Vacation is over, real life is beginning again. I’m back home in Freiburg with a nasty cold (thanks to all that blustery English weather), a lot of good memories (sitting around in the kitchen having a Nick Cave sing-along!) and a new-found optimism regarding the future.
I think that moving to England is A Good Thing. I did have a moment of weakness after we arrived in Freiburg last night. We walked home from the train station at about 10:30 at night, and I was struck by how different everything in Freiburg is from Brighton. The center of town was so quiet, so clean and organized, so peaceful - not like the hustle and bustle of Brighton. I had to wonder for a moment if I was really up to living in Brighton. Brighton is not London, but it almost seems like a mini-London. I think of Freiburg as a town. Brighton feels like a city. And I just don’t know if there is a city-dweller in me, or if I am a country bumpkin at heart.
But then I reminded myself that I know Freiburg already. It’s revealed its secrets to me. There’s not really anything left for me to discover, there’s nothing to take me by surprise. It’s a gorgeous town and a lovely place to live, but there’s no stimulation here anymore. I want to take on the challenge of moving to a new city in a new country. I want to test myself. I want to see what happens when you take an American who is used to living in Germany, and you drop her into the middle of life in England. Will she sink or will she swim?
In any case, it will be a learning experience. And even if I only learn something about myself, it will be worth it. In the turmoil of thoughts that having been going through my head the past few weeks, I’ve come to the conclusion that being an expatriate is really a brilliant thing for a self-involved introvert such as myself. Constant exposure to different cultures gives me an endless amount of food for thought regarding who I am and what human beings in general are like. And it gives me a lot of stuff to write about as well.
So I’m off to fill out the visa application form that I got from the British Consulate-General (yipes! - or should I say: blimey!). The process of applying for my “Family Member of an EEA National” visa is bound to produce some fodder for this journal. I’m already cringing at the thought of it.
Wish me luck.