Germany bucket list

Every time I travel back home, I have a bucket list of things to do when I am there. This is totally normal, right? Everybody makes lists like this. Since this is my hometown I am visiting, my list includes nothing much out of ordinary, nostalgic things  (these are by no means tourist-y suggestions, sorry!)… just things I miss out on by living so far away from family and friends and that I am soaking up whenever I am there.

This time around I am looking forward to…


… spending time with my niece and nephew

Duh. I miss my two munchkins and wish we could be together more often.

… spending 24 hours near Munich with my best friend

I intentionally planned a stopover in Munich on my way home because otherwise I wouldn’t have had the chance to see my bff during my visit this time. She’d just been cleared after another tumor check-up, and I am super-excited to hug her and that I will finally have the opportunity to see where she lives now, since I haven’t been able to visit her ever since she moved to Bavaria.

… my niece’s first communion.

It will be an opportunity to spend a whole day with family and family friends, good food and conversation.

… eating all the food

I always have a list of things that I want to eat when I go home, mostly because these things are a) not available in the US or b) homemade by Mama.  Some include “Mettbrötchen” (rolls with freshly minced meat, salt, pepper and onions – OMG!), my Mom’s potato pancakes, all the fresh bread + deli meats (there is a much larger variety than here!) , white asparagus (it’s asparagus season in Germany!) and fresh Sauerkraut.

… sleeping in my childhood room

I love coming home to my parents’ house and sleeping in my childhood bed. It’s almost a little bit of time travel right there.

… going to the downtown market with my Mom on Saturday morning

Not sure why but that is something that I always enjoy during my visits home.

… going  for a run with my cousin

My cousin is a sports buff like me and we’ve talked about that he would like to support my ongoing half marathon training while I am in Germany by joining me for a run, maybe even two. Yes!

… working out with my Dad

When my parents were here for a visit last fall, I took my Dad to my gym for a workout. Now, I am looking forward to working out with him at his gym.

… having  a sleepover at my sister’s house

One of the things I miss most  is being able to just hang out with my sister at her house. I hope we can at least squeeze in one sleepover while I am there (unfortunately, she will be working while I am there.)


… having brunch with a friend in Köln

I won’t have much time to see a lot of people during my short visit this time, but I am glad that one of my dear friends will make time to see me for brunch during the week and that I get to spend some time in my favorite city

… shopping for items to bring back to my US home.

I always have a shopping lists of things to buy and bring back to the US after a visit. It’s usually a mix of candy, licorice, chocolate, tea,  and selected personal hygiene items. Some of these I can’t find in the US and/or they’re outrageously expensive (in comparison).

As always, there are things I’d like to do that I won’t be able to fit in this time, like spending time with a few other people that are dear to me and – as always – more time with family, but that’s ok. I am trying to be more than grateful for the time that I will have back home.

How far away is home for you?

Do you make lists like that every time you visit?


  1. I am a list maker to the extreme! However, I’ve never lived more than an hour and a half from my family, so I don’t really make lists to see them in particular. I can’t wait to read your blogs about your trip (and I hope you take pics of all of that delicious sounding food!). Enjoy!!

    1. Thank you.. posts to follow!

  2. I love making lists like this too to remember all those things I’ve missed so much while away! Mettbroetchen sounds interesting, I would definitely give that a try :) I’d be interested to know what German products you always buy when back home that you can’t get in the U.S.?

    1. You should definitely have some “Mettbrötchen” sometime…. so good! (And I will share more of the things I brought back later!)

  3. Have fun in Germany and enjoy. I am jealous about the bread! (The one thing I REALLY miss the most). The most important thing on my bucket list when I am back in Cologne is giving the Koelner Dom a hug (or at least touch it). Sounds totally crazy but I have to do that!
    I always bring back Chocolates, Coffee and some hygiene items from DM home.
    And Home is where the Dom is! LOL. But also: Home is where your heart is.
    Vell Spass !:)

    1. Bread is one of the things I miss most, too… it’s so hard to find decent bread and even though I’ve been baking my own bread (and quite successfully), it’s never quite the same.

      Of course, hugged/touched the Dom when I was in Cologne <3

      What kind of coffee do you bring back? I usually have a few food items and DM products on my list :)

  4. Home for me is Hawaii. Seems simple enough to get there but I live in South Carolina, and I recently went home after not being there in almost 17 year! Yes, you heard me right. After getting married 12 years ago and having babies, going through several stints of unemployment, etc, it was hard to have funds to travel home. Finally earlier this year, I was able to purchase a ticket (unfortunately I couldn’t take my husband or children) and visit my elderly mother. Because I hadn’t been home in so long, I had a bucket list of things I wanted to eat. I was able to accomplish most of them, so I was happy. Somehow food always seems to be the thing that connects me to home. Hope you have a wonderful trip home!

    1. Oh wow, that was a long time to be away from home!
      I agree on the food aspect of missing home… what did you have when you were back in HI?

  5. I can’t imagine living so far from home. I hope this trip to Germany is everything you want it to be! <3

    1. Thank you, Kate. It was awesome, albeit too short… as always!

  6. Sooo happy to hear your friend is doing well and that you are going to see her!
    I know you’ll enjoy every minute of your trip – can’t wait to hear more about it.

    1. I did enjoy every minute. It felt longer than a week… we made the best of it!

  7. There truly is nothing like going home, and I’m sure it is even more meaningful for you, living so far away from your home and family. Thank you for sharing these touchstones–I hope you get to do all of them!

    1. Thank you, Susie. There definitely is something bittersweet about going home (esp. when you live so far away) and savoring every minute.

  8. So “home” is a weird thing for me to think about. My hometown is not “home” to me anymore because my parents moved most of the furniture from there to the lake home. And I honestly HATED my hometown so I am not sad about this. So I guess “home” is the lake for me now! it’s about 3 hours away and I do not get there as often as I should/would like becuase I HATE DRIVING there. Traffic is so awful getting out of the city so it just makes me cranky. But my sister is living in a town 1.5 hours from the lake this summer as he husband has Air Force training in North Dakota, so my goal is to get there 2 times a month this summer. And I’m hoping she will come down to Minneapolis a couple of times. This weekend we had my bach party which she co-hosted and I got a taste of what it was like to spend time alone with her. We figured out it was the first day we’d spent together, just us 2, since 2007! That sounds crazy but because they live in AZ, when they come home we don’t get alone time together as she’s soaking up family time! Their plan is to eventually move to Minneapolis in 5-10 years when her husband is done with his military service and goes back to the private sector and I can’t wait to for that to happen!

    I do usually put together bucket lists for trips, though! I like having a list but not a schedule as then you can choose what to do each day based on the weather and how you are feeling and such!

    1. my hometown is Sindelfingen, Germany (living in MI). Taking the kids to see Oma and Opa in June, haven’t been home in 1.5 yrs. I always bring a list too, definitely going to eat as many “Eisbecher” as I possibly can as well as a lot of Italian pizza and bread rolls of course. I’m also looking forward to drinking lots of passion fruit and black currant schorle. Can’t wait to take the kids to the Freibad and on train/bus rides, as they only get to ride in the car around here. I’m usually bringing home baking supplies, candy, deo and German books for the kids. :)

      1. Nadine, I see you have a whole list of bucket items yourself when you go home… definitely feel you on some of the juice selection, rolls and Italian pizza! :)

    2. I understand how ‘home’ is a weird concept for you, but I know that you savor every minute you get to spend with your parents and siblings and nieces and nephews! :)

  9. Aw, this just sounds so completely lovely. I hope it is everything you hope for! :)


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