Roots’n Family in Germany // Home & Life in California

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As I am writing this, I am sitting on the plane - this time back to California. It seems like yesterday that Rickey and I were sitting in almost the exact same spot on the Air New Zealand plane (we even have the same crew) on our way to Germany. At this point I have to say that my first experience with Air NZ was great. I can only recommend flying with them. But that’s beyond the point here.

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The light this time of year, when it’s clear outside, can be stunning in the mornings. 

Rickey and I spent a wonderful week back home, which is in the Hanover area, northern Germany. It was the first time in almost two years that I traveled home - this time with Rickey. My parents went out of their way for us and I am so grateful, although I am sometimes getting the feeling that I am not showing this enough. I enjoyed the time very much, even though we had an actual plan this time given the fact that Rickey was seeing my home for the very first time. Naturally, we wanted to show him as much as possible in a short amount of time. And yet, there is room for so much more. Good thing that this wasn’t the last visit; at least once a year is what we are aiming at.

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My family gave us the sweetest welcome at the airport. 

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Granny, cousins, uncle, aunt, parents - all there.

The first five days were actually pretty rough for me. Not sure if it was the extreme jet lag but I was pretty out of it, yet trying to make the best of it. We toured Hanover, and spent two days in Berlin. We hung out with the family for bonfire, dinner, and lunch, and I got the chance to catch up with two of my oldest friends who were in town at the same time. Rickey and I also grasped at the opportunity to go for long bike rides and walks with Rusty, my family’s little Jack Russel. To be honest, this was my favorite part. The colder weather also put me in a more festive mood.

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Long, quiet walks through the woods. Bliss. 

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Cold air, gloomy day, but absolutely happy!

Home for me means slowing down, especially during fall and winter. It’s a constant. Nothing really changed, not even after two years, which I personally love. I enjoy going for extensive walks - all bundled up -, inhaling the peace and quiet of the countryside — simply the complete opposite of San Diego. There is something very appealing to living in the city, under palm trees and close to the water with sunshine and mild temperatures all year round; and there is something very appealing to - now that I hadn’t been back in two years - living in the countryside, having all four seasons, and a little bit of a „slower“ life. But the US at large are where we have chosen to create and build our life and I would not want to have it any other way at that point. This is where I feel the most at ease, the most alive. It’s simply right.

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Cheesing in front of the Brandenburg Gate during our 2-day trip to Berlin.

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…and the fam please. 

Goodbyes are always hard for me. I hate them. I guess most of you agree with me. Who does like farewells? This time, it wasn’t so bad in regard to my parents and brother, as they will be coming stateside for our church wedding in about 7 weeks. However, my aunt, uncle, especially two little cousins and granny — that was a little harder on me than expected. Nine days home really are not enough. But maybe I would have said that after three weeks also? Who knows. Fact is, this is the price I am paying for being able to create my life in California, together with Rickey.

The good news is, I am very much looking forward to my home stateside, this time actually returning as permanent resident ( still so new and mind-boggling). This certainly makes farewells slightly easier. Our cozy home and two pups are waiting - and everything and everyone else part of our daily routine.

I guess this is the beauty of an international relationship: It seems to be slightly more adventurous as it’s simply not just about one place on this planet, not just one national identity and family on the same continent or even the same country, same town. I have my roots and thus beloved family in Germany; my home and current life however, are in California. This just means more traveling — exactly my kind of thing. No matter if I am flying west or east, I always have a “home” to look forward to. 

(Stay tuned for more visual impressions from our trip to Germany.)