I am leaving Germany today (5am, kill me) to fly back to the US. I’ll be back for about a month and some before stating my new life in Sydney, Australia.
I had a love-hate thing with Germany for quite a long time and I think that it has finally taken me leaving to truly appreciate how wonderful this country is (even with it’s flaws).
So, here is how I will pay homage to meine Liebe: Deutschland. Here is a list of all the things will make me cry thinking about on my way home.
The Quiet Sundays
This actually really bothered me at first. First of all, all the stores are closed on Sundays and now you want me to also be as quiet as a Mäuschen? Nein, danke.
But after being here for almost 3 years, I can understand why they do it. Having a balance life is very important in Germany. You have your work life and then, after it is time to wind down and spend that time with your family and friends.
Sunday is the DON’T WORK, JUST RELAX! day in Germany. It actually had the opposite effect on me when I arrived. I didn’t realize how hard it is to just sit and relax and not plan something productive to do during the day. Coming from the US, I had the hustle-and-grind mentality. I worked 3 jobs all through University and didn’t have a day off for years. This is a normal thing for Americans apparently, but definitely not in Germany.
On Sundays, you sleep in, make a huge bavarian breakfast, spend time with your family and enjoy some nature. Now, Sunday is my favorite day, because I know there are no expectations of me. Stay inside all day and eat, that’s okay. Netflix marathon? Do it! Hiking all day and enjoying a nice beer after? Right on!
Sundays here have taught me a lot about slowing down and not thinking of everyday as a day to work.
This is often seen as a negative to expats when they first enter German, but as I’ve said in previous posts, I really like the German way of just saying what you think. Yes, it hurts my feelings sometimes, but I never feel like German people are being fake with me (at least most of the time). The thing that bothered me about the States, was the constant struggle to know if someone is actually a nice person, or just a person pretending to be nice to get something from you.
I never feel that way here. If someone compliments you, then it is a genuine compliment. If they say that you are friends, then that is the truth (also if you can get on ‘friend’ terms with a German, whoa good on you!).
They say what they mean, mean what they say and thats perfectly fine by me.
Travel is so important in Europe in general, but I think Germany goes above and beyond to incorporate it into their lives. Because the vacation time in Germany is so good, it’s not uncommon to plan trips (way ahead of time) with friends and family to go to Spain or Portugal for a few weeks or even just for a long weekend.
Mallorca and Ibiza seem to be the most popular destination for Germans during the school holiday time (August), but I often hear of people taking off a few weeks and going to South America, the US, and Africa as well. Living in Germany has definitely kept my travel bug alive and kickin’.
I may be alone here, but I love the German language. I was first drawn to it in high-school when learning about WW2 and that crush quickly turned into a love as I entered University. I made German my minor as a way of keeping it around as long as possible, even though I knew the odds of me keeping it around were low. Luckily, I fell into au pairing in Germany and was able to develop my German to where it is now and love using it on the daily 🙂 I will miss hearing the small German phrases I love so much being used all around me.
Those were just a few of the things I will miss about Deutschland. There are so so many more that I will write about soon, but these are the ones that I have been thinking about recently. Thanks for reading! 🙂