I have been in Germany for a little over three years continuously at this point. This summer I will make my first trip back to the US since moving here. At the point I left there I was fully ok with the idea of not going back. Now I kind of excited to see the country again. Here is a list of things I missed and experiences I want to stock up on.
Bucket List for Home
- Big Bookstore: Go to Barnes and Noble (or similar warehouse sized bookstores) after dark and just wander. And sit looking at rows of books in English with nice music and the smell of coffee in the background.
- Used Bookstore: Find a used bookstore and get a big stack of used paperback books in English. If nothing else, just to smell the paper.
- Late Night Grocery Shopping: Have the urge to buy beer and yesterday’s donuts from a grocery store at 2am and actually go do it.
- Enjoy a Selection of Beer: Yes, German beer purity laws are nice, but it means all the beer tastes about the same.
- Meet new people and know immediately what language to use: “So do you speak English or only German?”
- Watch useless TV: No one needs 100 channels and commercials every 10 minutes, but really there is still a draw to having it all in your own language.
- Drive in the summer night with the windows down to feel the breeze.
- Personal Space : To be able to be out in society without being in the middle of a crowd.
- Air-Conditioning: Yeah, when it is hot outside and so chill inside.
- Fat-Free Cookies: I know they aren’t any healthier, but I miss them.
- Movie Theaters : Salty Popcorn, English language movies and air conditioning in the summer.
- TBEX : Yup, I will be at TBEX in Vancouver. Looking forward to meeting the crowd.
- Friends and Family : Before anyone accuses me of having a list full of stuff and consumerism, I am really looking forward to seeing friends again. Some have come visit me, but it will be awesome to see them again (in their natural habitat as it were). To hang out and remember why we are friends in the first place. To have dinner with them and remember why Facebook is not a substitute for face to face meetings.
- Girlfriend : No where near least as last, to spend as much time as I can with her. She is the main reason I am heading back (by plane even).
I don’t at all regret my decision to come and live in Germany. I like the life here in a lot of ways. I was a different person when I left the US all that time ago. I will be interested to see how the today-me reacts to the place again and how much of the then-me comes out again. I’m sure at some point I will be ready to come back to Germany, but I am excited to go home again. There will be many things about life in Germany that I will miss.