Stuck in Germany during COVID-19 and how we make the most out of it

In this blog post I want to talk about how we got stuck in Germany during the COVID-19 and how we make the most out of it. My husband and I got stuck in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic in March. I want to focus on talking about our personal experience and how we make the best out of the situation.

Our initial plan was to stay for 2 weeks to extend our visas and then fly back to Chicago. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

Johannes and I knew it would be risky to fly to Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic, but did not really had a choice. We had to extend our work visas before June, and the only option to fly was early March. Johannes and I arrived on the 8th March in Germany and had our visa interview on March 10th. On March 11th, the proclamation “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus” was published, suspending entry for most travelers that have been physically in Schengen Area. We could not travel back directly, because at this time our passports were still with the Consulate. At this time, we knew we probably would be here for a while and we have to make the most out of it.

How we make the most out of it

So, yup, since then we are stuck in Germany and stay at our parents place. Almost 2 months now which is kind of crazy. Luckily, Germany didn’t have a full lockdown. This allowed us to at least go outside, of course, complying with the regulations in place. We had the chance to see the area we grew up from a new perspective. And we could appreciate the gorgeous sceneries of southern Germany. Both of our parents live in the countryside, so going outside is pretty safe. Also, all the places we went to are walkable. Another good things is that you barely meet people, which makes it even safer. Definitely safer than Chicago is right now. Find more blog post on Chicago here.

These are the places that we visited during the last couple weeks:

Orchards

Southern Germany, especially the area around the Lake of Constance is full of orchards. They are planting apples, cherries, plums and much more. Johannes’s parents live close to the lake and their house is surrounded by nature and those orchards. The sceneries and views are endless and so were the photo opportunities.

Cherry Trees

I actually found some gorgeous cherry trees in the town where my parents live, just across the street. Lots of small cities in Germany have cherry trees and I heard Bonn supposed to be amazing for cherry blossom.

Canola Fields

Omg if you are a fan of yellow, you will enjoy these gorgeous fields. They are massive and all around Germany, usually in full bloom end of April to beginning of May.

Dandelion fields

Those flowers look so pretty, especially when you have a field full of those.

Stuck in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic

Let me tell you, I love my parents and family with all my heart and enjoy spending time with them. But it is tough to be forced to move in and have to live in your old child room again. Especially, when there are so many restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The worst part is not to know when you will be able to go home again. Johannes and me have barely any privacy and cannot really do the things we would at home. Do sports when we want to, just chill on the couch, watch a movie, cook whatever we want when we want it. That are some examples of the things that are not possible anymore.

At the moment we are either with his parents or mine and have to share the apartment of course. We always feel like guests, which we are, although this used to be our home and will always stay our home. On the other hand, you know how mom’s are, they cook, they clean, they make the laundry and you cannot even argue with them. πŸ˜€ They want to make you feel comfortable, especially when they usually see you once a year tops.

While we are stuck here, we are trying to enjoy the time with our families as much as we can, but we also hope that we will be able to travel back home to Chicago soon. You know how it is, the closer you are to a person and the more comfortable you are, the easier is it to start an argument or fight. So yeah, definitely not always easy πŸ˜€

How we make the most out of it

After all, I guess we are lucky that we got stuck in Germany during COVID-19. With people we did not spend a lot of time for over 10 years. Now we are able to spend some quality time together. These are tough times for everyone and very often things are worse under the surface. Acting like everything is fine does not mean that everything is fine. If you have the chance, take some time to reach out to your loved ones or reconnect with old friends you haven’t talked to in a while. You do not always have to spend money to enlighten someone’s day, thinking of someone and just reaching out can also help wonders.

What we have learned from this experience so far is that you do not have to travel far to find something beautiful. Sometimes something beautiful can be right in front of your doorstep.

You can find more information on the Lake of Constance region here.