Settling In Again

The wipers squeak across the windshield removing the fine road mist sprayed by the semi-truck in front of me. The voice of the talking rodent in the movie Ratatouille blares from the backseat. Brian clicks away at his laptop keys, using the time in the car to make some updates on a client’s web site. Lush green hills lining the left side of the road and the river running adjacent on the right remind me distinctly of our former hometown, Chattanooga. All of this creates a familiar scene reminiscent of other road trips we’ve taken. And then the road curves and we see our first glimpse of Prague through the trees.

Toto, we aren’t in Tennessee anymore.
Prague Castle through the trees
Prague Castle
S Margarita

The drive into our new temporary town was scenic and easy. The now familiar voice of our navigation lady instructed me on the directions as we all gawked at the gothic, ornate buildings along our route. After a 15-minute process of parking the car in our apartment building’s highly-secure but very small basement garage (thank goodness Brian is a master behind the wheel), we unloaded all of our belongings and walked up to our new place in the Vinohrady area of Prague.
Vinohradraska Street in Prague
Kitchen in CZ
Living Room in CZ
Girls room in CZ

The girls love the new apartment and all the individual space they have to claim as their own. We settled in quickly. Unpacking our four suitcases and five backpacks took all of about half an hour. Sometimes it boggles my mind how little we’ve taken with us, yet as I unpacked I came across many things we never wear or use. My biggest packing regret is bringing my high-end Babyliss Pro hair dyer, which I loved back in the U.S. and swore I couldn’t live without, but haven’t used even once on this trip. Dumb vanity.

Our first few days in Prague were exciting, interesting, but a tiny bit depressing. We toured through the popular tourist areas and got oriented with the city’s mass transit system. We have a great location away from the crowds, but a short, 3-stop train ride from the most historic areas of the city. A large market and bank are conveniently located on the first floor of our building, and the Chinese place on the opposite corner has already become the girls’ favorite restaurant. (Their daily requests for steamed dumplings are getting a little old, though.) We’ve gotten to know our new area, which includes a park, a beautiful modern church, and a surreal television tower with large statues of babies crawling up its sides.
Baby Tower in Prague
Ali at Park

While fun and exciting, the first few days settling into a new town can be a little overwhelming as well. After establishing some relationships in Croatia and visiting friends in Germany, life here initially seemed somewhat isolated. It was just the five of us again. On the service project front, I’d reached out to about fifteen charities and civic programs accepting foreign volunteers, but haven’t been able to get a solid response from any of them yet. I have a feeling I’m looking at another slightly frustrating few weeks of trying to create connections in the community and figure out ways to volunteer our time. I never imagined this process would be so difficult. If anyone has ANY contacts to nonprofit programs in the Czech Republic or even advice on how to go about this process of finding them, please let me know.

Despite the initial adjustment period, we are starting to get into our groove here in Prague just like we did in Croatia. Last night we met up with a local contact we’d connected to through Brian’s stepsister. Chris, a fellow Hoosier living in Prague with his Czech wife and their son, was hugely helpful via email as we planned for our time here. It was great to finally meet him in person last night at a popular pub downtown. He’d even worked as a guide here for a while, so he took us on a brief tour of the Old Town area and provided information about the history of the buildings we saw. Our evening was cut a little short when the temperature dropped and we were still in our Croatian mode of summer attire, unprepared for this region’s cooler evenings.
Brian and Chris
Tour from Chris
Girls wrapped in a scarf
We’ll have to take a rain check on Chris’ tour and local knowledge since I’m certain we’ll be seeing more of our new friend. He helped us kick our brief case of new town blues to the curb and got us excited about living in this historic and intriguing city. Brian is already getting into photographer mode, so expect many more amazing photos to come.
Prague Church
Prague riverfront

About the Author

Tracey Carisch

Mom, wife, friend and change agent traveling the world with my family to learn our place in it. After spending a career in organizational change management and community initiative implementation, I put my career on hold for our family's trip around the world. In April of 2014 we sold almost everything we own, put the rest in a storage container, and departed on this journey. While my husband continued his software development work to financially support our trip, I planned and documented our adventure, homeschooled our three daughters, and found volunteer work opportunities for us to do in the communities we visit. Now that we've returned to the U.S., I'm completing book about our family's adventure and our lessons learned.

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  1. Rita, I shoot with the Sony a7. I have the 35mm 2.8, Carl Zeiss lens, and hope to buy another one shortly.

    Thanks for the comment.

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