Yes, it’s true. Your eyes did not deceive you. Zachary, & I are moving to Germany… GERMANY. Like what?! Somebody pinch me, because there is no way this is my life!! I once thought I would never leave the valley I grew up in, & now I am moving literally across the world! Who am I?? LOL. This has hands down been the most difficult secret I’ve ever had to keep. We’ve been wanting to share the news for a while now, but it never felt like the right time. Finally, nearly half a year later, we decided it was time to spill the beans!
When I Found Out
Close to beginning of our time here at Fort Benning, we heard that the soldiers would find out where they would be sent to next around week 9. Rumor had it that if you emailed the lady in charge early, she would actually tell you around week 5 or 7. Zack emailed her, & hadn’t heard anything back right away. No big deal to me! I didn’t mind if we found out week 5, week 7, or week 9 that we would be moving to Colorado, North Carolina, or Washington. I was so sure we would be sent to one of those places (& was oh, so wrong)
I was at home working on a new blog post one day, & switched my phone to Do Not Disturb mode to focus. After about an hour of working, I finally grabbed my phone. There were at least 30 unread messages, all from the Tritsch fam group chat. With my phone still locked, I quickly scrolled down to just glance at what they were talking about. That was when I read, “Wow! Germany!!! Congratulations Zack!!!” & my heart instantly started pounding. I began to scroll faster, & heard my heart beat thudding in my ears.
I also saw that I had a message from Zack that said, “Did you see?” Once I finally got to the bottom of scrolling, I saw that Zack had sent a picture to me, & the group chat. I unlocked my phone, to see a screenshot of an email from the lady. Telling Zack that he was in fact, getting assigned to a unit in Germany… Germany!!! Not Colorado, not North Carolina, & almost as far away from Washington as you could get! My initial reaction was shock. Complete shock. Fear. Confusion. As I read through their positive messages, their kind words pulled me out of the nervous haze I was in.
“Your adventures are just starting, Val.”
“I cannot wait to see how the Explorers Diaries grow with European explorations, and of course your pictures will be amazing and international!”
“You will be a world-wide photographer, Val!”
I saw my future flash before my eyes, a future that I knew I was meant to live.
People ask me all the time if I’m scared for this move. If you would’ve asked me six months ago, I would’ve said hell-to-the-yes, but now? The honest answer is no. I’m not scared anymore. To me, it almost feels like fate. It’s like someone is looking out for me, & guiding me to where I need to be.
I spent years building up a portfolio of in-studio fashion shots. The second I started to dabble in outdoor photography, I literally threw the fashion portfolio out the window (Okay, maybe not literallyyyy, but you get the idea) Outdoor photography was more intriguing to me, more real. There was something about not being in control of nature, [the lighting, weather, etc] & having to learn how to let it speak for itself. When mother nature has a plan of it’s own, you’re left with nothing but your own creativity.
Traveling, exploring, documenting, & seeing all that the world has to offer really is what has a special place in my heart (Alongside making a positive difference in people’s lives) So, now that we are moving to Germany, it just feels like it’s meant to be. God is without a doubt sending us there, because he knows we can do this. He knows that Zack can take care of the troops over there, & he knows that I can truly perfect my craft, & vision there, too. My vision of wrapping art, history, & culture all into one. Embracing it. Loving it. Living in it. Sharing my passion for history with the world, to remind people of what shaped our society. To show them the beauty this world offers. To teach people about cultures other than their own. This is what I’m meant to do.
So, no. I’m not scared. Obviously, going to a foreign country is intimidating, but God knows that we can handle it. That’s why he is trusting us to go on this crazy adventure! I’m more excited than anything to see where this journey takes my best friend & I. To see the places we’ve always learned about in school, & walk on the same ground history was made. To meet people who speak a different language than us, learn their traditions, & embrace them fully. To grow as people, & to inspire everyone who follows along this journey with us.
[P.S. Have you seen our announcement video yet? I linked it below in case you haven’t!]
♡ Valerie Karen.
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