Whenever I watch an episode of House Hunters International on HGTV, I’m left with a lot of practical questions. How did the move work out? Did the featured house hunters end up loving their new home? Or leaving it? Did they enjoy the expat life or retreat to their home country?
When my family was chosen to appear in an episode of HHI, we learned first-hand that the show isn’t only about international real estate. It’s mostly about the people making the move to a different country. Our episode focused on my son’s decision to move to Slovenia, the country of his ancestors on my father’s side. As Americans with dual citizenship in Slovenia through ancestry we were able to avoid some of the red tape involved with relocating to Europe. However, the producers of the episode were much more interested in our family dynamics: an only child looking for an affordable place that had enough room for his parents to visit.
Reaction to “Parent Roommates in Slovenia”
We got a lot of reaction after the episode first aired in January 2019, entitled “Parent Roommates in Slovenia.” Most of it was positive, but there were a few naysayers who felt that Andrew needed more space away from his parents to get on with his life and career as a writer in Slovenia. The overwhelming majority of the reactions were heartwarming; many viewers related to my husband Bill’s emotional comment: “You raise your kids for other people.”
So now I can reveal another big secret! HGTV chose us as one of 12 stories to be updated in a new series of shows called “House Hunters International: The Adventure Continues.” No spoilers here: I’ll leave it to the expert storytellers of Leopard Productions to tell you what has happened to our family in the two years since Andrew made his big move. The premiere aired on HGTV in the United States on Tuesday July 14, 2020 at 10:30 pm Eastern time, 7:30 and 10:30 pm Pacific time. It is also available for streaming through the HGTV GO app. (Free if you sign in with your cable provider or AppleTV account.)
Behind the Scenes of HHI: The Story Continues
I can tell you that participating in the update show was a challenge during a time when the United States and Europe were restricting movement to slow down the spread of the Covid 19 virus. The production crew talked us through every step of doing interviews remotely and even sent us some of the needed equipment on loan.
It was fun to watch the original episode again and remember all the fun we had behind the scenes of House Hunters International. There were a few difficult moments, like shooting our decision scene from a boat on the swampy part of the Ljubljanica River just outside the capital city. We also paid a memorable visit to Vitez Anzur, our distant cousin who lives the traditional pagan life of our Slavic ancestors from centuries past. Additional fun fact: during the party at the end of the show our friends accidentally locked themselves out on our balcony and had to be rescued!
There were also moments in the update where we all got teary-eyed as we reflected on how Andrew’s move to a different country has affected our family dynamics. The history of Slovenia — formerly part of Yugoslavia — has inspired Andrew to write a whole new series of action-adventure books. “Tito’s Lost Children” is based on the events leading up to Slovenia’s ten-day war for independence and the outbreak of the Balkan Wars. Told through the eyes of fictional young adults and teens, this alternate history is based on the real events, solidly researched by a writer with two PhDs. The story continues in “Europe’s Lost Children” series as the next generation battles Brexit, terrorism, corruption and the migrant crisis. Thanks in advance for leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Andrew and I have also connected more closely with our Slovenian roots in Kresnice, a small farming town on the Sava River outside of Ljubljana. More about the surprising branches of our family tree in a future post.
Recommended Reading and Viewing
Our original episode of House Hunters International is available for purchase in the United States on the HGTV YouTube channel. It is currently not available in Slovenia.
Andrew’s books are available for download on Amazon and all popular ebook platforms. Print books available for slightly higher cost on Amazon US, Germany and UK. You can download two of Andrew’s books for FREE by signing up on his website. He’s also on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Read more about Andrew’s expat life in Ljubljana in this post from the excellent website Total Slovenia News, along with the surprising things about Slovenia that Andrew learned while writing his books. While in many ways Slovenia may seem like a “fairytale” country, there’s a dark side to much of the region’s recent history. Here are some recommendations for reading about the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, Slovenia’s 10-day war of independence, the shelling of Dubrovnik, the siege of Sarajevo and the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Terry’s Travel Tips
If you decide to visit Slovenia, click here to see a choice of hotels near the historic center of Ljubljana where we live. Who knows? You might just decide to move there. Let the international house hunting begin!
Want more stories about travel and life in clean, green Slovenia? Like @strangersinthelivingroom on Facebook, and sign up for the occasional email when there is a new post. Follow me on Trip Advisor @strangersblog. Pinning this post? Get more travel ideas from Strangers in the Living Room on Pinterest.
Finally, here’s a video trailer for the updated episode, “House Hunters International: Writing a New Chapter in Ljubljana.” Thanks to everyone who watched, commented, and checked out Andrew’s books.
"I Told You So!"House Hunters International:The Adventure Continues#Ljubljana #SloveniaTONIGHT 10:30pmEST on @HGTV#parents #househuntersinternational #aroundtheworld #livingtogether #parenting #international #hgtvhome #author #decisions #moveabroad #househunting #hometogether #househunters #familytime #family #lifeabroad #hgtv @Argonon
Posted by Leopard USA on Tuesday, July 14, 2020