Today is my last day in Germany. It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been here for four months; it feels more like I’ve been here for ages. The day I arrived, all the way back in July, feels like it happened years and years ago. Heading home to Columbus feels almost a little weird. Almost like I’m heading to a place that only exists in my memories. I know that sounds weird, but after being away from home for longer than I’ve ever been before (the record before this was five weeks in Israel back in high school), that’s what it feels like.

I am looking forward to coming home to Columbus.* It’s where my family is, and where I’ve spent a majority of my life. It’s familiar, it’s got a lot of people I know. And our football team is undefeated this season, which is always something to be proud of. Go Buckeyes!

Still, I will miss being here in Germany. I’ve become so used to this nation, it’s become something like a really nice foster home for me. Every day there was something new to learn or see, and I got to go to all these wonderful places while I was here. Germany is filled with such history, and I was lucky to be able to explore that history in so many ways, from traveling to the many WWII-related sites in Munich to a Roman wall in Wiesbaden and everything in-between. I even got to see a castle, something no trip Europe is complete without. No matter what the cost, it was worth going out to see all these things.

The Roman Wall. I'm going to miss seeing stuff like this.

The Roman Wall. I’m going to miss seeing stuff like this.

And the people here are very awesome as well: more than once when I got turned around trying to get somewhere, I was able to find someone who was able to point me in the right direction. Even at the grocery store, people were more courteous than I could imagine: yesterday a woman at the grocery store saw I had just the one item (a bottle of wine for my dad and his wife), and she let me go right in front of her. I usually don’t get that even in the States, so I was very grateful for her kindness. When I heard reports about how Germany was the only European country willingly accepting refugees while other countries closed their borders, I wasn’t at all surprised, because that’s just the sort of country Germany is, a kind and accepting place where you can feel as welcome as you might in your own home.

Plus I got to watch Doctor Who several hours before my Whovian comrades in the Western Hemisphere, seeing as the show airs in Europe before it does over there. That was nice. I will miss that.

But yeah, I will miss Germany. My time here was well-spent and I learned and experienced so much, and one day I would like to return, see old friends and do some more exploring of the country if possible. If I could do that, I’d be one very happy horror novelist.

Here's looking at you, Germany.

Here’s looking at you, Germany.

So thank you Germany, for being my home away from home. I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve been here (even the more stressful minutes) and I can’t thank you enough for all you, your people, and the other guests who call your lands home have done for me. It has truly been a wonderful experience getting to know you firsthand. So auf wiedersehen, and I hope we can one day meet again.

Until that day comes though, you will be alive in my thoughts, my memories, and in my stories (horrifying as those are).

*And apparently Columbus is preparing for me to come home as well. Already the National Guard has been called out, people have been praying for salvation like mad. There’s even been strange activity reported amongst animals, like a bridge full of spiders (not kidding, it made the local news). I guess they know I plan on jumpstarting the Apocalypse, huh?

  1. First, I want to say that Germany isn’t the only country willingly accepting refugees. Austrians have been very helpful with that as well, even though we are a small country and far beyond our capacities. Also, Denmark offered to take in many people, but for some reason people didn’t want to go there.
    But I do understand how you’re feeling. The longest I’ve been away from home was 5 or 6 months when I was 15. It changed everything! We kind of had this mandatory movie for exchange students, which was really fun. It’s called L’Auberge Espagnole or The Spanish Apartment and it reflected my experience very well.

    • I haven’t heard about Austria or Denmark, just Germany. Weird, you’d think the news would report that.
      I’ve never heard of the Spanish Apartment. What’s it about?

      • Also Sweden was very active and a ton of other countries. I just felt like clarifying that.
        It’s about a French guy who goes abroad for a year to live in Barcelona. He lives in an apartment with a British person and someone from Germany or something like that. It’s about his experience in the foreign country and how it becomes part of his life. I thought it was very true to my own experiences.

      • You’d think I’d see that reported more in the media. Damn you, media!
        Sounds like a good foreign film. Maybe if I’m in the mood I’ll check it out.

      • Well, that’s the media for you …
        It’s an awesome film. I think the dubbed version exists, but I always watch the one where everyone speaks in their own language and I can read the subtitles for the people I don’t understand. There are 2 sequels for the movie, but I only watched one and didn’t like it as much as the first film.

      • Sounds like some horror movies I could name.

  2. Have a safe trip home!

  3. segmation says:

    Good luck on your new venture in Columbus!

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