Hooray! Hooray! Big Brass bands are playing! I had a ticker tape parade on ulica Marszalkowska last week. It finally happened! It finally came through! I am officially a Polish resident!!!
What does that mean? Why is that important, you ask? Firstly, it gives me freedom to roam around Europe, specifically the area designated as the Schengen Area. As an American citizen, we get 90 days in the Schengen Area and then we are supposed to leave for 90 days. For the most part, many traveling American expatriates ignore this because there was reduced border security between the countries of the zone, but new EU regulations combined with growing concerns in certain countries with immigrants and refugees make spot checks a higher probability. Last year, I was pulled off a train going from Copenhagen, Denmark to Malmo, Sweden by Swedish authorities because one Border Patrol officer couldn’t read all the stamps in my passport. I had spent time outside of the Schengen Zone but he wasn’t doing the math properly. No more issues like that. Secondly, this helps me solidify some choices I needed to make about my English teaching business here in Poland. Thirdly, I’ll feel a lot more comfortable signing a long term lease for my living arrangements. Hopefully more room for friends and family to visit in the near future.
I am currently planning to run four marathons here in Europe before the end of the year, starting with the PZU Warsaw Marathon on September 30th. I should have a marathon schedule mapped out by the end of this month. I also have some opportunities to teach English abroad at some business seminars and immersion programs. Finally, I will start making plans to visit my friends around Europe for weekend jaunts and reunions. I still need to find the time to fly back to the States to visit family and loved ones. Expect to see a lot more photos and hear a lot more stories coming your way very soon.