My Germany bucket list

Once again, I’ll be traveling home soon and I have a bucket list of things to do when I am there.  Everyone does have such a list, right?

Since I haven’t been home in two years (gasp!), my list is long, but again doesn’t include much out of the ordinary, unless you count being able to attend a wedding AND a communion during ONE visit out of the ordinary (which I guess it is).

However, visiting home usually includes mostly just simple things that most people take for granted and that I miss out on by living so far away from family and friends. So, I soak them up whenever I can.

This time around I am looking forward to…

… spending time with my niece and nephew (and the rest of the family)

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

… spending time with my best friend

I told you about my best friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2008. She’s been through so much through those 11 years and I just wish she’d get some relief already.

After her last treatment over a year ago, she developed trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic pain condition of the trigeminal nerve of the face, and even though her tumor has been in remission, she’s has been dealing with this severe nerve pain since then. She just can’t catch a break, it seems, but I hope that I can cheer her up some.

… attending one of my best friends’ wedding

I am so stoked that I’ll be able to attend one of my best friend’s wedding during my visit. I’ve missed so many weddings and events by living so far away, so it’s really a strike of luck that this worked out.

… my nephew’s first communion.

Last time I visited for my niece’s first communion, so of course I had to make sure that I am there for my nephew’s as well. So glad I could make this happen.

… 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!) , and white asparagus (it’s asparagus season in Germany!).

… walking with my Mom

My Mom has been getting into a regular morning walk routine since I last visited and I am looking forward to joining her on one (or many) of her walks!

… going  for a run with my cousin (and maybe my sister?)

I haven’t brought it up with them yet, but I hope they realize that I’ll be expecting them to run  with me while I am there.

… working out with my Dad

As you know, my Dad is a retired P.E. teacher, but he still keeps active by playing tennis, golfing, and going to the gym a few times per week. One of my favorite things to do when I visit is join him for a workout. I’d do that all the time if we lived closer.

… having  a heart-to-heart with my sister

One of the things I miss most  is being able to just hang out with my sister and talk about everything. Of course, we talk on the phone and we always  know what is going on in each other’s lives, but it’s not the same as talking in person and sometimes life is busy and we don’t get to talk and share stuff as much I’d like to. 

… seeing an old friend from high school

I won’t have much time to see a lot of people during my visit because of family commitments, but I’ve been Whatsapp-ing with one of my old high school friends recently and I hope I can see her for coffee or something.

… having brunch with a friend in Köln

I will probably meet up with one of my longest, dearest friends  in Cologne again and get to spend some time in my favorite city. Win-win.

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

The list of things I shop for and bring back to the US when I visit Germany has become shorter over the years, but there are a still a few things that I always have to get on my visits. That’s normal, right?

This is only a partial list of  what I want to do and I know there will be things that I won’t be able to fit in; again. But hey, I am always, always grateful for the time that I do get to spend back home.

How far away is home for you?

  1. So excited for you – and a bit jealous…. I want Mettbroetchen !!!! :)

    1. Daaaanke! Ich ess ein Mettbrötchen für dich mit :)

  2. This sounds like a trip that will be so good for the heart and soul! I hope you have an amazing time with your loved ones!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Katie!

  3. You have a wonderful list here and I’m sure your heart will be filled with the brim when you get to experience all of it!

    1. That’s for sure!! Thanks friend!

  4. Making lists like these before you go helps so much with prioritizing… and is so much easier to do when you’re still in the US and can think very clearly of all these things! Sounds like it will be such a great trip! I miss walks with my mom as well – really looking forward to those this summer :) I’d be really interesting to know what’s on your shopping list to bring back to the US from Germany! I have started a similar one, but conversely, things to bring back to CZ from the US.

    1. I know you can relate to these kinds of bucket lists! Maybe I’ll post about the things I brought back when I return :)

  5. This to-do list looks so lovely! Lots of family time & friend time & good food. <3 I'm so glad you get to be there for your nephew's communion and your friend's wedding! How special!

    1. Thanks friend. It really worked out well this time.

  6. Home is only two hours away. Cape Cod. But, I love Germany and all the wonderful foods! Recently I was in Florida near a true German Butcher Shop and Grocery. I bought so much and froze things, placed them in a lunch bag size cooler and carried them back to New Hampshire. You just cannot get Klosterbrot or Leberkäse here! And this was the real deal!
    Have a wonderful trip!

    1. Thanks Maribeth! I know you appreciate the German food as much as I do :)

  7. Enjoy your time in Germany.
    And: give the Dom a bug hug from me ;)
    Sounds silly, but I do that each time I fly to Cologne. I guess I am a “Dom-hugger”.
    Family time is always a good time spent.
    Have fun!!!

    1. Oh, I will most definitely hug the Dom!! <3

  8. I’m so glad you are able to go home and visit – and attending a communion AND a wedding? How fun!! I’m so sorry to hear about your friend whose been dealing with all sorts of medical issues. She really can’t catch a break! I’m glad you’ll be able to see her and spend some time together.


    1. Thank you Lauren. I am trying to soak it all up!

  9. Such a good idea to come up with a bucket list so you can prioritize your time at home. There’s always sooo much to do when you visit home after being away for so long. With a list like this you can make sure you are focusing on the things that will bring you the most joy. I’m glad you’ll be able to attend a First Communion and a wedding during your trip home! What luck!

    Home is about 3 hours way from me. The place I think of as “home” is not where I grew up, though. I grew up in a town in North Dakota that is about 4 hours away, but I never go there. Instead we gather at my parents lake home. My parents sold the home I grew up in last summer so there’s even less of a reason for me to go back there now. It’s kind of unique to have “home” be a place that is sort of new to our family as my parents built their lake home about 5-6 years ago. But we grew up going to this lake every weekend during my child hood so it’s an area where I have lots of memories!

    I am glad that summer is on the horizon because that is a time of year when I see my parents more often. The drive up to the lake is pretty awful as there is so much traffic so I am going to take some time off so I can spend long weekends up there each month this summer.

  10. So much good stuff! I think many things we crave about home are more precious because we don’t have them all the time. I love that there’s a mix of the tangible and intangible too. I hope you’ll do a pictures post from the trip!

    Home is in Colorado, a long drive from Carolina. Although, Carolina feels like home. Except for my sports teams. I’m loyal to them for life!

  11. Wonderful list San and hope you can cross everything off and fit in even more!
    Enjoy your time

  12. I’m so glad you were able to make it home this year!

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