Escaping Albania

A few days ago we left Albania. It was totally unexpected. Actually, I booked plane tickets a few hours before we got in a cab and headed to Tirana International Airport. We were escaping Albania or at least that is how it felt as we rushed to secure plane tickets, book a hotel room in London where we would be staying overnight,  clean and pack up the house, and jump in a taxi. For those of you following our story, you know I had a love affair with the beautiful and seemingly unheard of Albania.

escaping albania
Exploring the beautiful Albania!

Two months ago we signed a year lease for a beautiful penthouse with amazing views. On the outside, it looked like a dream apartment. However, after spending the first night there I noticed something wasn’t quite right. I didn’t feel well when I woke up but I chalked it up to the bed being super uncomfortable. The mattress felt and looked at least 40 years old. There was a heavy feeling in the house as well. The pots and pans were not in the best shape and basically unusable. Any time we tried to cook with them, a disgusting chemical smell filled the house.

I am not a travel blogger
Novie entertaining herself with kitchen pots and posing for the camera.

The first week there, an electrical fire happened in the kitchen when the dishwasher cord caught fire. I was out back hanging clothes at the time blissfully unaware of the danger brewing. Luckily, the fire put itself out and stayed contained to the cabinet under the sink. All of this was frustrating and concerning but I felt my hands were tied because I paid a small fortune to move in. I had to put a deposit down plus two months rent to move in. I spoke no Albanian, the realtor that agreed to help us stopped responding-she had already received her commision- leaving me no way of communicating with the owner.

As the weeks passed, my health declined. When winter came and the windows in our home stayed shut more, my health deteriorated even quicker. I fell into a depression, disappeared off of social media, had no energy to leave the house, or barely move from the couch. The girls were also struggling with sickness. Novella was sick which is very rare. She has only been sick one other time which was a year ago in Mexico.

We couldn’t get warm. The house lacked insulation and stayed cold. Although winters in Albania are mild in comparison to the rest of Europe, the lack of insulation had us struggling. Novella didn’t even want her diaper changed because it was so cold. Getting anyone to change clothes and take showers also became difficult. This was far from the dream life I shared about a few months before. We’d dealt with winters before.

Last year, during this time, we were in Canada which is extremely cold weather yet we had no issues. Our Airbnb there was cozy and warm despite the frigid temps and blizzards outside.

escaping albania
Just the girls and I bonding in Canada.

In the middle of the night one night, as I woke abruptly from a deep sleep, the crazy idea of turning off all the heaters in the house and opening up the windows despite it being 30 degrees outside raced through my mind. I did just that and went back to sleep. When I woke that morning, I felt a little bit better for the first time in weeks. I got the girls and I out of the house for the day and although we had the overall feeling of exhaustion we felt better.

First time out of the house in over a week. Enjoying Skanderberg Square.

Later that evening, within 30 minutes of turning on the heat and returning home, all of our symptoms returned. The headaches, sore throats, exhaustion, and congestion returned. I’d had enough!

I moved everyone into the living room so if we did have to use the heat it would only be one of them for short time. We started opening the windows throughout the day even though it was freezing. We tried to stay outside of the house as much as possible, and I started looking at escaping Albania.

Car Explosion

Car explosion outside our home in Tirana

To make matters worse, a car exploded near our home. Luckily, no one was injured but it did concern me considering we walked there three times a week for Mia’s gymnastics classes. I couldn’t find out much info on the explosion but it did not sit well with me. However, I should add that it could have been a propane tank left in someone’s trunk and we always felt super safe in Albania.

After spending the last five months in Albania, I kept feeling this urge to return to both the US and Mexico. I couldn’t explain it and I felt guilty for feeling that way. I paid for yet another month in our rental despite this overwhelming urge to leave.

Declining Health

My health continued to decline and I continued dreaming of our escaping Albania to warmer weather and better health. I made the decision that we would leave Albania. I didn’t know how I would make it happen but the how is not important when it comes to manifestation. If you want to manifest something, you need to have certainty that it will happen no matter what your current circumstances are showing.

The expense to leave Albania was a whole lot more than I had. We were trapped. With the sickness I’d been dealing with, I’d been unable to work for nearly two months. This lesson taught me how important passive income is. I have plans to focus on building up passive income through this blog and affiliate marketing so we are not in that position ever again.

Luckily, a family member I hadn’t spoken to in a long time heard about my sickness and offered to loan me enough money to get us out of Albania. This was a humbling experience and I am still in disbelief that we were able to get flights during the most expensive time of the year. Our flights to London and then to Orlando went so smoothly. Everyone was friendly, our bags were overweight and Norwegian airlines let us through without paying extra, we had no issues with border officers, and both our flights to London and Orlando went on without a hitch.

It felt as if a higher power was determined to make things as easily as possible for us. I am so freaking grateful. I can’t express that enough.

Now we are resting and healing in Florida being loved on and taken care of by family. Our health has improved drastically. We are soaking in as much Vitamin D as possible and taking lots of long baths. We have missed taking baths, wandering through Target, and flushing toilet paper. It’s the little things y’all!

We are making a big move to another country in a few weeks. You will have to stay tuned for the next blog post to find out where or you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook to find out now.

 

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