One heart between two countries- living abroad

I believe, most of the people that decided to pack up all their things and make the big move to a different country know and understand what I mean with “One heart between two countries”.

My heritage is very important to me. More now than it ever was. The move to America gave my family a new opportunity; a start to build a life for my husband and I and later on for my children. It was not easy for us to make this move to a different country. For me, a little more than for my husband maybe.

Since I had to give up the option to see my family every day, spend time with them, and to sit with them for hours and hours. For my children to grow up with Oma and Opa and all of the family, the community and all the people around me that I have known since I was little. I miss the familiar town I grew up in. The quick walks downtown to a nearby Café. The traditions and customs e.g. at Christmas or all the different fests. All this, I miss so deeply and my children will never get to feel this kind of connection to Germany that I got to love and cherish. This is also why I try to raise them to be bilingual. (See my post here  for “Want your kids to speak more than one language? Try this!”) and keep the traditions alive.

Some of the thing we do to keep Germany in our hearts and minds are:

                  • Sitting down in the afternoon and have coffee time
                  • Visiting German restaurants in the area
                  • Sitting down to eat as a family every Sunday for lunch
                  • Skyping with family and friends from Germany
                  • Cooking our favorite German dishes
                  • Practicing some of our traditions e.g. celebrating Christmas on the 24th and reading stories about the Christkind
                  • Watching German TV shows
                  • Finding Germans in our community or online
                  • Going to Oktoberfest in the USA

There are many things you can do to feel closer to your home country and if nothing works. I guess, there is always the option to fly to your loved ones in Germany.

There is also the other side (America) pulling and teasing me with all its opportunities. This country has given us so much. Besides all the great freedoms, life choices, and career options we have here, we also have the other side of our family; my husband’s side. We would not want to leave them. They have welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like one of their own since day one. I will always be so grateful for that.

We are very fortunate to have them in our lives and they have made living here so much easier. I know not everybody gets to have this option when they move to a different Country. Most of you leave family behind like I had too.  But besides family, we have the options to try out new thing here that I would never even have thought of in Germany and would not want to miss, like:

                  • fishing and camping
                  • traveling to all the different States
                  • the food options (great steaks, burgers, etc.)
                  • the freedom to have so many options to choose from, if it is job-wise or where and how to live. (The American Dream)

 

A lot of people ask me, in the 4 years we have lived in the USA: “What is the ‘American Dream’ for you?” I always answer with: “The option to see another world, to open my eyes to new and different things, and to cherish every moment with my loved ones. That is the American Dream for me.

So, I can say, no matter what the future will bring; whether we stay in the USA or go back to Germany someday. My heart will always be split between to two countries.

There is this saying:

“You can take the girl out of Germany, but you can’t take Germany out of the Girl.” I believe this is true no matter where you come from.

So, what is your story; your experience with living in a different country? I would love to talk with you about the things you love in each country. What is something you would miss in the countries you have to share your heart with?

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You might also find interesting:

How to travel with your kids like a Rockstar!

Free! Check-list for traveling with children

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13 thoughts on “One heart between two countries- living abroad

  1. I think it’s awesome that you guys still hold on to your heritage even when you are far away from home. It’s always good to remember where you came from.

  2. This is beautiful and makes my heart hurt a little! I am American but lived in the U.K. For a while…. until my visa expired and I had to come home. But, my heart had a new home in London. It was hard (and nearly 10 years ago!) but I’ll always have a special love for London. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great post and very true to my experience, I moved countries and have a very different lifestyle now that I am no longer in the UK, but I still miss it and my family very much! C x

    1. Thank you I am glad you liked it. I am sure it is not easy for you sometimes, so far away from family. I know it isn’t for me.

  4. Beautiful post! We are currently living in Germany and I feel truly thankful to have my daughter experience this beautiful country for a few years. I am Croatian so I try and to incorporate our costumes as much Chaz’s I can so that we can continue traditions that I got to grow up with! Thank you for sharing your wonderfully story!

  5. That’s given me a better understanding of how my mum felt when she emigrated to Australia from the UK for work. After just a couple of years she sounded Australian, and I’m sure that when she came home to the UK, it was most definitely one of her homes.

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