We are so comfortable here and have everything we need that we seldom say, "Gee, I wish I were back in the states so that I could....." The only thing missing is American TV and that is not missing a whole lot, if you know what I mean. We could get a satellite dish and we've discussed it, but with the summer here there is so much to do outdoors that we have decided to wait until winter. In the meantime I have bought boxed sets of "House," "NCIS", "Criminal Intent," and a few movies to tide us over.
Image via Wikipedia
We always have CNNNNN to fall back on. We call it CNNNNN because it is the only channel in English and we have it on most of the day to catch up with the news that just keeps being repeated over and over again.
More and more we are saying that we prefer Germany to the United States and Australia, our respective countries. The life here is just so civilized (Steve's analysis). It fits our lifestyle to a tee. Biking, outdoor dining, cafes on the footpath, quiet time during the mid-day, great wines, good beer, excellent shopping, beautiful vistas, and heaps of history and culture.
We are healthier, less stressed, and certainly more invigorated living here in Germany. I think some of that is due to the fact that we certainly are away from family and we don't always hear the day-to-day stresses that our family is dealing with. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. We aren't being stressed, but we do feel an information gap when we visit.
We feel healthier because the fridge is so small that I shop daily (no car so I walk or bike). Fresh fruit and vegetables and meats without hormones have helped us feel much healthier. The fact that we have refused to get a car means we walk/bike everywhere. And if we can't, we take the train, bus, subway, or trolley. In extreme need, we will either take a taxi or breakdown and rent a car. Usually that is on a weekend when we go to explore outlying countries in Europe.
This brings us to being more invigorated. There is so much to see, do, and learn about in Europe. We are so centrally located here in Munich that we can be to most of Europes' major cities in just hours by train, car, or even sooner by plane. Flights are cheap and you just can't beat it.
There is no comparison between travelling within the U.S. and within Europe. The distance may be the same, but you will not be hearing English and you won't be eating hot dogs and hamburgers. The language, culture, and customs are different in every country. While we live here, we intend to experience them all! In the last four months we've done a pretty good job. We've been to:
Not bad for four months! As a good friend once emailed to me, "It is as if the whole world is your playground." I would have to agree. What this life provides for us is a global perspective and a life rich with new experiences. It has re-charged our batteries, given us a quest and an appreciation for both the similarities and differences we share as a part of humanity. New friendships, hobbies, and ways of doing things make us appreciate our life here all the more.
One other thing I notice is that it has made us closer as a couple. We are sharing a life that is new to us and together we are noticing how living out of our comfort zone, where we know everthing about a place, is helping us to communicate more and rely on one another for help. We don't take one another for granted and we appreciate the little things we do for one another that makes our life here so enjoyable. As a couple we have grown and it has renewed us. It doesn't hurt that Bavaria provides much in the way of romantic spots that give our lives new excitement together. It's as if they designed this city with romance in mind. Green parks, window boxes filled with brilliant flowers, quaint shops, fountains, park benches, walking paths through fields and orchards, small bridges, wrought iron gates, lovely groomed hedges, cobblestone walk ways, antique street lamps, and a gentle climate all contribute to the romance.
But, Germany and Europe don't have everything thing we need. It has made our lives much better, but it can never replace being with our family. Because of this, it is less than ideal. For me, I miss my American family that I will be seeing in two days. For my husband, he will have to wait until Christmas to see the Aussie side of the family. Here are the faces I can't wait to see (in no particular order). I will post our Australian side of the family before our trip back to Oz in December!
Our Mr. Wadiah (Dido, 5) grandson
Our Mr. Elijah (Eli, 11) grandson
Our Eric (son) and beautiful wife, Gisela (daughter-in-law)
Our Miss Baila (Baila Boo, 9)
Our Mr. Jacob (Jake, 13)
Our Mr. Nicholas (Niko, 7) grandson
Our Mr. Waseem (Simo, 4 and a twin to his sister below) grandson
Our Miss Nardeen (Nee Nee, 4) twin to Simo above,
Our Mr. Zechariah (Wacky Zechy, 16) grandson
So, there you have it. In a nutshell. Wherever there is family, there is home. Get ready, family, for 6 weeks of fun. I've been waiting four months to see you all and I can't wait.
Mr. Steve, please hurry and meet us. Without you, life is not complete for me.