Last week marked 4 years since my arrival in Germany.  Time which feels to have flown by at the speed of light, although at the same time my life before I moved here also feels so long ago.  Living abroad has brought me so many wonderful things: meeting the man I now call my husband, new friends, Miss Hazel Blue, travels throughout Europe, a reignited passion for my photography work, a new language…  But it also has so many challenges: being SO far from people you love, losing touch with friends back home, missing big, important events in the lives of family and friends.   Both lists go on and on.  As much as I love this country and this crazy city I call home, part of me always is back home in California.  This strange sense of feeling conflicted can be so confusing, and after long conversations with fellow expat friends, it is nice to know that we all seem to feel that way.  It seems the easy answer to all my worries is to find a way to split my time between California and Berlin, although financially and logistically, I am still sorting out how to make that a reality.  Anyone want to help me figure that out?

This image was taken from my old office window a few days after I arrived in the Black Forest.  My first home in Germany was in a teeny tiny farm village on the Rhine river, where I spent a month living in a basement apartment and the air in the town was stained with manure from the freshly fertilized crops.  Needless to say, it was not exactly the warmest of welcomes, but I did find an amazing flammkuchen restaurant in this tiny village which won me over (and I quickly found my own apartment in a neighboring city), and slowly but surely I fell in love with Germany.