This summer, when I went on leave from Afghanistan, we met up in Frankfurt-am-Main and traveled to Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Vienna before she went back to Canada and I carried on to Jordan and back to Afghanistan.
I had already become rather enamoured with Europe in general from a previous trip there, on business, where I spent time in Munich and Regensburg. And I rather smugly sent her an email asking why exactly we didn't live in Europe. The discussion got more interesting at the end of our trip when we realized there's no particularly good answer, at least in the long term, to that question.
When I got back to Afghanistan I started doing some preliminary research, and it's not a particularly hard thing to do to move since I'm a British citizen, giving me the right to take up residence anywhere in the EU. Joy's not, but from what I can tell, as long as she accompanies me it's not a problem. We know from looking into a sojourn in Ireland that we'd simply have to register her at the local Garda station and she'd be legally considered a resident of Ireland - far simpler than immigration to Canada! It looks like it's similarly trouble free elsewhere, I think.
So, what we're looking at is a five year (ish) plan to actually become expatriates. Where, exactly, we haven't settled on. Berlin and Munich lend themselves well to the idea in terms of being places full of expats, also Brussels because with NATO's HQ being there I could quite possibly land a job there. Why five years? Well, that provides the time to actually prepare - to start getting money put away, to wrap up things here, hopefully be able to dispose of our condo here, and that kind of thing, and to make the connections necessary to find work there. It'll include most likely a long vacation (1-2 months) to spend time in the main contender cities and see if it's still what we want to do.
But it's giving me something to plan around, something to look forward to, and that makes the mundane nature of life in general a bit less so...