15 years ago today

If you are new around here (and didn’t read the sidebar information carefully), you might have missed the fact that I am originally from Germany, but have lived in California for a long time now.  

15 years (give or take a few months during visa renewals and such) to be exact.

Well, 15 years ago today I landed in California for the first time to spend 6 months as an exchange student at an American university and I had no idea that this decision would end up being the biggest life changing decision of my life. Because what was supposed to be a 6 month stint turned into years…and I’M STILL HERE.

I’ve written about my story how I ended up in the US before (you can read about it here) and I still have days where it’s utterly mind-boggling to me that I made that leap and that I am living my life abroad.

I was a very shy and timid kid and nobody – least of all me – would have thought that I would ever take off on an adventure like that. Nobody would have bat an eye, if my (fraternal) twin sister, who used to be – and still is –  so much more extroverted and outgoing than me, had done that, but guess where she lives now? In our hometown, 15 minutes from my parents’ house. Go figure.

This is no judgmental statement or anything. I am just stating the facts and marvel at the surprise factor of life’s unexpected twists and turns. If I have learned one thing in my life, it’s that you can’t predict, foresee, or plan anything with certainty, period.

When I met J, he actually planned to move to Germany with me after college. He was taking German classes when I met him (independent from me) and I was thrilled that he was willing to move overseas with me (not everybody would be up for that!), but life had other plans for us and we ended up staying in the US. (It’s a long story.) I am not going to lie though, moving back to Germany has always been a possibility in the back of our minds (especially with Trump as a potential candidate for the presidency – haha. No seriously!), but for now, we’re not going anywhere.

The truth is: As much as I miss my family and friends back home (I won’t lie about that and there are days when it’s extra-extra-tough), I love living here. I love being able to spend a weekend in San Francisco or Lake Tahoe, because they’re both just a 2-hour drive away. I love the hot summers and moderate winters. I love my job. I love our house. I love our Californian life. All these years of living here do that to you.

15 years.

1,5 decades.

Wait. When did I get this old?

  1. Wow San, 15 years! Sometimes I forget that I’ve been in the US for ten years already too. Hey, we’re not getting older, it’s just that time is flying, haha. After all these years, I’m still not sure where I’d rather live, here or in Germany. Both have pros and cons for sure, and we’re just trying to make the best out of being a bi-cultural family and embracing the best of both worlds.

    I am really curious as to what made both of you decide to stay in CA after your initial plans to move to Germany? I of course completely understand if you don’t want to share your reasons on your blog :)

    1. Yeah, both countries definitely have pros and cons and it would be hard to leave… but it’s also hard to stay. ;)

  2. Haha, the fact you used a comma instead of a period when saying 1.5 decades proves you can take the girl out of Germany but you can’t take the Germany out of the girl! ;)

    Congrats on your Ameriversary!! :)

    1. Ha! You think I would know better by now… but that was totally subconscious! :)

  3. 15 Years….. wow, time sure flies!
    Oh well, it’s been already over nine years for me….
    I totally understand your thoughts – for now, California is the place to live for us, but I would never say Never to the possibility of moving back…. or even somewhere else.

    1. I am so glad we got to know each other, too! :)

  4. Wow, 15 years. That is nuts! And how interesting that you were the twin that ended up making that big life move while the more extroverted one is still back in your home town! Life is full of surprises! I know that living far from family is really tough but I’m glad that you love where you live as it makes being far from family just a *little* bit less difficult. I can see why you love where you live, though, as there is so much to do and see in your neck of the woods! I’m envious of all the things you can see that are driving distance away. I love Minneapolis and Minnesota but things are SO SPREAD OUT in the midwest so there really isn’t much that we do/see that is driving distance away. And there are no national parks close to us. But there’s other benefits to living here and this is home for us. I’m just grateful that we have the means to travel by air.

    1. Yes, IT’S NUTS. Haha. Life is definitely full of surprises. One of these days, I want to explore the area where you live some more. I have heard good things about Minneapolis.

  5. You moved here when you were like 14, right? So, that makes you 29 now, yes? I thought so. ;)

    I was thisclose to doing a student exchange program to Germany during my sophomore year of high school (my Mom insisted that getting braces in the US was more important, a fact I still disagree with), and thisclose to going to Russia for a semester my junior year (except, then their economy completely collapsed and the program I was signed up with cancelled all exchanges). I have yet to see Germany OR Russia, or Europe, actually, and I am itching to go!


    1. I <3 you and I like how you did the math... haha :)

      I really hope you can go to Europe sometime. It's worth a trip!

  6. WOW. That’s crazy, I had to go back & read the story of how you moved here in the first place, ’cause I’m still fairly new here. ;)

    I would be so interested to hear about 9/11 from your perspective, you’d have been here 2 days by that point & then there is a major terrorist attack.

    I’m an East Coast gal, I think California is so beautiful, but every time I’ve visited it just doesn’t feel quite right. But, glad you made it, and found a home. Choices like that are so crazy. How one big leap of faith changes your whole life trajectory.

    1. I’ve gotten that question about 9/11 a few times… I think I might have to write about it sometime :)

      I love the East Coast as well.. but yeah, it’s very different.

  7. That’s amazing. Love that you’ve been here for so long, unexpectedly!

    Can I come to Germany with you if he’s elected? Smh…

    1. Thank you. And yes, I can definitely take you to Germany with me if the clown wins… :D

  8. That is such a huge change! But it sounds like it’s obviously a good one for you! I really admire you for making that move. I have always wanted to move somewhere…mainly to California, but my family would have a fit! I almost moved to another state just two hours away after college and you would have thought it was the end of the world. LOL So, I can only image how they would feel if I moved across the country! Someday I will live at a beach though!

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