We are Meghan and Aaron, a fairly normal married couple, except that we spent two years living as American expats in Germany, and are now living back in Texas (our home state is Michigan!). Oh, and we are BIG TIME into scuba diving.
We met in 2007 at Michigan Tech, a small engineering school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and started dating a year later. Before we knew it, we were degree holding engineers, excited at what was next. For Aaron, that meant moving to Texas to start a job with BASF and for Meghan, that meant staying at Michigan Tech to pursue her Masters degree. Those were a long two years doing the whole long distance relationship thing and in that time, we got engaged. After Meghan finished grad school, we got married and lived happily ever after.
Ok, kind of. Happily ever after means the story is over, but that's where ours was just beginning. In 2012, right before we celebrated our first anniversary, we learned to scuba dive and a passion was born in both of us. Just over a year later, in December 2013, we heard that there was possibility that Aaron would be transferred to Germany for work. Then in early 2014, we found out it was really happening. After a brief discussion that lasted all of 5 minutes, we decided to do it. We knew that this was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity, and despite the fact that we had recently purchased a house, knew that there would never be a better time in our lives to do something like this. Flights were booked, the house was packed, everything was put into storage and we made the move in August of 2014. And that's how we found ourselves as scuba diving American expats living and working in Germany.
Fast forward two years. We traveled all over Europe seeing and doing some incredible things, but our time had to come to an end. In the summer of 2016, we moved from Germany back to Texas. Our home state is Michigan, so Texas is a completely different beast for us! And yes, everything is bigger is Texas. We still plan to travel (a fire has been lit and our feet tend to get itchy if we've been in one place too long) but now we hope to explore some more of the USA, Caribbean, and maybe even Central and South America! We still have a soft place in our hearts for Germany, and want to make sure we get back to Europe sometimes too. However, we also lost two weeks of vacation when we moved back which is going to make traveling even more difficult!
We started this blog when we found out we were moving to Germany as a way to keep our family and friends back home updated on our traveling, the adventures we have, what it's like to live as expats, and the scuba diving we are doing. We quickly discovered that all the lessons we learn while traveling and living as expats can help others. We also share random stuff we found useful in traveling or lessons we've learned along the way (like how to drink with Germans and survive to tell the story about it). Here, you will find the stories of our travels, some tips about things to do, observations about living as expats, and, we hope, a new, exciting travel destination you never knew existed! So feel free to grab a cup of coffee (or tea or wine or whatever your beverage of choice is), sit back, and look around. And if you have any questions, or suggestions of places to go, drop us an email or visit us on Facebook!
How We Got Into Diving
Since it's such a big part of our lives, we think it's important to tell you how we decided to get into scuba diving, especially since it's not something that a normal person does on a whim. Diving was something we had always talked about doing, but time and being poor college students kept us from really pursing it. After booking a spur of the moment trip to Roatan, Honduras, we realized we had no idea what we were going to do on a island for a week. See, Aaron hates sitting on the beach, and Meghan hates being idle during vacations. Turns out, Roatan is one of the best places in the Caribbean to dive. We soon found ourselves signing up for lessons, then buying all of our gear, and soon, jumping into the warm Caribbean waters like it was something we were born to do. This was in October. By January we were ice diving (in wetsuits, I might add) and by April we had decided to buy drysuits (4 months of diving in 39°F water was all it took to convince us that drysuits were a need, not just a want).
That year, we dove our butts off, mostly in the cold inland lakes of Michigan and the Great Lakes. We both agree that it's one of the best things we've ever done, and it even helped improve our marriage. Now, here we are taking trips to the Philippines, Iceland, and Austria for diving and always looking at any body of water we see as a potential new dive site. We have managed to work our way from open water divers to rescue divers and have our sights set on technical diving next. It's safe to say diving has worked it's way into our DNA. It's a part of us now.
Our Travel Companions
In January 2016, our first daughter, Evelyn, was born. For the first six months of her life, we lived in Germany and traveled a lot with her: Belgium, Italy, the Czech Republic, the US, Norway, Croatia, just to name a few. Then, in November 2017, our second daughter, Julie, was born in Texas. While she has yet to get her own passport, we hope to get that soon and start adventuring with two little ones in tow!
It is important to us that we not stop doing the things we love - traveling, scuba diving - just because we have kids. Of course, our trips look a little bit different now and diving together is now a rare luxury. We plan to share tips and tricks we learn for traveling with kids, and of course some of the funny stories that come from it. And, we promise to try keep the poop talk to a minimum, but we're not making any promises!
Meghan is a Materials Engineer for BASF by day and blogger by night. She's the one who books all the travel, researches our next adventure, makes it happen, and then tells the stories. When she isn't blogging, traveling, or chasing kids around, she is usually drinking a glass of German wine (preferably a Riesling) and knitting.
Aaron is an Electrical Engineer at BASF and Lead Photographer/Copy Editor for the blog. His hobbies are diverse and wide ranging but include diving, photography, wood working, and home brewing. He's Meghan's chauffeur for all of their travel, but he doesn't mind since he gets to drive fast on the German Autobahn. He is always on the look out for the next big dive trip he wants to take!