To the Sea

We’re moving again. The Bavarian chapter is coming to a close, and we’re heading back up north. We don’t know exactly when, but it will be soon after returning from Australia, and just over two years since we moved here in 2012. How was 2012 two years ago? Isn’t it still 2012? How old am I?

Wie die Zeit vergeht. 

Bavaria, particularly the little pocket of it we have inhabited, has played a really important part in all of this, this being the German Adventure (for lack of a better, catchier name). To be perfectly frank, it hasn’t been somewhere we have adored living, indeed it was a transition the both of us found very difficult, culturally, socially, personally. But we drew a lot from our time here, of that I am certain. I feel that, had I not been given the chance to live here, my perceptions of this country and its people would be, naturally, narrower. I certainly wouldn’t know as much about bloody dialects and beer as I do now. As it stands, Weiden in der Oberpfalz offered an entirely different experience to the one I had in Münster, and was on the other end of the comparison scale when it came to life up in Kiel. If I had stuck to the north and the ‘mid-west’ of Germany, I wouldn’t have learnt as much as I have about the country I live in. I would likely have a different understanding of Germany as a whole (which is a very difficult picture to get a hold of, this country is so proudly regional, its people so very much connected to their patches of home).

And, of course, I have also learnt an awful lot about myself, living here. The places we set up camp in, for however long, reveal things about us, about our needs and wants. I will always remember someone telling me each place you live in, peels away a layer, shows you something different about yourself. What you can do, and indeed what you can’t. What you want from a home, what you don’t. What you need in life, in order to find your balance and purpose. As I move through this life, I’m finding the relationships with places are like the ones we have with people. Weiden hasn’t been perfect, at times it has been downright difficult, but it has been important. I will always believe that.

For me, Kiel feels like home here in Germany. I get Kiel and it gets me. It has been like that from the beginning, when I first caught a train up there to meet SG’s home town and Kiel and I connected in the freezing Baltic air. I feel right there, I feel good. I like the northerners, their openness and directness. I like the summers of beaches and strawberries stands everywhere you look. There is a freshness to Kiel, an openness – there’s that word again. I don’t feel contained, hemmed in, like I do down here. As I have learnt, I am not one for landlocked towns, for mountains and hills and lakes. I am one for the sea, and there I have it. Where I have the sea, everything is okay.

We have a magnet on our fridge:20140116_145303

Shall do.

14 thoughts on “To the Sea

  1. Good luck with the move! We have moved from southern Sweden where my husband is from to Northern and you are so right how much you learn about a country by living in different parts. I am really partial the north now and not sure I would ever move back down South!

    1. The regional differences are really quite big, and I am grateful that I have lived in three such different places, because it means I can make the sort of decision as to where I want to live, in a much more informed way. MUST get to Sweden, have only ever been to Goteburg. Being back up north, it’s not so far away!

    1. Ha, how cute! Are you here with the US military? I have enjoyed living in Bavaria too, and really getting to know the state and the regions and their people. The Oberpfälzer people have been so friendly. But ultimately, I simply feel more connected to the north. That being said, am very glad we got the chance to live here and see what it’s about.

    1. Defffinitely feel better as a person when I am up there, more things fall into place – professionally and personally. I have taken a lot from our time here in Bayern, but I am ready to move on!

  2. Ah cool! I do find the northern Germans way friendlier (and easier to understand).

    Maybe I’ll finally visit Kiel sometime and we could go for a Kaffee und Kuchen?

    1. That would be lovely! And I am totally with you on the friendlier and easier to understand thing. The Bavarians are friendly too, they say hi in the street, and like having a chat. But the northerners are friendly in their own way – and have wicked senses of humour.

  3. As always, I enjoy your posts as much as I can ever remember enjoying anything I have ever read, I mean this sincerely, because your style is so easy and unpretentious, it is like a conversation with someone I have known forever. You manage to share important content, while never being obtrusive, Your audience feels comfortable with you and affectionate for you. A beautiful literary skill, which comes from your heart.

    I wish all of the best on your vacation, have a blast in summer. And I know you will do well in your new place. You guys are a great team.

    Via Con Dios,

    Michael

  4. I just found your blog, which was featured on thelocal.de and I have to say, so much of your content is hilarious and quite true about my experiences with Germany too.

    The oberpfalz or the Upper Palatinate is an interesting area to live. Best of luck on your move.

  5. Yay, I need that fridge magnet…
    Glad you like our little Fischkopptown the best, I will make sure to proudly mention it when I go other places…. If I happen to run into you somewhere, maybe at the Seebar or Holtenauer or Falkensteiner Stand, I’ll say hello 🙂
    welcome back!

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