Interview: Amy – an American in Prague!

Amy’s another gal I know from Cottey, but unlike Aimee we didn’t live together.  Instead, we met on the stage.  Yep, drama geeks!  At the time Amy had plans to be an actress – and I think she was definitely talented (and beautiful) enough to have done it if she wanted!

 

Pretty enough to be in Hollywood, nice enough to be anyone's "BFF".

 

When we reconnected via the power of Facebook, she had pursued a different path as a journalist and news reporter in Austin.  We discovered mutual passions for decorating and Doctor Who, and have been each others’ faithful blog followers ever since.

Really, I should blame Amy for this whole mess.  I had just started having vague thoughts about moving abroad when in January she told me she had decided to take the plunge and DO it.  That kicked my brain to higher level, and I’ve been obsessively following her adventures in Prague.

I warned her I would have a lot of questions for her, and her response was to warn me that she was going to try to talk me into doing it also.

How did you make the decision to move to Prague?

My husband and I visited Prague in April, 2009. On the plane ride home, we were surprised we’d both had the thought, “We should move here,” and were both serious. Fast forward to October. We were sitting in Starbucks one night, and we basically said, “We just need to decide.” We’d kind of put it out of our minds over the summer, but the idea was still there. We knew we could either try to figure everything out and “see” if it was possible, or we could decide in that moment, “Yes, we’re doing it,” and make it happen.

Did you fall in love with Prague or the idea of the adventure?  If for some reason you were unable to move to Prague, would you have considered someplace else?

The sense of adventure and stretching ourselves was definitely the start of it. We’ve half-seriously talked about picking up and moving somewhere before. Then, when we visited Prague, we definitely loved the richness of the city and the history, especially this era of it, post-communism. Really, what gave me the guts to make the leap was having friends here who were excited to have us and help us.

What are your job plans for while in the Czech Republic?

My husband’s a web designer, and his company offered to keep him on contract overseas. As for me, I have some ideas of how to pursue some of the freelance things I did at home, so I’m working on trying to plug into the right places for those. In the meantime, I’ve started teaching conversational English, and really like it!

Logistically, what were the biggest hurdles you had to face in your decision-making and/or embarking on this adventure?

Visa, and what to do with our townhouse. The latter was really pretty easy to figure out, just a lot of work. The former is something I wish we’d had a little more info on before we moved.

Moving to a new place – especially where you don’t speak the language – can be pretty scary.  What was/is your biggest fear with this adventure?

I think the biggest thing is figuring out how to pay your bills… which you probably can’t do until you’re here.  But really, I’m learning that all the things that stress me out are solvable. Tomorrow comes, and a year later you don’t even remember the things that stressed you out on a given day. More than, “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” I’m learning that, “Isn’t it all small stuff?” 🙂

Having been in Prague for a few weeks, what’re your thoughts now – still scary?  Less scary that you thought?  More scary than you thought?

About two weeks in, my husband and I were walking and both agreed it feels surprisingly normal. You still get up every morning and take things a day at a time. There may be more housekeeping chores up front, like the visa process and insurance and all that, but again, you tick things off one at a time. And as far as the language barrier, what’s the worst that can happen? Confusion, that’s about it. But most often, you accomplish what you meant to, whether at the grocery store or post office.

Any bits of advice you want to give?

If you move somewhere that uses the metric system, pack measuring cups. I can’t tell you how bad my pancakes from scratch were.

I knew a journalist would be up to answering a big ol’ laundry list of questions!  I’m completely in awe of Amy and Dennis and their gumption to take this international leap.  I have to admit, the prospect of learning Czech is quite daunting to me.  It’s not like Spanish or German or Italian where you can just pick up some books or take a night class at the local university – at least not in this area of the country.

Thanks so much for letting me pester you, Amy!  It’s weird to think that after ten years of absence, we could be reunited in Prague of all places!

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4 Responses to Interview: Amy – an American in Prague!

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