Well, it has been one year since I began calling Dornbirn home. And wow what a year.
I have to be honest; it wasn’t easy - in fact at times it as down right brutal. My first few months were filled with unanticipated solitude and disappointment. I quickly discovered that my Austrian BFF was a bust. My search for a flat was as difficult as my hotel room was small. I missed my son, family and friends. The dialect spoken here was a challenge for me. The few belongings I had fit on one luggage trolley.
I was seriously tested. My normally positive outlook was replaced by a series of emotions that lead me on the wildest emotional roller coaster of my life. I can’t imagine that I was much fun to be around.
But I hung in. If you ask me why I made the decision to stay, I would have to say it was only because I didn't want to give up. Or maybe it was my friends and family that encouraged me not to give up. At least that was how it was in the beginning anyway. Because, thankfully, before long things started to change. Acquaintances and even adversaries transformed into trusted friends. I found a flat. My son, mother and friends came to visit me. People started to better understand my fragmented German. I made not one, but a few new Austrian BFF’s. I actually had people I could text and texted me.
So, I am happy to say that one year later my life does not near resemble the one that began last January. And, I do not know if I would change any part of this experience. I was forced to discover things about myself that would have evaded me otherwise...and the people, the places, the countless new experiences - I kind of think that there is some truth to the adage that we should "do what scares us the most." The biggest risks indeed result in the greatest gain.
Plus there is the incredible satisfaction of not wondering "what if?"
Who knows how this journey of mine will twist and turn. Though there is one thing that I do know, no matter what I do or where I happen to be I will continue to be inspired by the remarkable people that make up such an important part of my life - here, there and everywhere...