One year and two days ago I packed my bags and moved to Austria…from southern California. I sold my car, all my belongings, left my thriving personal training business, packed 2 GIANT suitcases and headed on a plane. I remember huddling with my parents in the San Francisco airport, so many tears and so many prayers. It was like when I moved away to college- except much more intense. In all honesty, I don’t think I really knew what I was doing until I got here.
Here’s a post I posted on Instagram announcing my move.
Why did I move?
In September of 2012 I became the Fitness Coach for a flourishing mobile health & fitness Austrian start up called Runtastic. I started providing content for the Runtastic Blog and helped create the Runtastic Fitness Channel on YouTube.
In January of 2013, I headed to Las Vegas to meet some of the team from Austria to work the Runtastic booth at CES (the biggest consumer electronic show in the world). That’s when I met Joe, the Head of Marketing at Runtastic — fast forward — he’s my boyfriend and the love of my life.
As the company grew, the YouTube channel & our relationship I decided one day “I want to move to Austria” and I did. Luckily there was an opening at Runtastic for a full time position that enabled me to do what I love – fitness & writing. Austria here I come!
The First Year
Wow, talk about culture shock. New country, new job, new apartment, new language- new freakin’ EVERYTHING! I lost my mind a time or two (maybe 3) and I really longed for my beach condo 1 mile from the beach in San Clemente, CA. What was I thinking? …. I thought. Then came winter– What the f*$% was I thinking?… I thought again. I remember Googling “culture shock” on a regular basis to assure what I was feeling was normal and not an intense nervous breakdown.
But looking back now, at my 1 year anniversary, it didn’t matter what I was thinking…I believe that sometimes you are just placed for a purpose– whatever God’s plan is for you will come about. It’s not my job to “think”- I just need to “do.”
USA vs. Austria
I made this list in my phone on March 22, 2014 — 20 days after I moved:
Things I miss about USA
1. My family/friends
2. The beach & sunshine
3. Stores being opened late and on Sunday’s
4. Vegetarian & Vegan options everywhere
5. Garbage disposals
6. Speaking the language
7. Quinoa costing less than $10
What I like about Austria
1. Everything Runtastic
2. The fact that all trash is separated (paper, plastic, trash, etc) to recycle.
3. That I can safely drink the sink water (super good quality)
4. All the green hills
I looked at this list 2 days ago and it was quite funny and cool. I remember making that list and how much I truly missed the things that I wrote down. I would have given anything for a grocery store to be opened on Sunday & to not have to rush to get to the store before 7pm closing during the week. It would make me so mad that I couldn’t do all of these things the way I wanted to. Once again– not my plan.
I can’t say that my list has changed much…but besides missing my family and friends, I know that everything else that I miss will be right there waiting for me anytime I go back to California…beach and all. Oh, and did I mention a vegan supplement store and a health food store opened up within a 5-10 minute walk from my apartment? Talk about awesome! (yes, it’s the little things)
What have I learned this year?
-No matter what happens my family and friends are always there to support me 150%
-Anything is possible, your only limit is your own fear
-Nothing can teach you what traveling can
-It’s all about the experience
-You never know what you are truly capable of until you COMPLETELY outside of your comfort zone.
I am looking forward to this next year. What will it bring? I am not sure. I don’t need to know, but what I do know is that I AM READY!