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"Are you ever going back home?"

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I was hit with that question for the hundred-and-fifty-third time, this time at a Christmas dinner. This time, I had to do some thinking.


At the risk of sounding pretentious, it is understandable to assume an American would eventually return to the "land of free" where opportunities of every type lay abound, where there isn't so much beauracratic red tape and where there isn't laws about stratching your ear with your foot on a Sunday, and where you can tell a cop to fuck off.


But you know what? I've lived the American dream, and I'm just bored with it.


I like the ever present challenge of needing to know a foreign language to survive, and needing to seriously concentrate when someone (especially a business or legal official) is discussing an important matter with me because German is not first language.


I like experiencing inconveniences and learning to adapt to a different culture with starkly contrasting norms.


I like visiting cities local to me and feeling like I'm on vacation with the comletely different scenery.


I like being able to communicate with different people from all over the world because we speak the same connecting language. In the near 15 years I've been in Germany, I've befriended people from places like Japan, Brazil, Cuba, Serbia, Syria, Turkey, Ivory Coast, Colombia, Moldova--many (if most!) of them spoke no English at all, but it was German that bridged the communication for us. Can you get that experience in America?


I like constantly learning new words and expressions. When I first came to Germany, I foolishly assumed that after completion of my integration course and a couple years of speaking German, I'd be fluent. 15 years later, and I still have the sane German dictionary out on my desk (Which reminds me, I need to buy a new one--the cover has literally fallen off this one...)


I like visiting other foreign countries and already know how to conduct myself as a foreigner and furthermore effectively communicate with locals there without assuming they must know some amount of English--something Americans are infamous for.


I like having to work harder to get where I need to be in life, as opposed to things simply handed to us in America, which has churned out a society of entitled misfits. I've had so many doors shut in my face (especially when the German education officials refused to acknowledge my high school diploma due to accreditation issues, resulting in it taking me  EIGHT YEARS to finally earn a bachelor's degree!)--it did nothing but motivate me to try even harder at the challenge. It makes me deeply appeciate all which I accomplished and tell folks back at home "If I had to do (xyz) on top of (123)  to achieve (abc), then I know for a fact you can pass the exam after a 2 day course!"


I like watch my dad's eyes bug out of his when he visits me and sees me having a detailed conversation with someone in German. You gotta admit--it's pretty cool being the ONLY bilingual person in your entire family! And it's definitely fun when my daughter and I visit America and can confer with each other in German when we don't want someone to know what we are talking about. (The "Wow, you speak PERFECT English--I thought you were American" comment never fail to tickle me pink")


I like not hearing blatant racism openly expressed in public and where such "free" expressions can lighten your wallet up by thousands of euros. answer the question, am I going back "home"? My answer: I'd be bored to death if I did. Even if I got a letter from the Ausländeramt with an official and unrepealable deportation order, the longest I would spend in America would be a year...researching the next foreign country to live in.


In short: I love being a US expat!




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Home what a complex concept.

My family all live in France, my friends are all over the world in the US, the UK, Australia, here in Germany, but none of them are in the town in Wales where I grew up.

For the longest time Home was the place where my wife lived, but that place doesn't exist anymore.

I don't think I will ever leave the house we bought and made our own, but if I do it won't be to go back it will be to go forward to the next great adventure.


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Home is complex. Where do I come from? Many places. It has been England, Germsny, Greece, Argentina, the USA, Indonesia, Brazil. Home right now is coming to terms with my NOW and my frailities. My eyesight is my current home for yearning to belong to where I am.   

I guess finding oneself and one's now is where home is.

And realising that your loved ones are your home. 

Plus realising home cannot be restricted to one's native language. For the one millioneth time the other day, my Nicole reminded me Obst ist DAS abd not DER! Difficult to accept that!

Sorry about any typis! My nagnifying glass is out of reach and I-m a bit tired right now. That traik journey to Hamburg back from Leipzig was tiring.

Paplpnase, babe. Your öast sentence is inspirikg, Bless, babe!👍


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"Home is made for coming from and not for going toooooo! Which with any luck will never come truuuuuuee.... I was booorn under a wand´ring star!

It looks like I will make my final stand here in Germany, sucks really because there are so many places to go, so much left to see, so many corners to turn and time is running out.



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