I’m finally heading home to the U.S. for a few weeks vacation and am very excited. Yes, I know it might be a little weird for some people that I still call the U.S. home, although I don’t live there. But the truth is that I have “homes” all over the world. It would be sad to feel like you have to limit yourself to only one home.
I thought I would write about what makes me excited to go home, other than the obvious reason of friends and family. It gives you a little insight to some things that are missing for me here in Germany. I love my life here, but I would by lying if I said that I don’t think about all the things I miss about my home.
1. speaking my own language
This one is pretty straight forward. After months of feeling shy, confused, and put on the spot with German, I can’t wait to just be normal. Nothing excites me more than not having to think and to just be able to speak. Constantly worrying about a new language can take its toll on you.
2. a good burger
I’m sure that my fellow expats in Germany could give me a few good suggestions for this one, but I can honestly say I’ve never had a really good burger in Germany. The burger culture here is very much what I like to call, “glamburgers.” They are all about the fancy toppings, buns, and sides, but as focused on the meat. I prefer a plain burger with a juicy patty. One of my very first stops in the U.S. will be to Shake Shack for one of their famous burgers.
3. wearIng sweatpants to the grocery store
In Germany, you always look put together. If you are running to the grocery store to quickly pick up something, you get fully dressed in a nice outfit. I love to dress up, but I am all for wearing crappy clothes to run errands in. I miss the casual culture in the U.S., where you don’t have to look put together all the time. If someone spots you in running gear at the checkout, they don’t think twice. I still can barely get my husband, C, to leave the house without showering. You won’t catch him going out to breakfast in his sweats with me while we are on this trip, but I will be doing it for sure.
4. SmILInG at strangers
I really miss interacting with strangers, I like to share a smile or a hello with people I meet. I’m from a small American town where that is just the norm. So in Germany, when strangers basically don’t even look me in the eyes, I sometimes feel very isolated. I don’t feel the warm comradery that I look forward to at home.
5. Free Water and Free Refills
I can’t tell you how often I wish that free water and free refills at restaurants was a universal concept. German restaurants are certainly making a lot of money by not offering these things. Watching drinks rack up the bill every time is enough to make you not want to go out to dinner again. I love the option in the U.S. to order a free tap water which cuts down both the cost of your meal and your calories. Paying for water at a restaurant still just feels so wrong.
6. Fluffy ToweLS
I’m sure there are a lot of German houses that have fluffy towels. But dryers are not the most common household item here, so you will also find plenty of people who don’t have one, like us. I don’t dry most of my clothes, so the lack of dryer doesn’t bother me that much. Yet, I do miss a nice, fluffy towel.
7. Paying for Anything With a Credit or Debit Card
Germany is the land of cash, not cards. We have not had enough cash countless times and then not been able to pay with a card. You would think I would adapt over time, but I have this American mentality that every restaurant will take a card. And every time I am left surprised, quickly running to an ATM for money.
What do you look forward to when you go home?