While getting to know different people through my book, I get asked a common question. “Are you planning to move back to America?” The short answer is no (unless I win the lottery and my grandkids’ grandchildren never have to work). The long answer is a bit more complicated. I do not have plans to move back to America because my life is firmly rooted here in Germany. I could imagine moving to another European country like Greece, but not until I am older. I have actually lived in Europe longer than I lived in America. My whole adult life I have lived somewhere out here in one of the 6 countries I either played or coached. I was a kid when I lived in the states. I moved to Austria when I was 22 years old and have never really looked back. In the year 2000, I even gave up my American citizenship in favor of the Austrian one. That pretty much sealed my fate as a Euro-lifer. If I wanted to move to the states, I would be treated like every other foreign person looking to live there. Kinda weird huh?
What makes me stay in Germany or Europe in general? This is also a complicated answer for an American to understand unless they had lived here before. The short answers are that I have my own family here, I love being able to travel to different cultures in an inexpensive and short amount of time, I love the relatively safe environment (especially for my children), I love my job, I have great friends, the health care and the social benefits systems, in general, is not comparable to America and I could go on and on. I have had many discussions over the years about what makes me stay and I sound like a broken record.
Do I miss America? Yes and no. Mostly I miss the convenience of America. I miss customer service back home (Germans can be quite mean when you go shopping). I miss being able to go to the store at 2 am if I get the munchies. I cannot do that here. I miss some food, but of course, I can order ingredients or things that I miss online (albeit at a much higher cost). I used to miss being able to buy clothes and music, but now those needs are met with the internet. Yes, I miss my family and friends back home, but they all understand that my life is nowhere. None of them are willing to pay my bills and find me a job to support my family so they understand haha. These are not good enough reasons for me to uproot myself and my family to move back to America. The negative reasons far outweigh the positive ones for me! In the end, every person has to do what they feel is right for their situation. I have made my decision and I have never regretted it for an instant.
Thank you for taking the time to read my words!