I just got back from a two week vacation in the US, where I visited my family in SC and friends in Baltimore and Philly.
And while the people make it feel like home, I find that I relate less and less to an American lifestyle–and that American things have become almost like novelties.
When I’m in the US, I long for simple activities like walking, biking, enjoying coffee in a small cafe or relaxing with a bottle of wine by the river. At the same time, I’m mesmerized by all the mass-produced things that we seemingly don’t need.
It always takes me a few days to remember how to socially interact with people. Americans (especially in the South) acknowledge each other and speak to each other more than (in my experience) Germans do. I miss these random passing conversations; I try to take a little bit of that back with me (even if my comments to strangers are met with blank stares).
So there’s a lot of introspection and observation when I go back to the states. But there’s also so much love.
It felt like home to have summer evening dinners on the porch with my family.
It felt like home to go to an Orioles game.
It felt like home to spend the night with old friends.
It felt like home to be back in cities where I spent most of my life.
Even though it’s hard for me to call one place “home”, and it’s hard to explain how I feel, I find the quote “home is exactly where you are” does it perfectly.