A Travellerspoint blog

Monday Update

I now have a tentative travel date.

I will be traveling to Germany on/around 9 November 2009. Wow, only 4 short weeks. It's going to be 7-10 days before I get the travel order and am able to go to Ft Knox to actually schedule the flights but it's going very quickly now.

My sponsor request has been submitted and hopefully I will have a sponsor assigned within a week. Yeah, I know I am hoping....but without hope....

So now I am attempting to figure out my very first 'Monthly Excursion'. When the position at Landstuhl started looking like it was actually going to happen, I decided that I could fulfill my wanderlust by planning a monthly excursion to a neighboring country.

Trinity is going to be visiting for New Years 2010. She will be arriving just after Christmas and staying for about a week. I am assuming (yes...I am aware of what they say about 'make an @$$ out of U and Me' when it comes to assuming anything.....), so I was saying that I assume that I will be able to take at least a partial week off of work over New Years while Trinity is visiting. You know me, If I have to beg/borrow/plead I'll figure out a way to make it happen! So now the question is where do we go for New Years?

I have narrowed down my list (actually, I just did a google search for 'top 10 New Year Destinations'). So, here are the options and I would love to have comments/advice/suggestions....

[*] Prague

[*] Paris

[*] Edinburgh

[*] Glasgow

If you have any information on any of these, please let me know!! I am hoping to figure it out soon so that I can (hopefully) still book hotel/hostel wherever I choose.

More soon....

Posted by Khandilee 01:17 Comments (6)

Next steps....after the job offer

So...what next?

I got the job offer along with a pack of paperwork that needs filled out and deciphered. I have a to-do list that is increasing by the moment and a list of questions about half-mile long.

Lanstuhl_R.._Center.jpg

In the email containing my job offer, was they requested that I give them a 'tentative start date?' Hmmmm, well....it's nearing the holidays so do I want to stay and spend them with the family before I head out? Or do I want to enjoy the pre-Christmas season in Germany? I think I have decided to get there as soon as they can work out the paperwork (Trinity is thinking about maybe...Paris for NEw Years). Who really knows how long it might take for them to get me there? Could be days....weeks....months? At the rate that things have moved so far, it might be Spring before I make it there.

First things first. I accepted the job offer with an ASAP tentative start date! Yep, bet your surprised :o} No, really after all this time and waiting and anxiety, do you really think that I would do anything but accept it?

I have the paperwork mostly filled out except one section that I am not certain about. I emailed CPAC (Civilian Personnel Advisory Center) about the questions and hopefully I will have an answer on Monday so that I can complete the paperwork and get my travel orders. Once I receive the travel orders, I will take a trip to Ft Knox in Kentucky in order to meet with the Transportation Department to arrange flights, shipment of personal items, etc. Again, I don't have any idea how long this might take....

Next, I emailed my request for a sponsor. Well...I tried to. Seems that the email address that they gave me is invalid so I have to wait for them to give me the correct address in order to complete this item. What is a sponsor? It's my understanding that a sponsor is another civilian employee that has volunteered time in order to assist lost souls like myself to make a smooth transition overseas. In addition, my sponsor will meet me at the airport and get me to the temporary housing that he/she will make reservations for! Sweet!!! I am also hoping that my sponsor knows of a great pub in town to celebrate actually making it there. If not, I think I might be able to find one on my own....maybe not a good one, but at least a pub! I am looking so forward to sampling the local brews.

Next on the agenda is to call Ft Knox on Monday (certainly acting like a clueless civilian) to attempt to find out where, how and what I need to do in order to get my Official RED Passport....wow, that makes me sound important. Not really and I'm not even certain why I need one, but I was told that I needed to get one as soon as possible in my email. No clues in the email as to how to go about this so I am taking a leap here by calling Ft Knox and therefore 'acting like a clueless civilian'!

More updates soon....

Click here for more information about where I'll be working.

Posted by Khandilee 22:06 Comments (2)

How Did I get Here?

Answers to the questions you might be asking.

How did I manage to get a job in Germany?

Lets backtrack a little bit. Back in February '09, I was online and applied for a position for temporary RN at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. With all the travel planning and working I really just forgot about it and didn't give it much thought. Then on June 3, I received an email offer for an interview for the position. This was just three weeks before I was flying to Rome to travel Italy with the kids. I couldn't believe it....I was beyond excited! I immediately replied that I was interested in interviewing and requested to interview in person. I thought it would give me better chances to actually obtain the position if I could interview in person and I was going to be in Italy soon and a side-trip to Germany would be reasonable and fun.

I interviewed on July 17th. The interview went well (I thought) and I was told to think about the position and notify the interviewer after we finished vacation to let her know if I wanted to continue to pursue the position.

July 31st, I notified her that I wanted to continue to pursue the position.
August 19th, I was contacted by civilian personal with In-processing paperwork. It felt like it took me forever to complete all the forms and the final confirmation of all paperwork received was given to me on Aug 26th.

Then I waited.....................................................................

.........................................................and I waited.

And still waiting....................................................................

..............................................................................starting to lose hope.

Still waiting............................................................................................................................................................................................................................

.................and then

Today, Oct. 9, 2010 Official Job Offer!!!

I will try to keep posted here with updates of my progress of actually getting to Germany as well as a log of my time in Germany.

Posted by Khandilee 14:14 Archived in Germany Tagged business_travel Comments (1)

Schedule and Links

Links, Schedules, etc (to be updated as needed).

"Blind Bookings"

http://toytowngermany.com]ToyTownGermanyForums

http://www.jim-haynes.comFree Community Dinners ~ Paris

http://www.neweuropetours.euFree City Tours~Europe
Global Greeter ~ Tours
Madrid Tours
National Geographic 50 Places
Yelp Equivalent for UK
Busabout

TRAVEL PLANS: (ongoing updates)

Note: You can also check out the calendar version of my continually updated travel plans via the Google Calendar link on the bottom right of the page.

2010
Jan: Barcelona, Spain (?)
Feb 11-17: Mardi Gras in Cologne, Germany
Mar 15-18 Dublin, Ireland St Patrick's Day Festival
(Istanbul: March to May and October to early Dec)
Apr 30 Orange Festival NETHERLANDS, Amsterdam
May
Jun
Jul 6-14 San Fermin Festival ~ Running of the Bulls; Pampolona, Spain
Aug 6-30 Edinburgh, Scottland Fringe Festival
Sept: Barcelona La Merce Festival
Oct
Nov
Dec

2011
Jan
Feb
Mar 3-9: Carnival in Venice, Italy
17-20 Las Fallas, Valencia Spain
Apr
May
Jun
Jul 6-14 San Fermin Festival ~ Running of the Bulls; Pampolona, Spain
Aug
Sept
Oct
Nov-Dec: South America or Africa?

Temporary Housing Links:
http://www.trudys-apartments.de/
http://www.tlakmc.com/
http://www.santafehaus.com/
http://www.ferienwohnung.marcel-jaud.de/eng/index_eng.html

Posted by Khandilee 15:15 Archived in Germany Tagged preparation Comments (4)

About Me

So here is the spot that I tell you about me. I really don't know what to put here. I guess, I'll start at the beginning. I was born on an early fall day in 1969 in a small town in Indiana. My parents divorced when I was just a babe in arms. My mother re-married and her husband became my 'Dad' for all intents and purposes. I didn't have much of a relationship with my natural Father. The reasons for this are complicated. Aren't they always?

I was an only child until age 12. My mother and step-father then had two boys (2 years apart). I think I really enjoyed being an only child and to this day still enjoy my alone time. Like most teenage girls that I know, when I was 15 my mother and I didn't get along. I decided then to move in with my natural Father and his newly married wife. It was a big change for me (and them) with different rules, a new set of parents, a new school in the middle of my sophomore year, no siblings and a lot more freedom.

After I moved away from home, my mother and I were able to re-establish a cordial relationship which with time turned into a friendship. During this time I also developed a relationship with the father that I never knew.

I came from a hard-working family. My grandparents were farmers and I spent a lot of time on the farm with them. My Mom and step-Dad were hard workers, always doing something. My father was a factory worker and dabbled in all sorts of other business, including real estate. I never experienced riches or comforts in 'things'. Instead, my life was full of people that loved me and did the best possible to make my life comfortable. Good work ethic, good moral conduct, responsibility for my actions; these are some of the 'riches' that my family instilled in me.

I made some poor choices in life. I graduated at 17 and began a local full-time factory job. I had a brief fling and ended up with a baby at a very young age. I struggled as a single mother for 2 years. I married in 1990. I worked during my marriage at a variety of jobs. I was an office worker in the local factory, then a factory worker, then I moved into health care. I became certified as a home health aide and worked home health care for a while. I attempted to take some college classes, but with a full-time job and a family, it didn't work out well. I ended up falling asleep behind the wheel of my car on the way to class one day (with minor injuries) and decided then that it wasn't worth it. I didn't go back to class after that.

My marriage was tumultuous from the start. Even so, we thought that we needed another child. After two miscarriages and three years into the marriage, we had a beautiful daughter. The marriage lasted three more years before I finally moved out and filed for divorce. The following year was complete upheaval. I struggled financially and emotionally. The kids suffered through it all now 10 and 4.

I ended up losing my job as receptionist in a podiatrist office. My babysiter at the time encouraged me to apply for job training with the local unemployment office. I did, and ended up finally going back to school with hopes of obtaining my LPN license. I took the first semester off work, collecting unemployment and going to college. After the first semester, I went back to work. I worked mornings at Burger King, evenings at the local grocery store in the deli, and full-time on weekends at Home Health as an aide. I continued with full-time classes and of course single mom of two kids. It was a very chaotic and exhausting time in my life. I knew if I wanted to be able to support my children, it was something that I had to do. I survived and obtained my LPN license with a lot of support from friends and family.

Immediately after my graduation, I moved. My best friend at the time was living in southern Indiana and I wanted a change. I planed for months to secure a place to rent and packed up all our belongings and headed to S. Indiana. I had a job lined up, an apartment rented and at least one family in the area that I knew and still, I was terrified of the change. We settled in well and quickly felt at home. By this time, my ex-husband had stopped seeing my son for visitation long before and the move quickly prompted decreased visitation with my daughter. She was distraught. At 9 years old, we discussed the possibility of her living with her father. I figured it was the best of both worlds for her. She would live with her dad and therefore get to see him and I would certainly exercise my visitation. Several court dates later, my daughter was living with her Dad.

By this time, I had went back to school for my RN degree and was working locally as a nurse. I worked in a variety of places; several different nursing homes, a brief stint at one of the local hospitals, and home health. By the summer of 2004, I was feeling stifled. I wanted a change. I had heard about travel nursing and decided to give it a try. My son and I headed out for a summer assignment in Boston, MA. I loved it. My initial plans to return home after 3 months never materialized. We enrolled my son in the local school and ended up staying for 8 months. I was hooked.

I was a traveling Nurse:

Boston, MA ~ 8 months
Edinburgh, TX ~ 3 months
San Diego, CA ~ 2 months
Cincinnati, OH ~ 7 months
Portsmouth, VA ~ 3 months
Scottsbluff, NE ~ 2 months
Morehead City, NC ~ 5 months
Phoenix, AZ ~ 3 months
New Orleans, LA ~ 3 months
San Francisco, CA ~ 8 months
Seattle, WA ~ 7 months
Elko, NV ~ 5 months

Total 56 months ~ almost 5 years

Whewwww....what a ride! I found my independence, learned to make friends, continually experienced new things in the workplace, and most importantly, I found a love for travel. In the meantime, I continued to have a wonderful relationship with my daughter and whenever possible she traveled to where-ever I was. My son and I have a great relationship and he traveled with me until one day he grew up and moved out on his own.

So how does this all translate into traveling internationally? I have always wanted to do it. A friend and I were going to spend a summer traveling Europe several years back but life got in the way and it never happened. I have dreamed of traveling for so long that I can't imagine that there was ever a point in time that I didn't think about it, although I am certain that there was. I knew that in order to be able to travel that I was going to have to get myself out of debt, first. I obtained a lot of information and support from here. The more I researched, the more I realized that people really do drop everything and travel. More importantly, I realized that I COULD DO IT. But could I? I could think about it, but could I actually do it? Alone? I had all sort of excuses for not going. I never would make any firm plans, until.....

San Francisco....

My room-mate "K" at the time was planning what I considered the ultimate trip of a life-time. She was planning to travel to SE Asia! I was jealous beyond thought. I had tossed around the idea of traveling, but really never thought that I would have the guts to actually do it, nor did I know anyone that ever had! Man, this girl was BRAVE! I had traveled all over the US over the past 5 years as a travel RN but to leave the country and actually go somewhere where I didn't speak the language was something that I just didn't think I could do. "Besides," I told myself, "people that travel around the world are much younger than me".

The more and more she talked about it and the more I thought about it, I decided "I can do this". So with a little determination and a lot of support from K, I started putting my extra cash into an account for Vietnam. Yes, Vietnam. The plan was to meet K and her boyfriend in Vietnam and I could stay with them or wander on my own. It was wonderful knowing that I had the security of a friend close by if I needed it. And because of this, it was the perfect opportunity to venture into the unknown world of solo travel.

After Vietnam, Any fears that I had were squelched. Don't get me wrong, caution is still a very big part of my daily thoughts, but the FEAR was conquered and I DID it. All I could think about was where else can I go, how long do I have to wait, I read numerous travel blogs and continually thought about traveling.

I wanted to share my new-found love with my kids. I wanted to make up for the lack of vacations through their lives and give them an experience that I didn't get until I was in my 30's. So, I decided to take them to Italy! I think I'm hooked!

To be continued...

Posted by Khandilee 00:54 Comments (0)

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