia.😊

A 10 hour journey to the Capital of the southern state. We spent the night in South Carolina to get some sleep and arrived in Atlanta on Saturday around noon, where we met my host mum’s sister and her family, including her au pair 😊

We went to Coca Cola World, the museum about how Coca Cola was founded in Atlanta in 1886 and it’s way up and around the world until today. It was really interesting and we were able to try different flavors all over the world and saw all the different designs and bottles sold in all the countries in the world (except North Korea and Cuba).

 

Saturday we visited the CNN studios, who also have their head quarter in Atlanta. We participated in a tour, in which we saw how the news are made, how people there work together and what different channels they have.

I spent the afternoon with Emma (the other au pair) alone, we walked through the city and enjoyed the time without kids 😉

 

 

We spent the Monday in the Aquarium, had a Behind the scenes tour, watched Whalesharks (the biggest shark of the world), fed and pet Sea Otters and saw a lot of other lovely animals.😊

 

 

Around 4pm, it was time for us to hit the road, we were planning on driving home all the way that day. We arrived around 3am and went right to sleep.

Because it was spring break for the boys, I worked all week the whole day. No break for me. A lot of playground time. I am so happy that school starts again tomorrow, I couldn’t do it much longer.

Friday night, we went once again to Rebounderz and had a good time there 😊

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On Saturday, I didn’t really have any plans, but because the weather was nice, I figured I should go outside. So I went to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, to admire the beauty of the cherry blossoms and sit down and read a couple hours.🌸😍

I spent the evening with Marie and her family, who is visiting from Germany. We cooked something and had a nice dinner together (Oh, how I miss German dinners and sitting at the table for hours, talking!)

Today, Easter Sunday, I didn’t do anything and spent the whole day in my bed. That was probably the saddest and loneliest Easter I ever had, but I didn’t want to do anything else.

Happy Easter, everyone! 🐣🌸🐰❤️

Love, Kathi.❤️