It is getting to the end of my semester break in Germany, with school starting up on April 16th. During my break I have done lots of traveling, from going to Spain and Morocco in February to going to Scotland, Switzerland, and Greece in March. The last trip I had planned for this break was going back to the United States to visit family and friends while also getting to celebrate my 21st birthday in Las Vegas, and that is exactly what I have been doing the last two weeks of my time here in the US. I want to talk about my time here, but also think about what has changed and what has not changed since I have been living in Germany for the past eight months.
Arriving back in Los Angeles was an exciting moment for me, but at the same time strange. I was able to see family and friends which I haven’t seen in a very long time. But it has also been a while since I have seen them, and I have changed much as a person since I left. My parents picked me up from the airport and once I got home my own dog Biscuit would not approach me, he seemed more reserved and very scared all the time, something that he wasn’t 8 months earlier. Also, my other dog Coco died in October, so the house felt more empty, and also had a huge psychological effect on Biscuit which is why he became who he is now.
Concerning jetlag, it was not as bad as I have had to deal with in the past. The first couple days I got up very early in the morning but slept at a normal time every night so I recovered fast.
The next few days I was with friends and family in Murrieta who I haven’t seen in a while. I was missing Germany very much, but overall it was good to see some family and good friends who I have wanted to see in a while. While yes I have changed and become more mature, the people around me did not seem much different to my surprise. Things felt like old times a bit, in a good way at least.
The highlight of my time home was when I went to visit Las Vegas to celebrate my 21st birthday with my family. We stayed at the Rio hotel and was able to get a suite upgrade for my stay there. the views from the room were absolutely spectacular, you could see the whole strip from our suite high up on the 35th floor of the hotel. The strip is always a good time to walk around and once I turned 21 it became that much better. The first slot machine I played I ended up walking away with $75 more than what I started with (not bad for a first time huh?). After that I never gambled, because I knew that I would need that money for future purposes. And of course the food in Las Vegas is always so good, if you have not been to Vegas I highly recommend you do so.
The last big part of my trip home is when I went to San Diego to see my old home and university. I did know how I would feel coming back after so long, and really the end result was not so surprising.
I was very excited to be back in San Diego, I missed the city itself as San Diego is still one of the prettiest cities I have ever visited. I went to Sunset Cliffs, La Jolla, and Shelter Island while I was there to take in the beauty of the city. The food is also something I really missed. For instance, I went to Wings N Things (my favorite wing spot in the world) and I got ramen on Convoy Street which are places I have craved for so long.
The most important part of this trip to San Diego was exploring the university and my thoughts concerning it. While at first I was super excited to be back at state, the longer I was there the more it did not feel like my university anymore. I was gone for so long, and have been living in Europe for most of the year that to me it doesn’t seem the same anymore as it used to be.
I do miss the fantastic weather of San Diego and the city itself is amazing, but overall I believe Germany is the better place for me to be. I feel more at home there and I have a stronger desire to perfect my German. I am currently in the works with SDSU and the University of Ulm to set up where I can stay in Germany for another year, and most likely this will come to work out. If it does work out I will stay in Germany for another year, taking math courses and getting closer to perfecting my German (to the point of almost being graduated with two degrees), but if not I will return to San Diego for the next school year. I am assured after visiting San Diego again this is the direction I want to pursue and I’m thankful I was given the opportunity to come back to make sure my decision was the right choice.
I fly back to Germany on Tuesday, April 10th and look forward to beginning my second semester in Ulm.