The Vienna Bucket List

Grüsi! Happy January and happy 2019!

As I recently announced on my Facebook page: 2019 will be our last year in Vienna. No, I literally cannot believe it. As with all changes I’ve gone through in my life, I’m experiencing an emotional roller coaster. Daily.

After 4 years, it’s hard not to feel at home in a place. Hard not to make a place your home. Hard not to have friends that will be hard to say goodbye to. Hard not to have your cafe, your grocery store, your park, your meeting places, your specific routines tied to that place that will likely not come with you. We have all of those. Hard not to get emotional over innocuous things that you are coming to terms with will soon be something you used to see. Something you used to do. Somewhere you used to live. Well, it’s hard when you’re sentimental. Which I am. Like the street we live on; it’s pretty. Pretty standard. A pretty urban, nothing-fancy street. But I will miss it. And someday I will cry beautiful Vienna raindrop tears when I think about that pretty standard street.

I find myself missing these things now, even while we’re still here and still have a good part of year still here. I’m becoming consumed with the soon-to-be “used to”. All of this will all too quickly become, “that time we lived in Vienna.” “Remember that? Yeah…that was cool.” *turns dramatically to look dreamily out a foggy window despite that it’s July while holding a cup of tea that wasn’t there before as a melancholy melody begins to play*

I think part of this is preemptive FOMO (fear of missing out), which seems to be talked about everywhere these days. We’re here now, but for not too much longer. Are we maximising it? Are we enjoying it fully? Are we taking complete advantage of this place and time? I don’t want to have to answer any of those questions in the past tense with, “no”.

I also feel like I’m staring at an hour glass while becoming increasingly overcome with anxiety, and not actually doing anything, while the grains of sand all too quickly slip through. My typical approach to life. #winningstrategy

A list is the answer! A list is always the answer.

While we’re still on this side of the “time we lived in Vienna”, I want to relish it. So I went out to make my list, my Vienna Bucket List. And studies show that lists made in the New Year are 97.6% more effective than when made at any other time of year. [Welcome to my blog. I’m sarcastic and hyperbolic. And sometimes I make up facts.]

I started off with racking my own brain for quintessentially Viennese and Austrian activities, places, and experiences that either we’ve done before but maybe not enough, or that we haven’t gotten around to yet. Everything from big things, like, “take a weekend trip to a lake in the Salzkammergut,” to little things like, “eat more Laugencroissant.” And having lived here already for 3 1/2 years, I had become familiar with a pretty decent collection of things Austria had to offer.

However, I’m not an Austrian/Viennese expert. I certainly didn’t grow up here, and I guarantee there are quintessential Austrian things that I haven’t heard of yet. So to effectively beat my preemptive FOMO (I guess that’s what I’m calling it now), my list needed to be … ✨crowd-sourced✨.

I might write a whole separate blog post on this, but #thankthestars for Facebook. I would still be friendless, jobless, probably feeling hopeless, and my #ViennaBucketList would be far shorter if it wasn’t for Facebook. Specifically, the ever wonderful and bottomless well of knowledge that is the Women of Vienna Facebook group. I could think of nowhere better to take my list.

Then I spent the next couple of hours responding to the numerous and generous comments and writing down their suggestions. I was getting so excited! Every time someone new would write something, I’d emphatically tell Michael, “There’s another comment!” By now, 4 days later, there are 110 comments, maybe half that are me responding, and a handful of follows, but out of them came so many wonderful suggestions! Some of them we had done, but most were actually new, including specific festivals in some of the other cities in Austria such as Linz and Salzburg.

So it’s safe to say my croud-source campaign was a success! *finger guns* And now I’ve compiled my perfect list that will 100% keep me from feeling FOMO!

Just kidding of course. Anxiety of potential missed opportunities will still eat me alive at night 🙃

But it is a pretty good list, regardless. And since I love trying and failing at documenting things over a period of time, what a perfect opportunity! I’ll be documenting our journey through out #ViennaBucketList so that when I inevitably feel like we didn’t maximise enough, or enjoy enough, or do enough, I’ll have evidence that we at least did a lot.

For if you never leave a place you love, you will never love another place.

Bis bald!

And here are all the suggestions from my crowd-sourcing along with items I added myself. The list is in no particular order other than Vienna specific things are generally in the first half, and trips to places outside of Vienna are generally in the second half. We likely will not get to all of them, so we’ll need to prioritize, but I’m excited to start crossing things off! As time goes on, I’ll probably add details to some of the list items, links to relevant sites, links to any corresponding blog posts I write for them as we do them, or even new items all together! If you have anything you think is worthy to add, please leave a comment! Also pardon any Deutsch spelling errors #thanks

The Vienna Bucket List

  • Eat more Laugencroissant
  • A Bad or two
  • Picnic in a park – maybe Schonbruenn or Augarten
  • More Heruiger and stroll through some vinyards! (try Niederoesterreich, Gumpoldskirchen)
  • More hiking
  • Finish the Wien Staadwanderweg list
  • Eat more schnitzel
  • Spend more time in Viennese coffee houses
  • Art History Museum – Kunsthistorische Museum
  • Spanish Riding School (Feb-Jul, Sa & Su @ 11am)
  • Kaisergruft – Crypt for Hapsburgs
  • Pop in more standing room concerts at the Musikverein
  • Seated concert at the Musikverein
  • More shows at the Staatsoper
  • “Vienna Shades” Tour
  • Boat to Bratislava
  • Hunt for Baerlauch in Spring
  • “Ugly Vienna” tour
  • Explore more of the Wachau valley by bike and boat ➡️ Durnstein,
  • 3rd Man Tour (maybe watch the movie first)
  • Learn to cook Kaiserschmarrn
  • Go to a nice restaurant/cafe and have Kaiserschmarrn for breakfast (try Landmanns Jausenstation or Meierei Stadtpark)
  • Ernst Fuchs Museum (Otto Wagner Villa)
  • MAK
  • Eismarillenknoedel at Tichy
  • Vienna photoshoot with Michael
  • Zotter Chocolate Factory in Styria
  • Vienna Porcelain Manufactory tour
  • Cobenzl
  • Cemetery of the Nameless
  • Nationalpark DonauAuen – boat tours
  • Kirche am Steinhof
  • Viennese Ball
  • Sightseeing bus tour
  • ImpulsTanz
  • Salzburg – Salzburger Festspiele | Salzburg Festival 
  • Bregenzer Festspiele am Bodensee
  • Graz – Lastrada (Jul 26 – Aug 3)
  • Linz – Pflasterspektakel (July)
  • Hallstatt
  • Dachstein
  • Gruenersee – Tragöss (Apr – Jun)
  • Neusidlsee
  • Traumsee – Gmuden
  • Wolfgangsee (stay at Strobl, hike at Postalm)
  • Bad Ischl – Keiservilla
  • Schafberg in the Salzkammergut & surrounding lakes
  • Salzkammergut Radweg – Bike path
  • Laxenburg – rent a boat
  • Baden
  • Castles and ruins! (many along the Donau)

Renewing Austrian residency – Even after nearly 2 years in Europe, we sometimes read the date wrong

Our residencies are due for renewal! The date of expiration printed on our little residency cards is creeping up, so the time comes again to do an awkward, semi-blind dance with MA35: Municipal Department 35 – Immigration and Citizenship. It’s the kind of dance where someone tells you the steps, you show up at the dance, and they either follow those steps you were told, or dance something completely different, all the while looking at you with a face of “Why don’t you know what we’re doing you dumb human?” It’s a 50/50 shot. Continue reading