Tag Archive: living abroad


The lovely town of Fussen!

The lovely town of Fussen!

After visiting Neuschwanstein Castle we headed to Fussen, the southern end of the Romantic Road.

Fussen began as a Roman trading fort. Its medieval town center is framed by the majestic Alps, rising above the  the river Lech, and it is surrounded by lakes. It has a late-gothic castle, baroque cathedrals and the oldest preserved fresco in Bavaria.

Watch for the close up in the next photo.

Watch for the close up in the next photo.

Many of the buildings have paintings on them.

Many of the buildings have paintings on them.

Cute cafes were everywhere!

Cute cafes were everywhere!

These wrought iron signs seem to be typical, too.

These wrought iron signs seem to be typical, too.

The town is immaculate!

The town is immaculate!

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit the castle.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the castle.

This is another place we'd love to spend more time in.

This is another place we’d love to spend more time in.

Below is St. Mang’s Basilica. It has the oldest fresco in Germany in its crypt, dating back to 980.

The clock tower.
This church was beautiful!

This church was beautiful! Kid in motion…

The organ!

The organ!

We then drove back to the small Bavarian village we were staying in, and went for dinner at a local restaurant recommended by our Airbnb hosts. We tried authentic Bavarian dishes and the local beer. Our waitress was very friendly and we muddled through with our minimal German:)

The food was excellent!

The food was excellent!

The next day (yesterday) we left for Verona, Italy.  We drove though spectacular Alpine scenery…past Innsbruck, Austria…into the Dolomites, and on to Verona.

Today we are doing a day trip to Lake Garda…gotta run!

Neuschwanstein Castle!

Neuschwanstein Castle!

Guidebooks say that this is the world’s most famous castle…the model for Disneyland’s castle.

This was at the beginning of the hike up to the castle.

This was at the beginning of the hike up to the castle.

“Crazy” King Ludwig II is famous for his two fantasy fairy-tale castles: Neuschwanstein Castle and Howenscwangau Castle.

We hiked up a canyon next to a waterfall.

We hiked up a canyon next to a waterfall.

They are Germany’s biggest tourist attractions!

Notice the bridge above Andy. We are about halfway to the bridge at this point.

Notice the bridge above Andy. We are about halfway to the bridge at this point.

The location of the castles is stunning!

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We finally arrived at the top, a 35 minute climb…we worked off our amazing, enormous breakfast provided by our wonderful Airbnb host!

According to Lonely Planet guidebook, King Ludwig planned this castle with the help of a help of a set designer instead of an architect!

There's Andy, waving his arms on the balcony.  There were tons of tourists there!

There’s Andy, waving his arms on the balcony. There were tons of tourists there!

It looks like a medieval castle but was building was begun in 1869, but never finished.

Must have a photo in front of the castle, even with random tourists posing for their own photos:)

Must have a photo in front of the castle, even with random tourists posing for their own photos:) At this point, Nate was ready to go back to our hosts’ home to play.

Apparently, King Ludwig only lived here for less than 180 days.

The castle actually looked very new up close. It had just been restored earlier this year.

The castle actually looked very new up close. It had just been restored earlier this year.

Next, we walked to Marienbrucke Bridge, the bridge I pointed out about Andy a few pictures ago.

Next, we walked to Marienbrucke Bridge, the bridge I pointed out above Andy a few pictures ago.

On the way to the bridge we passed this view of the place where King Ludwig lived as a boy.

Here's Howenschwangau Castle, where crazy King Ludwig lived as a boy.  Not a bad place to grow up!

Howenschwangau Castle… not a bad place to grow up!

Here's the view from the bridge!

Here’s the view from the bridge!

Then we walked down the hill to Hohenschwangau, the touristy town at the bottom of the hill.

Then we walked down the hill to Hohenschwangau, the touristy town at the bottom of the hill.

The picture above shows how far up we climbed to get to the castle!

The view of the castle from the town.  It shows how far we climbed to get to it!

The view of the castle from the town.

Again, this is a must-see if you are ever in this area!  Our day wasn’t even finished at this point.  We left here to go to Fussen: the final, southern-most town on the Romantic Road.  Pictures coming on the next post.

Gotta run, we are off to Italy now!

Hi, I’m Nate.  This is the end of my second year of living in Prague.  It’s been another very fun year of adventures!

In September I celebrated my birthday with my friends from school.

Cake, friends, presents...what can be better?

Cake, friends, presents…what can be better?

In October we went for a week to Slovenia.  That’s part of the old Yugoslavia. It’s next to Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Italy.

This is the view from the castle on the cliffs above Lake Bled.

This is the view from the castle on the cliffs above Lake Bled.

See the little island near the end of the lake with the church spire?

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Dad rowed us to the island.

We rang the church bell!

We rang the church bell!

Another day Dad drove us through the Julian Alps.

Look at THAT!  Pretty cool place for a picnic!

Look at THAT! Pretty cool place for a picnic!

We climbed around a five hundred year old castle built into a cliff. Read about the robber baron who got shot by a cannonball while sitting on the toilet:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2013/06/08/slovenia-one-of-our-all-time-favorite-european-countries/

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Doesn’t it look like a place from Lord of the Rings?

In December we celebrated Christmas TWICE!! Once in California and once in Milwaukee!

At my Auntie Robin's house on Christmas morning!

At my Auntie Robin’s house on a sunny California Christmas morning!

In Milwaukee I got to see my sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. I got to meet my new twin cousins!

I got to hang out with my big sister, Sam.

I got to hang out with my big sister, Sam.

In February we visited our Turkish friends.  We had a blast!  We ate tons of great home cooked food. We went to a cafe on the Bosphorus.

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See the cat behind us?

We went on a cruise on the Bosphorus with friends from Prague.  It was a VERY rainy day!

Hanging out with the Myers.

Later that day we tried dessert with chicken in it!!

The red one is the Turkish flag.

The red one is the Turkish flag.

After Istanbul we went to visit our other Turkish friends in Ankara.  It was so fun!

Istanbul is amazing!

Istanbul is cool!

In April we went to Seville, Spain for our Easter Break.  Our friend Ana Maria and her family showed us the Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions.

Mom says this tradition is hundreds of years old!

Mom says this tradition is hundreds of years old!

You can read about our adventures in Seville here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2013/04/07/celebrating-semana-santa-in-seville/

This is the procession in front of the float,

This is the procession in front of the float.

Next, we went to Granada at the end of March into the first week of April.

The Alhambra!

The Alhambra!

Mom and Dad slept late every day.  They let me watch lots of Spanish cartoons on TV. I love Cosmic Cat! You can see more photos of Granada here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2013/05/11/the-alhambra-a-photo-essay/

It was fun exploring the Alhambra, but we got drenched at the end!

It was fun exploring the Alhambra, but we got drenched at the end!

One day we went for a day trip to Cordoba to see the Mezquita.

It was a mosque built in the 900's.

It is a mosque built in the 900’s on the ruins of a Visigothic church from the 600’s.

See, it looks like a mosque, right?

See, it looks like a mosque, right?

But there's a big cathedral that pops out of the middle of the mosque!

But there’s a big cathedral that pops out of the middle of the mosque!

The cathedral was built in the 1200’s after the Spanish kicked out the Moors.

You can read about more Spain adventures here:

https://globalnomadfamily.com/2013/05/19/renting-a-car-in-europe-six-lessons-learned/

In May we went to Herrnhut, Germany for a weekend retreat with our friends from church.

The view from the prayer tower.

The view from the prayer tower.

Just being silly!

Just being silly!

June was a CRAZY month! Prague got flooded and my school was shut down.  I went to school in a hotel for a week! Then we had visitors from India.  Next, Sydney and her family come to stay with us and we took them to the Summer Fayre.  It was a blast!

i got launched in the air!

I got launched in the air!

Walking home with Sydney after Summer Fayre.

Walking home with Sydney after Summer Fayre.

Sydney and her family are traveling around the world for two years!  You can read about their adventures here:

http://travel-junkies.com/

It’s been a really fun school year.  I’m excited for summer vacation.  On Monday we leave on a road trip to Germany, Italy and France. Then we’ll come home for five days, and after that we’ll go to Israel.  It’s going to be fun!

My Amazing Year!

My name is  Nate  and I’m seven years old.  Tomorrow I start the new school year.  I’m excited to go back to school!  But first I want to tell you about my amazing year.

It started during the big winter storm in February 2011.  My mom and dad told me we were moving to Prague! My dad got a teaching job there. We had a big garage sale, sold our house, and  then flew to Prague in July 2011.

Now I live near a castle!  I go to a great school with great teachers.  We get lots of breaks during the school year.

View of Prague Castle

During the October mid-term break we went to Barcelona, Spain. It was just 2 1/2 hours to fly there.  I got to see Park Guell, designed by Gaudi.  Mom says he is a famous architect. I think he was inspired by Dr. Seuss!

Parc Guell, Barcelona.  Missing my two front teeth!

The Sanctuary of Sagrada Familia by Gaudi
What’s with the umbrella??!!

If Dr. Seuss went to church, this would be it!

In February we took the night train to Krakow, Poland.  It was so fun!

This was our sleeping compartment! It had three bunkbeds and a sink.

We stayed at a friend’s home and took care of their turtle.

I got to feed the turtle every day.

The salt mines were so cool!  We walked 65 flights of steps down into the earth.  Here’s what we saw:

We were thankful that we could take an elevator back to the top!

The miners needed a place to go to church. Sometimes they stayed underground for days!

One day we went to Nowa Huta.  It was built in the 1950’s as an example of a perfect Communist city.

After Communism fell, this is what they named their main street:

Yes, it’s Ronald Reagan Square!

In April we flew to Venice for Easter break.  I got to see St. Marco’s Square.

I love chasing pigeons!

I went on a gondola ride!

Then we took the train to Florence.  We saw the Duomo, Florence’s famous cathedral.  We spent Easter morning watching the exploding fireworks cart.  It’s a tradition that comes from the  1500’s. We went to lots of art museums.  My favorite part of Florence was eating gelato ice cream every day!

Dad and me in front of the Duomo.

We saw lots of cool statues, including Michaelangelo’s David!

Italian gelato ice cream rocks!

In May we drove for the day to Herrnhut, Germany with our friends.  That’s the place where modern missions started.  We went with friends.  It was a 2 ½ hour drive.

Suzanne, Moriah, Kelsie, me.

Moravian Christians fled persecution and settled here in the 1700’s.

This is the “Prayer Tower” where there were always people praying, 24/7.

In June the Zidek family came to visit us.  We went on a dinner cruise on the Vltava river.

Mom and Vicki being silly on the boat!

We took the train to Pilsen with the Zidek family to see the Pilsner Brewery.

Dad says Czech beer is the best in the world!

In late June my Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us.  It was so fun to show them Prague!  Here’s Grandma and me at the entrance of Prague Castle.

Is the coast clear?

We were celebrating Grandma and Grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary!

We went to an opera called Carmen at the Prague State Opera House. We also went to an organ and violin concert at St. Salvatore Church. We heard the music of Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and Handel.

St. Salvatore Church, near Charles Bridge.

Mom said I was an angel!

We took the train to Vienna and stayed with good friends at their hotel.  We saw Schonbrunn (summer palace of the Hapsburgs), St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Mozart’s house, and had lunch in a café.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral was built in the 1200’s!

Grandpa was speechless!

We took the train to Dresden.  Then we drove to Wittenburg.  Here’s Castle Church where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses!

This is “THE” door!

Marin Luther preached here!

Next we went to Leipzig, home of Bach, who is one of my Grandma’s favorite composers. Here’s Tomaskirche, where Bach was Cantor. We also got to see the Bach Museum.

We went to a service here where the Tomaskirche Boys’ Choir sang.

The singing was amazing!

After Grandma and Grandpa left we went to Czech Switzerland, on the border with Germany.  We went hiking with our friends to Pravcicka Brana, the biggest natural land bridge in Europe.

Narnia was filmed here!

We hiked 10 miles that day.   Mom and Dad said I was a real trooper!

The view from the to

We stopped for lunch and to play.

At the end of July we flew to Paris.  My big sister Sam met us there!  We had so much fun!

The Eiffel Tower!

My wacky Mom with the Arc de Triomphe!

Montmartre!

Inside the Cathedral of Notre Dame!

Then we stayed 12 days in the French countryside, near Blois.  We saw  several chateaux.  Chateaux really look more like palaces than what you’d think a chateau would look like.

Chateau of Blois: Joan of Arc was here in 1429! We stayed in a quiet little village outside this town.

Chateau of Clos Luce: This was Leonardo da Vinci’s bed! He lived in Amboise the last six years of his life.

Chateau of Chenonceau.

Sam and Me at Chateau of Cheverny. This is Captain Haddock’s Castle. There was a Tintin Exhibition here!

We saw other cool places in the Loire Valley.  We went to Chartres to see it’s amazing cathedral.  We saw the Castle of Chinon.  We saw the city of Orleans, where Joan of Arc lifted the siege of the English during the 100 years war in the 1400’s.

Inside the Cathedral of Chartres. Joan of Arc is honored in the stain glass. It tells her story.

The Castle of Chinon, started in the 900’s and added to by Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Abby of Fontevraud: Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their son Richard the Lionheart are buried here!

The Cathedral of Orleans.

The inside of the cathedral honored Joan of Arc.

We think this place was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion!

Then we flew home to Prague.  We have been enjoying the last lazy days of summer before school starts tomorrow.

I wonder what adventures I’ll have this year?

Yesterday my husband Andy and I celebrated our one year anniversary of moving from the U.S. to Prague with our seven year old son.  What an adventure it has been!  During the school holidays we’ve been to Barcelona, Krakow, Venice, Florence, Herrnhut, Germany; Vienna, Leipzig, Wittenburg, and “Czech Switzerland”.  And each time we come “home” to Prague!

But WHY did we move to PRAGUE, you ask? The short answer is because Andy got a teaching contract at an international high school. The long answer is because I’m an adult Third Culture Kid (TCK) with an unquenchable wanderlust, and Andy is now also addicted to travel.

David Pollack developed the following description for third culture kids:

 “A third culture kid is an individual who, having spent a significant part of their developmental years in a culture other than their parents’ home culture, develops a sense of relationship to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Elements from each culture are incorporated into the life experience, but the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar experience.”1

“Children are TCKs for many reasons. Some have parents with careers in international business, the diplomatic corps, the military or religious missions.”2 

I am a TCK because I grew up in India for four years of my childhood, from age seven to eleven.  Why did I grow up in India?  That’s a story for a later post.

There has been much research done on TCKs, and one finding is that many TCKs have an unquenchable wanderlust, which stems from the cross-cultural and high-mobility aspects of their upbringing.  That’s me!  I am a travelholic.  I feel more alive when I am in another country, in another culture. I love being part of an expat community, learning a new language and how to get around in a foreign country.

Prior to our move to Prague, we were living in Wisconsin, raising our son Imageand our daughter, Samantha, now 18. Sam is eleven years older than our son as she is my husband’s daughter from his first marriage. So we decided that when Sam graduated from high school and went away to college in 2011, we would look into finding jobs teaching overseas.

Long story short, Andy got a job offer from an international school in Prague. So we sold our three- bedroom house and most of our belongings, packed up six suitcases and three carry ons, and landed in Prague on July 18, 2011!

It has been a truly amazing year, with so many great memories.  Our son is thriving in his international school and he absolutely loves traveling and experiencing new adventures.  Our son doesn’t realize it yet, but he is now a TCK, growing up amongst other TCKs. Hence my desire to finally start this blog, with the help of our daughter and technical advisor, Sam…who, by the way, we will be meeting in Paris on Wednesday!