I will never forget my first day on German soil. I felt so many different emotions that I shook like a leaf on a windy day as I handed my passport to the gentleman in customs. In my other pocket I had my instructions, because I did not know what to expect. Soon after all the craziness of flights, customs, and lost luggage, I could see my husband!
Germany is different from the United States in a lot of different aspects. However, after living in Germany for a little over eight years, I consider Germany my second home. We have been back in the states for five years now, but I think of Germany all the time.
Today, I still get asked about my time in Europe, and I probably give the person an ear full of information that they didn’t even want to know. Most of the time it is information that they didn’t think about. For example, did you know, in Germany, almost everything is closed on Sundays and holidays?
If your family is considering orders (or you have them in hand!) to Germany, my best tip is simple: TRAVEL!
Germany is an amazingly beautiful and exciting country. Get out and about and don’t be afraid to get off post and explore! It might look overwhelming, but it’s easy to navigate with these resources:
- CWTSatoTravel: I had no idea what SATO was until we moved to Mannheim, Germany. SATO, usually located on post, offers a lot of information for official and non-official travel. Many times, they offer great deals on tours, cruises, and tickets. If you are walking by, stop in to see what they are offering. My husband and I booked a trip Rome through SATO; we booked flights and hotel, which helped us to save time and money. During our entire eight years, we always used SATO for unofficial travel flights.
- FWMR/Leisure Travel: When my husband was stationed in Vilseck, Germany, we would utilize FWMR’s program for traveling and renting equipment. We took a few trips over the border, and they were relaxed, fun trips for everyone involved. Not one person had to drive which made the trip fun for everyone.
- Edelweiss Lodge and Resort: One of my favorite places to stay was the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort. My husband and I stayed here many times during our eight years in Germany. They offer the best food, trips, activities, and so much more! Edelweiss has stuff for everyone in the family, so don’t miss out!
Using these resources to travel while we lived in Germany was the most helpful way to get tips, tricks, and even save some money! Living and traveling abroad doesn’t have to break the bank…the hardest part is deciding where to go first!
Have you used any of these sources with traveling Europe? If so, what did they help you with?
Posted by Jessica Richardson, NMFA Volunteer and military spouse