Guest Posts

Clarity at the Eiffel Tower

January Guest Blogger: Melissa Bitter

A Family Trip Saved My Sanity

Back in the fall of 2017, the idea of living in Germany was romantic and exciting. Starting my freelance writing business was exhilarating and empowering. Traveling Europe and sharing experiences with my husband and kids was endearing.

Then we arrived, and I felt overwhelmed.

We left 10 years of memories and friends in Maryland as we headed to Wiesbaden for my husband’s job. Since April, I’ve been spinning in a whirlwind.

Dizzy and disorientated, I’m managing a move across the ocean, starting my own business and still finding time for being a wife, mother and friend to those we left thousands of miles away.

Finding a home in a new country, learning a new language, adapting to a different culture, coordinating new school schedules and understanding business laws had my head spinning and my heart sinking. This was supposed to be a great adventure and career move.

Whose idea was this and who was going to stop me from sliding down the slope of doubt to insecurity?

“Paris is always a good idea.”

During our first few months, we enjoyed visits from friends and family. We began to settle into our new home and routines as the kids went back to school. The house was then empty, and I was forced to stop treading water and get my business off the ground.

I gathered momentum and finished what felt like the 100th revision of my business website. I took additional classes and joined copywriter groups online for business support and comradery.  I was officially open for business and freaking out about the idea of failing.

Along came the first long weekend with a chance to go on our first European adventure. With all my plates spinning and juggling, I really didn’t have much of an interest in traveling during this mild panic attack.

It’s never been on my must-see list and I was entirely too busy freaking out to enjoy a mini-vacation. Sure, I’ve watched the cinema classic Sabrina and felt the romanticism of the line “Paris is always a good idea”, but at that time, I wasn’t feeling it.

Grounded at the top of the Eiffel Tower

In the movie, a young photographer finds herself in the city of lights after fleeing heartbreak. Her time in Paris gives her an opportunity to discover herself and gain the direction she had lacked. She transforms from timid to confident.

I dare say, Paris did the same for me.

This trip was mainly for our girls who had been talking about Paris for months. Once we began planning the trip, I consciously decided to tune out the demanding voice in my head that raised questions about how spending time away from my desk and computer was going to help launch my business.

We had this great opportunity to travel and I wasn’t going to waste it. I’m glad we did because exploring Paris got me centered.

Long walks and various tours left me drained each night. And that’s when the creative juices began flowing. I was soon hatching blog topics, campaign ideas and networking possibilities that seemed to come as naturally as the slow, sleepy breaths I took.

The Best Souvenirs Don’t Go on a Shelf

Walking the streets that have withstood years of life and loss reminded me that nothing is immune to change. Adapt, grow and step to the next building block. Carry on and allow time to make you into something new. Traveling often gives you much needed perspective.

We spent three days in Paris. I let myself be fully present with those who mean the world to me. We made memories and shared experiences that will forever be precious.  We came home rejuvenated and ready for the next adventure.

While our daughters brought home various trinkets from our trip, I brought back peace of mind. I still work hard and devote myself completely to my client work. However, I learned to keep pace and expectations within reason. I learned to save room for unexpected adventures.

About the Author: Melissa Bitter is a freelance writer whose focus is primarily B2B marketing copywriting. She is currently living abroad with her family and often blogs about their travels and parenting. You can find additional articles and details about Melissa at


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