Calling two places your home is both a blessing and a curse. You have your roots and you have your wings and they seem to be at constant war. But there is such a thing as balance, I am sure.

The greatest challenge of moving to another country

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

 

Best hiking roots in South West Germany

Most beautiful hiking destinations in the BlackforestHiking down lonely paths in the Blackforest drinking in the beauty of natureConsidering two places home is a privilege and a burden alike. In German there is a word called “Heimat” which is a word for the home that you come from, the place where you grew up, where your roots are. It is different from the home you have chosen for the current time, the home where you live.

I think roots are important. Knowing them, reflecting about them helps you understand yourself, your values and culture, it helps you realise why you see the world the way you do. Roots ground you, they give you footing. I also believe that branches are important, that widening your horizon, looking beyond is hugely beneficial. I have grown so much by moving to a different country, learning about a different culture and etiquette, history and politics and how it is all connected. It also has helped me to contemplate my own origins with some distance and I am now able to take the best of two worlds – German directness paired with British politeness has been an wonderfully useful tool for all kinds of situations. German inventiveness added to British sense of humour makes life more fun. And German efficiency combined with the British motto of ‘keep calm and drink tea’ makes for a great work ethic.

Home away from home

Home away from homeNo place more beautiful than my mother's gardenAnd yet there is also a sense of being pulled in two directions. Of searching and still not finding balance, to keep in touch with my roots but also to branch out. To be fully in one place and not with one foot here and another there.

But I am learnig. And I enjoy the opportunities of breaks I can take when things get tough or I get stuck in a rut. So the last ten days I spent in Germany were so needed and so soothing for my soul, mind and body. Cuddles with my baby nephew, walks with my mum, runs with my dad, so many interesting and deep conversations, deep belly-laughter, times with friends and so so much green around.

I feel revitalised and excited to be back in my other home. As always it is bittersweet but I am grateful. Two homes is more privilege than burden, after all.

Take a beautiful stroll along the river Rhine whilst taking in all the sights in Basel

Most beautiful spots in Basel Switzerland

Most beautiful destinations in Basel

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply Tania Potter - Soul Sense Coaching May 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I love that there is a special word in German for the home that you come from. I hadn’t really thought of it but it’s so true. I may be living in South Africa but my roots are without a doubt, Zimbabwean!

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus May 15, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Your right it is important to stay grounded in your roots but like you said it can be difficult when you have to move to another country which most likely has different values. Creating a balance between the two should help x

  • Reply five little doves May 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm

    Gosh, what a challenge that must be! I have never even moved from the town I was born in, let alone to a different country! I am very much a home bird and the thought of leaving fills me with fear. I admire those who do though!

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Well I think being a home bird is great in many ways. I always found it so interesting to speak to people who know an area really, really well as their families have lived there for generations. Really precious!

  • Reply Diane Hoffmaster May 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    What absolutely beautiful photos. I can’t imagine living in another country. I have visited a few other countries before and that is stressful enough for me!

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Thank you!
      Haha yes it can be stressful but I am sure you would get used to it!

  • Reply kathryn Maher May 15, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Its nice that you get to go home to the place where you grew up and spend time there with your family. However , speaking as someone who has lived in many different places I think having the ability to leave your hometown and build a life somewhere else that you can also call “Home” is a very character building thing to do.

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:37 am

      It is for sure!

  • Reply Prateek Goel May 16, 2017 at 6:39 am

    You photographs are great!! I always love to work abroad and at the same time I’m aware of difficulties to work abroad.
    You are right about roots.. where you born and the culture you gain will shows about you.
    It is good to know about Germans and british thinking.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Thanks for the kind words!

  • Reply Ravi May 16, 2017 at 8:35 am

    It looks like Germany and Britain complement each other from this post in many ways:).. Nice green pictures and the architecture looks good..!

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Yes I think they do!

  • Reply Elena May 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

    There is another saying “Home is where the heart is”. So you can have many places which you can call home, at least I know I have.

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

      So true!

  • Reply Elizabeth O. May 16, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    I often traveled for work but I have never experienced moving to a different country. I can imagine the challenges and the issues that you might face especially when you speak a different language.

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:36 am

      Yeah living in a different language context is definitely a challenge sometimes but I do enjoy it 🙂

  • Reply lex May 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    always a wonderful feeling to experience various places and feel the nature and warmth that comes with them all, the quote above the post says alot, we should just enjoy the experience while it lasts as that the best feeling we cna have, sometime we miss one place and next we miss the other. btw you have a great blog here and your picture are so clean and good.

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Thank you for the compliment – that means a lot to me!

  • Reply Kristen May 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I could only imagine what it is like to live in another country. I live in the same state that I grew up in so I do not have to deal with the separation from family. But I like the thought you bring out about keeping in touch with your roots while still branching out. I think everyone expereinces this from childhood to adulthood. Getting married and having children, I like to maintain the connection with my family but also branch out and create my own path as a mother and wife!

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:35 am

      Yes that is so true – the balance of both growing and being rooted is a very normal challenge of growing up.

  • Reply Rahul Khurana May 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Hi, Britta. it’s true that we should aways be rooted to our homeplace and where we belong to or come from. It takes time to adjust to a new place. So you have two homes now and I am sure Britain is as nice as Germany. 🙂

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:34 am

      Haha ugh I am not sure if it is quite as nice! Haha. But I do definitely love it here as well!

  • Reply Eloise May 17, 2017 at 8:31 pm

    well your photos are amazing! ! want to go visit there some day! I moved to another country when I was 3 yrs old with my mom, grandma, and older brother… I remember the challenges and how scared I was (I didn’t know the English language and felt lost when spoken to!)
    I’m glad you got to visit back with your family to find a little more balance and to find strength and love… There’s ups and downs to having two homes 🙂

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:33 am

      You should definitely visit it is such a beautiful area! There is a lot of cute places to discover 🙂
      And wow, that must have been confusing at that age! What is your first language?

  • Reply Dana Vento May 18, 2017 at 4:45 am

    I like those places. Its really refreshing and relaxing in the eyes.

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

      I know, right? The green of trees is so soothing!

  • Reply Christine Anne May 19, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    I love this Britta. I admire your courage in doing so! I’ve considered moving out of state, I mean I don’t really have anything tying me down to California but I know I’d be extremely home-sick. I’ve never been more than a 30 minute drive from my family. LOL That’s a bit extreme, I know but I really do admire you and all that you’re doing.

    Like you mentioned, having two places to call home is definitely a privilege – that’s two more than some people are ever able to have.

    Lovely post, thanks for sharing!

    ♡ Christine Anne
    A Blueberry Girl

    • Reply Britta May 24, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Thank you for your kind words Christine! Yes home-sickness does happen but luckily flights to Germany aren’t too expensive so I can go and see the family every now and then which is always really nice.

  • Reply Dealman June 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Good post and everyone read, very difficult when you have to move to another country which most likely has different values and many more.

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