"So, how is it to be back in Germany...?"

Good evening everybody!


This is hands down the question that I have heard almost every single day these past six weeks in which I've been back. I can't blame anyone and it's really nice so many care - but it is really hard to put in words. When I went to study abroad for the first time in 2011 in Japan it was really hard to leave - but somehow, time passed and I was back home with all my loved ones. This time was the same, just the other way around: It was easier to leave -since I already knew what kind of experience it is to study abroad in Japan/Asia- but coming back was somehow harder. The first month, my head was just spinning in every direction but home. I was happy to be back home, but somehow, I didn't really feel like myself. I guess that happens quite a lot. After all, I was away for almost 1 1/2 years with just short stays in between and I have to say - you really get used to travelling through the world (very sick of it, too.) I was longing for nothing more than a stable home, a place, where I can unpack and don't have to put all my belongings in a suitcase and leave after several months. This master course was probably the most stressful time in my entire life - breaking off with a "life" in three different countries after just five months each was HARD. SO HARD. And no one really understood that, so that was hard too. Don't get me wrong; it was incredibly useful for my studies, I learnt a lot, my Japanese is basically at fluent level and I have met incredible people. Nonetheless, I wouldn't do it again. I'm just at the end with my own strength and I need a place where I belong.

So, how have I been? It took about six weeks until my life felt real again. Just recently I didn't have that awkward "where am I and what am I doing here" feeling. And it feels amazing. In the last weeks, I've been incredibly busy - trying to avoid to write my Japanese thesis- meeting long missed friends, exploring the city I left a long time ago (and realize nothing is how I left it.) Berlin is great; I have always loved Berlin because it's such a vibrant yet not as hectic city. I've been super social (exhaustingly so; I actually needed a break after 2 weeks of nonstop meeting people!) and had amazing food. SO MUCH FOOD. Want more details? Here you go.


  1   First picture with Niko after....uhm..two...three....years?!?!? (Crazy, I know. Hence the awkward faces.)

  2   Pear + dark chocolate crêpe after a night out with friends at the other end of Berlin :p

  3   Meeting my newborn nephew Noah for the very first time! He is four months now and such a cutie!

  4   Blogger meeting with the lovely Moi Sanom! (also at the other side of Berlin..girl you need to move closer.)

  5   My good old friend Jasmina had birthday at the end of January! Despite being super jetlagged, I made it.

  6   Being nostalic; eating my favorite lunch when I still studied at Humboldt University - the best california rolls in the whole city.

 7  Was able to meet Misaki again; she has been in Berlin the first time in 2009 when I just started to study Japanese and just studied abroad in Germany! So great to see her after all those years.

 8  Brunching at Hotel Adlon; the most fancy hotel in town. I had lots of champagne (all you can drink!), amazing smoked salmon, chocolate croissants, mozzarella, veggies, couscous... EVERYTHING. It was my boyfriend's mother's Christmas present to me and him. ^___^

  9   Silly faces with Niko. Because we can.

 10  Still brunching at hotel Adlon.

 11  Meeting fellow students of my master's program who came to visit me in Berlin; meet Yôji and Misato!

 12  My best friend from Japan, Yuka, came all the way from Bonn to Berlin to visit me before she left the week after for Japan again. It was SO great to see her again, I missed her!! <3


Bonus picture:


All in all, I've been a pretty social bee these past weeks (this is just the tip of the social iceberg!), have been to several doctors, getting my skin checked, working at my thesis, trying to find a job, trying to find a job a little bit harder, going (window) shopping, finally drinking my favorite cherry beer again and eating ALL the food I missed! (mainly cheese, I'll admit.) So, in short: I've been doing well. Thank you all. :)

Edit: Forgot to mention reverse culture shock. REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK EVERYWHERE. The first time I entered the German underground, I couldn't believe at how small, old, dirty and slow it was. Like, wow. Such a huge difference. I am already missing Japanese punctuality when it comes to trains.... D:

Have a nice start into the week and don't forget to join my giveaway if you haven't already :)
Hope y'all have a nice start into the week!
Lots of love,

Sam

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