Having had the privilege of having lived in Central Europe for quite some time, some days I cannot help but look back and reminisce with a sense of nostalgia for days long gone. So, dwelling further, I was intrigued to find out what it is I am really reminiscent about, and here it is:
Although I could miss Germany/Europe, I don’t miss it the way I lived it…I am now grateful to:
-have my own house, generous backyard with privacy for enjoying anything, hosting parties, eating dinners, suntanning, doing yoga, working on my computer from a lounge chair in my "outdoor office"
-I don’t miss the drunken voices outside my window yelling at all times
-I don’t miss not having any privacy or sense of ownership, knowing that the "hausmeisters" are watching you, just waiting for that one time when you will slip up and forget to sort out your recycling properly
-although I do not meet the people often, if and when I do meet, it’s the people I really want to see and spend time with…ones who know me well and we have a fantastic connection, can relate to each other on many levels, have fun, without the language or cultural barrier.
-I love the big, wild, open spaces-and easily being able to reach them-unlike Europe.
The bottom like is, both places have their advantages. It can be very interesting to discover all the small town of Germany, especially if you are camping, knowing that there are always things around to see and do, but on the same token it can get weary knowing that everything is so dense, built up, with people everywhere like ants...and at times when what you are seeking is a connection with nature and solitude, that may not be all that conducive.
I absolutely adore some aspects of European life, BUT I’ve come to believe that to truly enjoy it, one would have to be a couple (or a young adult looking to party non-stop and have a good time, some casual encounters- that’s pretty easy to do there too, and you would have an amazing time, as it is far easier to find someone who just wants to party with you, go out and drink, rather than someone to relate to you on a more meaningful level, share your interests, and so on). However, Europe, although as an undertone, suggests to be best viewed as a couple. All the apartments come furnished for a size of 2 or so…the last minute travel deals that would blow your mind to almost anywhere… for two. I am not even going to mention all the cute cafes and intimate restaurants you could have countless dates in and build lasting memories. Another positive-Europe is extremely kid friendly and pretty awesome for travelling with young kids-most of the time, no fare needs to be paid on ground transportation for kids under 7 and the amount of kid-friendly cafes and playgrounds will astonish you.
Overall, while I enjoyed myself immensely and will once in a while become nostalgic for certain parts of the European lifestyle, I much prefer the freedom and ample opportunities that the western world has to offer... Having said that, I am already planning my next vacation to Italy in my mind :)