Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grüße aus Wien!

Hello and a herzlich willkommen to my continuing adventures in Vienna. So, what does one do if one just finishes hiking the length of the USA? Well, if you're me, the decision was pretty obvious, actually. Move to Vienna without having a job lined up. No really, it actually makes a lot of sense, allow me simply for the 93rd time in the last two weeks to explain:
To begin with, there are two big book projects on my agenda. The first, not surprisingly, is writing a book on my hike. Since I have my notes, journal entries, blog entries, and photos with me, I can write just as well here (actually better thanks to the wonderful Vienna coffeehouses) as in the states. The second project, meanwhile, is to continue with my family tree research that I started last year. This will involve going to all the countries my family came from (Germany, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Croatia, and yes, Austria) so Vienna makes a great home base for that too. Next, with my flexible schedule, I've taken it upon myself as a challenge to get into excellent physical shape, especially since I'm planning on running in two marathons next month (including Vienna) and an ironman triathlon in September. Beyond that, I already have lots of friends in Vienna dating to the time I was an exchange student here, and yeah, beyond that, I've always had a thing for European girls...
But wait, there's more! Note that while all of the above are perfectly valid reasons for wanting to come to Vienna, there was no real mention of the notion of work in the above paragraph (well, unless the memoir of my hike becomes a runaway bestseller...). Still, there are quite a few options potentially workwise as well. With my master's in international relations, I'll be looking for jobs in the NGO sector, ideally with either the UN (the International Atomic Energy Agency is located here) or AFS, my one-time exchange student organization. I also might be able to do some work for a former professor, English tutoring, freelance research, etc. But really what I can foresee myself doing is some combination of the above, plus becoming a professional genealogist (I'm looking to get board certification by the end of this year), setting up a non-profit that would send young Americans living overseas to foreign high schools to talk about life in the USA (and also to improve our image abroad), and various other projects as they come to mind. Stay tuned for updates, about once a week or so, same bat channel, same bat website!

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