As cheesy as it sounds, I can’t really believe that our last day in Dresden is already here. We’ve spent most of it cleaning, packing, and reminiscing. I can’t help but feel like I should have some feeling of finality or accomplishment, but in honesty I don’t. If anything, I just wish we could stay longer because I feel like I have so much more that I could learn by living in Germany. I’m hoping to study abroad in Erfurt next spring, so if all goes according to plan I’ll be able to spend some more time in Germany. I will be worried about getting homesick, though. I enjoyed my time here very much and I’ll definitely be sad to leave, but this is the first trip I’ve ever been on that left me feeling ultimately glad to go home. I’ve been to Europe several times before, but never for more than two weeks at a time. Living in another country for another month can be pretty exhausting.
In the beginning of the month I felt American tourists taking an extended vacation, processing Germany through an American filter. But over time, we began to live and think like Germans (which I’ve heard from several people is the best indicator of real progress in learning another language, so I’m completely okay with that). It may be a little strange coming back processing America through a German filter.
Learning more about the German culture really helped me appreciate certain aspects of American culture, such as how meals don’t need to take up an entire evening or how almost all restaurants have free Wi-Fi. I’m also really looking forward to seeing the sun again (it was cloudy every day except for our day in Leipzig and today—we’re definitely getting some much needed Vitamin D).
All in all, we had a great trip. We saw beautiful architecture, ate interesting food (not always good food—never, EVER order Pflecke if you value your taste buds), and made new friends. As fun as it was, we’re all looking forward to coming home tomorrow. Bis morgen!