I am at SFO waiting to board my plane to Chicago for Christmas break and of course, me being Eastern German, I am two hours too early. I spent 7 USD on a small bag of M&Ms. 5 more on a small bottle of coke. Walked the terminal five times. Cursed myself for not having packed sleep-aid to calm myself down. And now, thanks to American Airports being fully equipped with WiFi, I can report back live from the scene to you.

The sun is shining although it’s almost Christmas and I am way too warm in my gloves and scarf and coat. The ocean is glittering in the distance and the mountains make me feel like I am in some sort of movie scene. A little bit like I felt exactly four months ago, when I first arrived in this beautiful city by the bay.

When you are about to go abroad, people will tell you how excited they are for you. For having this life-changing experience ahead of you, for having a year that will make you a different person, that will help you grow and change. So, I guess I was waiting for this big BOOM. For the day I wake up, look around and realize that I am a completely different person. But truth is, that hasn’t really happened. I would love to share some very smart words of wisdom, some deep thoughts on how much this time abroad, away from family and friends, way out of my comfort zone has shaped me into a different, smarter, stronger grown-up.

It’s not like nothing happened. I lost my wallet. I fell in love. I travelled. I got a little homesick. I made new friends. Found a new home. Learned to walk really really REALLY steep hills in heels while carrying a big bag. Introduced people to my traditions and was being introduced to new ones in return. Realized that home really isn’t limited to just one place or one person but is a very flexible, bendable term. Began to understand that life never plays out the way you thought it would and that that’s the beauty of it. Being immensely excited for the unknown that is called my future. Learned to be less German about things. But I also realized that some things will probably never change.

I am still afraid of flights. Basically dying a thousand silent deaths right now.

I am still going insanely crazy over the sun shining, every single day. You would think I’d have gotten used to it by now…I haven’t. It still amazes me how I can run around in a T-Shirt in December, it makes me so happy.

I am still dropping things and trip and burn rice while cooking it and run into tables. Getting new bruises every day.

I still love everything about the US. Minus public transport. But, apart from that, everything.

My jokes are still bad. Like, really really bad.

I still tend to doubt my decisions, plans and achievements a lot- gotta work on that in 2014.

Sometimes, I still worry too much. I am in California, for heaven’s sake. Chill and surf!

Still not talking with a California accent. Dammit, when is that gonna happen?!

Still dunno how to drive a car.

Well, the year isn’t over yet so stay tuned. Maybe I’ll have some mind-blowing insights to share for my upcoming 2013 recap post. I just needed to write frantically to keep me distracted from my upcoming flight.

Cheers and save trip to all those of you going home for the holidays!





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