I have been in Kiel now for a year. That’s a long time in a city that has little to offer. I have to admit, after three years in Vancouver (Vancouver part 1 , part 2 , part 3 ) it’s of course difficult for any other city to compete with the most beautiful city in the world.
I’ve spent a lot of time with my sister and my two nephews in the last year and I enjoyed my time with them a lot. Also, two wonderful friends who I’ve met here, Sophie und Lisa, made the last year more bearable.
Nature Deficit Disorder
I could live with a lack of culinary and cultural offers. But after I read “Last child in the woods” by Richard Louv, I realized what is most important to me: Nature. Being close to wild nature.
And I realized that I had a nature deficit since I live in Kiel!
I am longing for forests and mountains, warm climate and small islands in the sea.
I have to get out of here. Off to new shores of diversity, individuality, vastness, wild nature. I miss the feeling to be careful and cautious when walking through the forest because a bear or a cougar could be around.
It is hard for me to not book a flight to Vancouver right now and spend some time there 😉
When I had to go back to Germany more than a year ago, I gave up and told myself, “Ok, that’s a sign of the universe that you should try and give Germany or Europe a chance”. I’ve tried, dear Kiel. But I reached a point where I almost hate living here. Unfortunately, this also applies to the rest of Germany … so where should I go?
I’ve learned from my Ireland experience last year. So I will travel to a few European countries and have a closer look (Switzerland/July, Sweden/August, Norway/September and the Netherlands/October) and then decide where to go. I’ll keep you posted 😉
Complaining about first word problems
Each country has its advantages and disadvantages. The question is: What is important to me personally?
In Germany I have 30 days of paid vacation and almost an unlimited number of sick days and I still get paid. In Canada there are only 10 days paid holiday and max. 3 paid sick days.
But people in Canada are more positive, kind and helpful. The everyday attitude in Germany is characterized by persistent complaints and grumbling.
There have already been many days when I wished we had Canadian work conditions, when 5-6 out of 10 of our team called in sick again. Week after week. And still get paid full salary.
And then complain about the difficult working conditions that they partially also caused due to their constant absence.
That makes me think “complaining about first world problems”. And sometimes I catch myself that I’m doing the same and I’m angry at myself. I don’t want to be like that.
German, European or World Citizen?
My family used to go to Southern France every year for a vacation. Now and then to Spain. We went on short trips to Holland, Belgium or the Black Forest.
We spent one summer holiday in Austria. After a week my parents were sick and tired of mountains and lakes, so we packed our stuff and drove to … Southern France.
Our class trip in grade 11 was to Florence.
We always went to Luxembourg for buying gas, alcohol, cigarettes and coffee. The godmother of my brother lives in France, close to the border of Luxembourg.
Driving to or through Luxembourg have always given me a holiday feeling: The streetlights in the typical yellow-orange light like in France, the menus in front of the restaurants in French language, and people speaking Luxembourgish during the typical Sunday walk around Echternacher Lake.
Apart from the annual holidays abroad, it was always an integral part of my everyday life to cross borders and to experience other cultures.
Once we were asked at school how we see ourselves: As Germans, Europeans or World Citizens?
I said: European.
I guess that was because of the proximity to the Luxembourgish (20 min), French (60 min) and Belgian (50 min) border.
My 6 months in New Zealand and 3 years in Canada were very intense and have changed me.
I don’t know any more what country I belong to.
Today my answer would probably be: I am a World Citizen.
When dreams show you the way
A few weeks after I moved to Kiel, I had a dream:
I was swimming in the ocean, behind me the red brick harbor walls and I felt fine. Beneath me, in the depths, I suddenly discovered a white stream of rushing water. Gray clouds suddenly covered the sky, a storm was rising. The water was stirred up and I had to fight with the ever-increasing waves. I knew there were only two options in this situation: Either I descended into the white stream that would pull me to the open sea or I swam back to the safe shore. I swam back. My fear of the unknown, the dangers and risks that I maybe could expect in the open sea, were overwhelming to me.
This dream was so intense because it led me to the depths of my subconscious mind. I was not ready to go back out into the world and sought safety instead.
Now, one year later I am ready. I visualize a boat I am sitting in. A boat that keeps me safe when the waves are rolling high. A boat where I can sleep when my arms are tired of rowing.
The boat is my safety that I need to strike out in a new direction.
When I go for a run, I jog down to the water, look at the place that leads to the open sea and visualize how I row towards the strait. With powerful moves, self-confident and reassured, combative like the knight of the swords, who showed me the path in my Tarot Cards many times in the past year.