Alien in America

Thanksgiving 2014

This year we hosted thanksgiving at our house for the first time. It wasn’t a really big celebration, but we had our closest friends over and I cooked a three course meal for everyone. I actually never thought I would do this (at least not before having kids or being older), but I actually spent around three hours in the kitchen to prep for this and didn’t sit down once until we actually ate. Now you might ask yourself how I cooked a whole meal including a turkey in three hours. Well, there actually was no turkey involved since we are vegan and our friends decided to join in on the vegan fun. With one tiny exception: Flo brought some turkey leftovers from his office potluck and our friend actually got his complete thanksgiving dinner with turkey.

But hold on, we didn’t “just” host a dinner for this year’s celebration. We actually were super american (with only one actual american in the group) and went shopping after dinner. Or at least tried to, but since we were kinda late already – it was around 10pm when we left the house – the stores had already sold out of their crazy deals like $200 50″ TVs. I actually am not a big fan of the crazy Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping which is most likely due to the fact that I work for an online retailer and this is the most stressful time of the year for us. Plus during the last years I realized that most retailers offer the crazy deals all weekend if not even all week long. Such stressful shopping experiences are out of the question for us.

Now with thanksgiving behind us I am looking forward to christmas a lot. I love this time of year and enjoy the cold weather, the cute decoratons and all the little christmas knick knacks like crazy. And I promise I will make sure to post some of them to let you join in on the fun.

Winter – Finally!

I never was a big fan of winter, cold weather or even christmas time to begin with. But since we moved here I developed a weird love to this time of the year. Every October when Halloween comes closer I get giddy for November 1st when Starbucks gets out the christmas cups and the malls start howling in their oversized christmas trees. I can’t explain why and yeah I know all the crazy christmas decorations, cheerful moods and christmasy happenings are just another (what some might call) superficial side of this country. But for some reason it makes me super happy.

I told you before that we decided to not go home for christmas (again) this year. And even though that makes me very sad for obvious reasons, I am also excited to fully be able to enjoy this season over here. I feel like Flo and I can make a new tradition out of our solo christmas over here with a cute christmas dinner like last year, tons of homemade cookies and cheesy christmas movies to end the night with. I always tell everyone who asks me for the best time to come visit that it is winter. Why? Because the weather over here is perfect (warm during the day, cold at night), the sunsets are breathtaking and all the decorations and christmasy things are just cute and very enjoyable.

I always have to laugh at work when me (in a thick wool sweater) is standing next to a coworker (in short shorts and no socks) and it becomes so obvious who grew up here and who didn’t. People told us before that with more time passing we will miss the seasons more and more. I always doubted that and thought how could you ever get tired of too much sun? But yeah it is possible and now I love winter so much. And sometimes secretely wish for rain. But don’t tell anyone I ever said that. Because if I get it back, I just might not like it anymore.

Where is home?

Before we moved here everyone told us that by moving to a new country you somewhat lose a real home country. Yes, you still feel connected to the country you are originally from (which for me is Germany), but the country you move to can also become some sort of home to you. The other week I talked to a friend about that. He is from the US but not from Calfornia – so he somewhat moved to a new part of the world as well. He asked me if I can ever imagine to move back to Germany and I answered for now I absolutely can’t.

That left him speechless for a few minutes and he started listing all the good things he had heard about Germany that made it impossible for him to think of ever going away from there. I started listing my reasons for not wanting to move back and we soon moved on from this part of the conversation and started to talk about the places in the US I would like to visit. One of them is Oregon which he happens to be from. I asked him if that isn’t an extremely beautiful state and why he moved away from that. And his only answer was “For the same reason you left Germany – you sometimes can’t find what you are looking for where you are at”.

I think that was such an incredibly true thing to say and maybe explains a bit why people like us move to a new country. Because we could not find exactly what we were looking for at “home”. Because we felt restless at the place we got raised at and lived at for most of our lifes. Sometimes we are a generation that feels so enabled to just pick up and leave that we just do it. Or maybe we just feel confident enough to chase our dreams. Even if we have to fly halfway across the world for that!