It’s funny looking back on this same, but very different journey, I had in 2011.
I will say I appreciate this experience much more today than I did seven years ago. I’m extremely blessed to be able to share what (little) knowledge I have with a group of students, not to mention doing that while in a different country. Thus far I have found myself having conversations with students that have feelings I myself felt so strongly not that long ago. The first month everything is still so new and exciting, then the reality sets in that this place and these people will be your home and family for the next few months. Personally, as a student that had never been away from home or my family, the emotions were overwhelming.
Now I get to be a voice of reason, an encouraging face to advise them to fully soak up the experience to its fullest. I have said on multiple occasions, “you most likely won’t get an opportunity like this again,” but here I sit on a train winding through Germany once more.
Wade and I are making it a goal to explore of the city we’re living in as well as more of Germany itself. So far we’ve spent time in Mainz, Heidelberg, Koblenz, Bad Guzberg, Cologne and soon to spend a week in Berlin. We have a school trip planned for Stuttgart at the end of the semester as well.
I love it here but I do miss my home—the physicality of it. Although my home is here with Wade, I do wake up on occasion and long to see my perfect shiplap wall and the way the light hits the kitchen walls in the morning.
I also miss the ease of communicating with my family and friends. Not to mention it’s baby season back in Texas and so many of my best friends are in a new stage of life growing their families. Although this trip makes time go by so fast that when we get back all the babies will be here before I know it! Also, this step in our journey means we ourselves can be closer to starting a family. Not just yet though, hold your horses just a bit longer.
I know this is silly, but I miss our little fur baby. I swear if she hates me when I get back I will be devastated. Maybe an entire bag of cat treats and gallon of milk will win her back? That or I will have to come to terms that she liked her host family more than us, it’s fine. I’ll be fine. ps- thanks to Trey & Jacalyn for loving our little one while we’re gone.
Last time I remember missing Diet Coke and Mexican food, but I don’t drink soda anymore so that it isn’t even a concern. I have only had slight cravings for Mexican food, maybe because we are eating really well and trying so many good foods. I do miss my blender, ha! My green shake in the morning never sounded so good.
Here are some lists I copied from my old germany blog from 2011. Thought they were interesting!
things I miss about Texas:
- diet vanilla cokes from sonic
- not wearing a jacket
- mexican food
- walking around barefoot
- seeing my family
- my bed
- sandals! (with pretty polished toes, of course)
- the sun
things I love about Europe:
- interesting foods
- more relaxed
- traveling is so convenient
- coke light
- no cars
things I've learned while in Europe:
- don’t order €6 water, esp. when you have your own in your backpack.
- if you’re the oldest “kid” on the bus, get off; it’s a school bus.
- sometimes in hotels the shower is in the room.
- if you go on a canal tour, there will not be camels.
- clothes disappear for a very long time, you might get them back.
- sometimes you have to pay to pee.
- only order 50 cent pizza at the window.
- don’t get juice at the supermarket unless you’re sure it’s not yogurt/milk.
- don’t get on the bus unless you’re sure it’s going the right way.
- public transportation kills your headphones.