Thursday, October 1, 2020


Surprise, I'm moving! (...again.)

It seems like news I was just sharing last fall, moving out of my apartment in Southfield to live with a roommate in Ann Arbor. Or the news I just shared this past spring when I moved out of Ann Arbor over to Canton. However you want to look at it, I am well aware that U-haul has made far too much money off of me in the past year. But this time, the change is going to be a bit more permanent and take me outside of state lines; one month from today I'll officially be saying good-bye to my home state of Michigan and hello to my new home of Tennessee.
If you've known me for any length of time, you'll know that I have travelled quite a bit. Domestically, internationally; I've been to cities as small as Chania, a little island village in the Aegean, to those as big and chaotic as New York City. So when I went to Nashville (for the first time) earlier this summer, the magnetism I felt was something I was not prepared for, nor had I ever experienced before. I've been to plenty of cities I've fallen in love with (Berlin, Austin, Seattle, Thessaloniki), but something about Nashville was different: the atmosphere, the energy, the people, the culture, the music. I walked through the 12 South district, the Gulch, Centennial Park, and all over Broadway. I met musicians on Music Row and heard incredible live music. I watched sunset from the pedestrian bridge, made some new friends, and had absolutely amazing food. There was an undeniable spark; a very bright, very strong spark. So much so, that after my first trip there at the end of July I immediately started planning a trip back. I took off again for the Music City a couple of weeks ago, over Labor Day weekend. But this time, I wasn't just there crossing it off my bucket list. This time - in addition to checking out the newly reopened Country Music Hall of Fame and visiting some of the friends I'd made just weeks before - I was checking out apartments and daily life. I would work my usual hours from my Airbnb, then spend the evening exploring the city. It wasn't just wake up, work, gym, maybe stop for groceries, repeat (as I've literally been doing for the past 5+ months). There is so much to do and see in this city, even outside of the busy downtown areas. It was a much-needed breath of fresh air.
As I mentioned, I've moved around a lot in the past few years. Ever since I graduated from college, I haven't felt like I'm in the right "place"; from Walled Lake to the Upper Peninsula to Southfield to Ann Arbor to Canton. Thankfully, I did find a company and a job that I love. It's just everything else that often feels like friction: the cities, the relationships, the culture, the weather. (I truly can't stand cold weather and from Northwest Minnesota to the Upper Peninsula to Michigan in general, somehow I keep ending up in very cold places!) Sometimes you just know you're not in the right place. And then you find that spark like I did with Nashville and you know; that's it

If anything positive has come of 2020 - specifically, of this whole pandemic situation and all of its side effects - it would be that my company allowed me to make the decision to work remotely, permanently. We've been working remotely since the onset of everything mid-March, and after I found the perfect apartment in Nashville and fully committed to the decision to move, I asked if I could make the change permanent. To my surprise (and utmost delight), they said yes. After a few conversations with my managers and HR, I put in my notice at my current apartment, signed my new lease, and booked [yet another] U-haul. One month to go!

It's going to be bittersweet officially moving out of Michigan. Apart from a few internships and four years of college in Minnesota, I've spent my entire life in Michigan. But I've never felt any intense connection to my state, other than family. After high school, my friends and I scattered all over (Ohio, North Carolina, Colorado, Minnesota, Germany...). Friends I've made here post-grad are strong enough that I know we'll make it through a long-distance friendship. (And if we don't, how strong are those friendships, really?) And then my family. We've been through a very, very eventful few years, which honestly has brought some of us closer together while pushing some of us further apart. I love my family, and of course will miss the ease of seeing them here and there on the weekends, but I'll come back to visit or for holidays just like I did in college (and this time its only a 7.5-hour drive, not an 18-hour drive). I'm excited and nervous and thankful and intimidated all at once, but I feel it is absolutely the right move to make at this point in my life.
Needless to say it's going to be a very busy month: selling a few pieces of furniture, packing, cancelling things like internet and utilities and gym memberships, transferring insurance policies, changing addresses. And then the actual "moving weekend" (which happens to be Halloween weekend): loading on Saturday morning, driving the U-haul down the next day and unloading, flying back to Michigan the following day, voting here, then driving back down in my car...ufff. But I'm so excited to figure things out and get situated in Nashville. I fully intend on picking up the blog once I'm down there, which I'm really looking forward to given how uneven its been in the past few years. It's going to be a new chapter in my life and I can't wait to share it with you.

I can't wait to call Nashville home!

The Flavor of Wine

I published my first book on December 3, 2019. It was always a dream of mine to publish a book, and having an experience so near and dear to my heart inspired me to finally write my story and share it with the world. I would love for you to check it out!

You can find my book online at most major retailers, select bookstores in southeast Michigan, and right here on Amazon.

In the Fall of 2016, what began at a small funeral in Michigan inspired an unforgettable journey of self-discovery across the Atlantic.

Samantha Hohnstadt received the news on an ordinary Tuesday: her grandfather, the family patriarch, was in a fight for his life. Suddenly things like sending emails and talking to clients on the phone no longer seemed important. In the following weeks, her grandfather lost his battle, but not before inspiring one of his youngest granddaughters to rediscover the family lineage in Germany and Greece that originally brought their family to America generations ago.

Travel with Samantha as she treks across Europe, sometimes joyfully and sometimes stressfully, through coffee shops and vineyards and airports, searching for her roots. With a colorful cast of characters entering her life throughout the trip, Samantha quickly learns that the world is an extremely large and complex place -- but if you look hard enough, you'll find the best that humanity has to offer.

Cozy Nashville Apartment Tour

When I graduated from college in Minnesota, I moved from a single dorm room to my childhood bedroom in my parents' house in Michigan. Tw...