I’ve never really liked talking on the phone. I don’t think that is too outrageous of an opinion, it seems like most people of my generation—and even more so of people younger than me—vastly prefer keeping up with friends via social media, email, SMS, and other mediums that are less demanding on ones full attention than the phone call but it is amazing how unified communications as a service works nowadays for any business.
I feel like when we first moved a continent away from most of our friends and family we were pretty good about keeping in touch via these avenues, but in the past six to eight months I know I have personally fallen short of what I would consider “being a good friend” with many of the people I care about most.
I want to change that.
I realized the other day that I have a great opportunity to, with very little effort, carve out some time to regularly talk with people I care the most about. Every weekday at 4pm Central European Time, I head over to Lucy’s school to pick her up. During that trip I usually listen to music or podcasts, but starting this past week I tried something new: Calling a friend and getting caught up. And it’s been great, and I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s been really nice talking with people on the phone for once.
So I’d like to talk to you too. If you’d like a call around 4pm Central European Time (10am Eastern) let me know. If I don’t hear from anyone I’m just going to slowly work my phone through my contacts list, but if you’ve been especially curious what Team Soell has been up to this past winter drop me a note and let me know what day works best.
Like most children, Lucy has been out of school for the summer. We kept her busy in July with various day camps that her school offers, but we knew that we would need to fill up August with something to keep all of us from going crazy. We’ve done a good bit of travelling since we moved here last year, but haven’t done any travelling within the country, so we decided to spend the time visiting a few cities and villages in the Czech Republic. So the first weekend of August we packed a few bags and caught the train to Loket, a small village on the eastern edge of Bohemia, close to the German border for a few days of relaxing, sightseeing, scootering, and an attempt at canoeing.
Continue reading Loket: Tour of the Ohře River by Scooter and Canoe
It’s official: We’re allowed to stay in the Czech Republic through August! A lot of people have asked us what the process of being allowed to live long-term in Prague looks like, and while I’m not a superstitious person I wanted to wait until everything was completely finalized before writing much about it. I’m happy to say that day has come, and we have officially been approved for our first long-stay visa here in the Czech Republic! This is the second time we have been pre-approved by applying for a visa online, as last time we had visited the New Zealand ETA website to apply for our New Zealand tour visa and luckily we had got a 3 month tour visa due to them.
Continue reading Two Trips to Vienna
When you leave your comfortable full-time programming job to start your own software development studio while simultaneously moving halfway across the world, people tend to ask questions. Some ask because it’s something they’ve always thought about doing, some because they’re sure you’ll go back to a traditional job, and some just because they don’t have a category for what something like this looks like. Honestly, it’s all over the place; Some days you spend a few hours following up on leads, writing a few project proposals, and then call it quits and take off for the afternoon. Other days you just decide you aren’t going to work and you take your wife to the National Gallery to see Mucha’s Slavic Epic. But more often that not things are very busy. Here’s a look at a day in the life of a developer living in Prague working mostly with US-based clients and colleagues.
Continue reading Transcontinental
Every time I hear a new song that resonates with me for the first time, I throw it into my “new music” playlist. At the end of the year (or sometimes a few months into the new year) I spend a little time going over the list and put together a playlist of the best music I discovered over the past year.
There are a few artists making repeat appearances from years past, but also quite a few new faces. In fact, there are quite a few tracks on here that I bookmarked for inclusion in this list but never went on to listen to their full album, so hopefully this will also serve as a time capsule for me when I’m looking for something new to listen to.
I hope you enjoy it, and if you have a few minutes I’d love to hear about your favorite music from 2015—drop me a comment below, and it may end up in my “best of 2016” list next year.
Living in the Czech Republic has been, for the most part, a very enjoyable experience. Public transit can take you everywhere, the cost of living is about half what we were used to in Columbus, and you can’t turn your head without being confronted with another amazingly beautiful view. Even the hurdles of dealing with language barrier haven’t been too difficult to overcome; 9 times out of 10 when you ask someone “Mluvate Anglicky?”Do you speak English? they respond with “a little”… and then proceed to speak flawless English. What has taken me to the edge of the breaking point time and again has been the post office.
Continue reading Kafkaesque
I make it a general policy not to apologize when I have a big break in between blog posts, but a four month pause after just moving to a new country probably deserves one. Things have been amazing and crazy and fun and hectic, and when the end of the day comes and the thought of writing a blog post crosses my mind, it’s been far too easy to push it aside and instead pick up a book or plan our next trip. I’d like to break the silence, though, and I’m going to start with something easy: An updated list of a few of my favorite things.
Continue reading A Few of My Favorite Things: 2016
We’re in Prague! As you might have guessed, our last six weeks in the United States kind of got away from us and we dropped the ball on the rest of our “How to Blow Up Your Life” series. But make no mistake: Our lives are now officially blown up. The whole story of our last week would be quite long and scattered, so I’m going to share just a few of the highlights of our trip and the first week in our new home. Part one is the part where I wasn’t sure if we were going to actually make it.
Continue reading První týden, Part One: How I almost lost my wife and daughter in Paris
Planning to move our family overseas has had its share of challenges. The whole “what am I going to do for work?” thing was certainly no small decision to maneuver, but you might be surprised at what else was high on the list: Figuring out what is required when moving your pet to a foreign country.
Continue reading How to Blow Up Your Life: The Whole Team
Hey, did you hear that we’re moving to Prague? Now that the word is out, I just can’t shut up about it. With just 52 days to go, I’m continuing my “How to Blow Up Your Life” series in an effort to answer another one of the most commonly asked questions about our move: What will you be doing for work?
Continue reading How to Blow Up Your Life: Earning and Making a Living