3.21.2016

I'm Gonna Be a Failed Expat


Oh boy, where to even begin?

I'm still not sure that I'm even ready to sit down and write about this, but I believe doing so will provide some extra clarity and help me come to terms with some things that I need to accept. 

So, I will begin by just spitting it out...

I'm not renewing my Visa to stay in the Czech Republic, and I will be returning home to Florida in about three months. 

Okay, it's out there and I can't take it back. If you are close to me, I have most likely already discussed this decision with you at some point over the past couple of weeks. But, the majority of you are probably confused...especially because you know I have been planning to make this a semi-long term situation. 

I guess the first and most important point I would like to make is, I am NOT leaving because I am unhappy with living abroad. It is not something that everyone is made for, and I feel confident in saying that living in a foreign country is something that I find rather enjoyable and rewarding. This is not the post where I will ramble on and on about the amazing things that have happened to me on this journey (one of those will come later on at some point), but believe me when I say that I would continue to travel and live in Europe if things were different at the moment. despite the challenges that come along with being here. 

I wasn't completely sure if I was going to share the precise reason I will be returning home, or if I was just going to keep it limited to the label of "personal issues." Ultimately though, I have decided to be completely honest, because I want people to come to this blog and relate to the things that I am writing about. I want to help people avoid the same situation if they happen to find themselves faced with it. 

With that being said, I feel comfortable telling you that I am going home to dig myself out of a bit of a financial hole. Over the past 8 months, my money situation has gotten worse and worse. All of the costs of getting settled quickly diminished the money that I had saved, and even with my full-time teaching schedule, I am not making enough to make ends meet. If I didn't have American bills that I was still having to pay, the situation may be different. However, I cannot afford to continue along as I am, and I can't afford to travel, which is half of the reason that I'm here! I'm slipping further and further into debt, and an income of Czech crowns cannot be much assistance with this. 

I have tried really hard to balance things out and solve the problem over the past few months, but I have just had to accept that there is nothing I can really do. Plus, the stress of trying to figure everything out has led to a resurfacing of my anxiety, and I am more anxious about things right now than I have been in a very, very long time...or possibly ever. So, to sum it all up, the responsible choice is the one that I have to make here...for my future and for my mental health. 

It is also the choice that I have to make for mine and Shahid's relationship. We have been long distance since we started dating last year...me in the Czech Republic and him in the U.K. Now, we are about to be even more long distance with me in Florida. But...if I'm in Florida, I'm in a better position to prepare for our future together. Regardless of whether we decide he is going to come to the U.S., or I'm going to go to England...Visa expenses are not cheap, and I want to be able to prepare because I want to be with him. (I know, I know...so much sappy stuff!) 

And there you have it...I'm going to be a failed expat. 

I have so many mixed emotions at the moment. I turned in my resignation notices to my schools today, which was bittersweet because I am really going to miss my students. I'm sad about leaving Europe (even though I'm POSITIVE I will be back plenty more times), I'm sad about being on a completely different continent than Shahid and the friends that I have made here, and I'm sad that this experience has flown by so quickly. But, I am also happy to figure out the next step, and I'm extra happy to be back closer to my family and friends at home. 

So, what's the exact plan? My Visa expires on May 11th. My last day or work will be April 29th. May will be spent getting things wrapped up here (because my gosh, is everything a process when it comes to living in a foreign country), and enjoying Prague for a bit longer. I would also like to take one last trip if I can swing it. Then, I will head over to the U.K. in June to spend a couple of weeks with Shahid, and head back to Florida from there. 

Whew. I feel better now. That's all for now, folks. As always, thank you for reading my ramblings! Until next time...

3.19.2016

London in a Blink

It's 12am on Sunday here in Prague and I cannot sleep, so I thought I would take advantage of this time and reacquaint myself with my blog.

I have been back from my London/Florida vacation for a week now. I'm not going to lie, I have been suffering from post travel blues (and a lot of jet lag), so that's why I took an additional one week hiatus from writing. But...I'm back and ready to go now.

I thought I would share the first leg of Shahid and I's journey with you today. Since he lives in the UK, and I was coming from Prague to meet him, we spent part of one day/one night in London before heading off to Florida. This was actually my second time in London...my first being when I was on my way to Prague for the first time.

 It was COLD, but other than that the weather was beautiful. We stayed in a cute part of the city right near Buckingham Palace, and did a stand-up job of playing tourist. It was a short, yet memorable, time.

We began with a late lunch at a pub called The Queens Arms. I had a burger (typical "Yank"), and Shahid had the fish and chips (typical Brit, ha ha). After that, we made the 25 minute walk to see Big Ben and Parliament. I feel like these are things you should always see when in London, ha ha.

After that, we walked along the river and checked out the London Eye, then we headed over to Trafalgar Square and explored that area. It wasn't long before we were distracted by our shared weakness...ice cream. (No really, we eat ice cream in every city we visit together.) So, we ate the best gelato I have ever had at Amorino (the dulce de leche was to die for) before heading back to the hotel for an early night since we had to wake up at 4am for our flight the next day.

We left from Heathrow the next morning, and that was that! Check out the pictures below.

I have a lot of posts coming...some with some announcements of change and future plans, so I hope you will stick around in the coming weeks. Have a great rest of the weekend!









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