It's that time again — we're moving! If you've followed our journey the past few years, you know we've moved to England, California, and back to North Carolina all since 2013. After getting pregnant in Cali, the plan was always to move back to NC to spend the first year of our daughter's life in my home state before moving back to England.
From our 6 months in the UK in 2013, we felt a keen desire and pull to move back as soon as possible to spend a bigger chunk of our lives in the place where David is from after spending most of our marriage living in the US. However, we're heading to Germany for four months first. What? Why? you may ask.
Well, immigration ain't easy. As is, I can only be in England as a "tourist" for up to 6 months. Even as an English citizen's spouse and mother to an already dual-citizen little girl, there are stipulations for my up and moving to England. Isn't it odd that David and Talitha could go straight there to live no questions asked, but throw me into the equation, and the requirements are these: David's income would have to be over $23,000/year (equivilent to £18,000) for at least 6 months prior to our move and he'd have to already have a job secured and waiting for him in England upon arrival. These income requirements don't even take into account my own job and earnings or ability to work via internet once in England, which to be honest, isn't at all fair to me, but nonetheless, that's how it goes. When we were making our plans, we realized it could take longer than we were willing to wait for David to meet those requirements. So we sought out another way.
Despite the UK's recent vote to leave the European Union (which hasn't gone into effect yet), David is still a citizen of the EU, and each country has its own laws concerning spousal immigration. Germany will accept me into their country on account of being David's wife, and I can apply to be a German resident. Once I have that, and we establish a "center of life" in Germany for at least three months, the British immigration office will look at me completely differently (as a resident of Europe instead of just an American). I'll be allowed in for longer than just the 6 months and able to then apply for British residency.
So why Germany? Two reasons. During our first year in California, we shared a house with a German couple our age who became some of our dearest friends from our time in Redding. Seriously, they are pure gold. They've moved back to their hometown in Germany and opened up a cafe as well as had their first child this summer. So, we're excited to move to Duisburg, which is in the midwestern part of Germany (about 2 hours from Amsterdam), and to share life in community with them for a little while. David will be helping in any way he can at the cafe and/or seeking employment elsewhere, and I'll resume my writing for Romper whilst doing the mama thing with my sweet friend and her newborn. The other reason Germany was so appealing is that David is practically fluent in German, so that makes one of us that speaks the language. I've been told English is very common, but I'm eager to pick up some useful German phrases — and it's certainly possible that Talitha will, too! — even though I'm a little nervous about the language barrior. I'm sure I'll learn a thing or two about patience having to have things translated for me often, but living in a new culture is always an adventure I'm excited to take.
The plan is to head to England in late February 2017 to most likely Ramsgate where David's family lives. Our church there that we made such a connection with (we love you, New Life-ers!) is in the next town along the coast just 10 minutes away, so it's possible we could end up there or anywhere in the surrounding area really. David isn't sure what type of job he'll look for or take once there, but we're open to lots of things, and I'm very grateful I can take my writing job with me whereever. We're just excited to plug into the church, do life with David's family for a while, and essentially spend a chunk of life in David's home country.
Our timeframe is loose, but we're ready to stay somewhere longer than a year and 8 months, which is the longest we've stayed in a place since early 2013. But we can't say we'll exactly settle either, because how can you when you have family and friends in two countries? We think the longest we'll stay is around 5 years, but the idea is to take it one year at a time. We are eager to have another child as well, so once in England and by next Spring, I'd love to become pregnant again. Our life goal is to remain living a simplistic lifestyle, to refrain from accumulation of material things, and to always be ready for change. Travel, new places, a sense of adventure — probably turning out to be the DNA of our little Drozdowski clan.
When we leave on Monday, Oct 3, we are flying to LA where we'll have an overnight stay with my cousin who lives there, and then we'll drive up to Redding to visit Bethel Church and our friends there for a week. Then, we'll make the drive back to LA for a brief visit with my cousin again and fly out from there to Europe. As I type this, I can hardly believe it's all happening. Time is such a funny thing. Before I know it, we'll be back again, but watch this space (ok, well, really Facebook/Instagram) for everything in between.