Sometimes I ask myself what and where is home. Having lived in quite some different places throughout the last decade including foreign countries I wonder if I will ever consider a place my real home. Yes, I was born and raised in the Northern German region of Anglia (yes, that is where the angles came from, to found England - together with the saxons) close to the Danish border.
The mentality is rather Nordic, you can hear that already on peoples names, like Petersen, Hansen or Nielsen, also first names are frequently routed in Scandinavia: Such as my own name, Svenja, but also Finja, Finn, Niels, Bjoern, Tjark, Thies or Ole.
The difference is the openness: When students in Scandinavia name their teachers by their first names and make a party out of nearly everything to gather together, the Northern Germans are rather distanced and with an awaiting attitude. I grew up here: Close to the seas, salt water smell in my nose, fighting on the bicycle against strong winds and ever-changing weather, far away from urban areas such as the Ruhr-area around Duisburg, Duesseldorf and Koeln. I loved it. But it is not my home anymore.
I moved to England. My first abroad experience of a 20 year old. I worked in a local pub in the town of Doncaster / South Yorkshire and learned that there is more than the traditional "queens-English" which we learned in school and struggled to understand on school BBC movies and documentaries. I was introduced to the true England: Lovely and warm people, all helpful, sometimes a little bit prejudiced towards Germans ("I usually do not like Germans, but you are a good lass!" -- no problem, though) due to our non-glourious history and always up for a party, a drink or a cup of tea. I have found a handful of awesome friends with whom I am still in touch, even after 8 years!! I loved it. But it is not my home anymore.
Move to Bavaria. Yet, lower (!!) Bavaria. Thought, nothing can happen to me here, at least they speak the same language. It turned out to be terribly mistaken, the cultural clash was big...The language in lower Bavaria can be further away than I thought - never heard words, known words, "strangely" pronounced - and though not realized and different melody. Welcome to Passau! I spend quite some years in that small little town right at the Austrian border. Parteed at Frizz!, studied in the B.I.B., frozen beans at Black bean, running around (not around, but you Passauers, you know what I mean) the Inn, Trivial Pursuit at Wahn'sInns, etc etc. And I loved it. But it is not my home anymore.
I moved to Munich. For work. I worked a lot, I went to parties a lot, I enjoyed the awesome cultural scene, the pure beauty of the city, the mediterranean flair, etc etc. I loved it. But it is not my home anymore.
Back to Flensburg for my Master's study: I had a good time, enjoyed to have my dear family around, but realized almost immediately - it is not my home anymore.
Eventually I moved to the Netherlands. Found work. Found love. Found out about the Dutch culture and the Netherlands. I do not love it that much. But it is my current home.

When I think about home, I think about three different definitions: Home is where I was born. Home is where I live. Home is where my heart is. In this case I have three homes. Flensburg - Eindhoven - and Munich.

Next week I am going to be in the first one - yahoo!!


  1. Very insightful! I have lived in different places...but northern New England will always be my "home"...Our family has been here since the beginning and I always feel very nostalgic about the area. :)

  2. Dear Stacy, thank you so much for visiting me!

    I can understand that you love your home - Even though I have never visited the US yet, nor New England, I am sure it is wonderful! To live on a farm has always been my dream, and I hope one day, I can make it come true... The thing is, I moved so much and learned to love new places that I can call home... I am also nostalgic about my home area as well, but somehow I always feel that it has been my place for almost 20 years, but that I will not live there again.

    Warm regards from cold & rainy Eindhoven