Can you be homesick for a place that isn’t technically your “home”? One of the best and worst situations is feeling like you have two homes, whether they are physical places, or just in your heart. In this case, half of my heart belongs to America. The other half is in, you guessed it, Germany.
I feel as if I’m constantly being pulled between these two beautiful places.. I love Germany…the land, the people, the culture, the food (oh my goodness doener kebabs), the music, the language. Heck, I even love the Diet Cokebetter. Shout out to Cola Light!
On the other hand, I love my friends, family, networks, and support structure that I have in America. If only there was a way to mesh the two. I could ride the S-Bahn to see me friends Pam and Vanessa, drink espresso outside with a view of the Schwarzwald while also speaking with my mother. Even though there have been huge advancements in international communication, a “Skype Date” can’t (and hopefully won’t) take the place of actually seeing someone and talking to them. IMing someone about your day or sending someone a *hug* doesn’t feel as good as having somebody sit next to you on the couch and listen to you complain about your day and the stupid people you had to pretend to be nice to. Seven hour time differences aren’t exactly helpful either. Waking someone up in the middle of the night in Iowa to tell them about the awesome Spaetzle you had at lunch is apparently not good form. Schade.
On the other hand, looking at a picture of Freiburg doesn’t give me the same thrill as standing on top on Schlossberg watching a bright red sun sink behind the pines does. I miss walking (tripping and falling) on cobblestones, and the smell of bakery bread. I miss the horrendously aggressive pigeons. I miss silly things like being able to sort my trash at maximum efficiency, and doing the crossword in German, rather than English. I miss my bike and it’s stupid broken brake. I miss dodging the Asian tourists piled up by Schwabentor, and I miss hiking up the god-awful steep hill that leads up to Kastanien Garten. I even miss my roommates Kaja and Daniel fighting all the time about who gets more room in the fridge for their beer. Nothing in America can replace those perfect, hilarious, and even frustrating memories that I have of my year abroad.
I am going to start sending in applications soon for masters programs, in Germany. Most start in October…now I just have to figure out how to survive that long. Then after that, I’ll just have to remember how to survive without everyone here…