Up until last Thursday it had been 4.5 years since I last saw my Austrian family. A major reason why I decided to move abroad in Europe this year was so that I would be able to visit Austria and visit my grandparents. So finally, after 2 months and a 7 hour train journey I was back in Austria and surrounded by family and familiarity once more.
Ever since moving to Germany I have been struggling with feeling lonely and lost. That’s the thing about moving to a new town, everything is unfamiliar. You can walk down streets and visit places there but they won’t hold any significance or memories and while there is an element of excitement and promise to all of this newness, it can also start to feel quite lonely. My weekend in Austria was exciting to me for many reasons – it was my first holiday since moving to Germany, my first break from work and of course a reunion with family who I hadn’t seen for far too long – but it was also an ability for me to return to a bit of familiarity.
On Friday morning I decided to go for a bit of a walk around my grandparents little village. I didn’t have a destination in mind or any interest in doing or seeing anything in particular but I wanted to go for that walk just so that I could once again go walking without getting lost. For the first time in months I could take a walk and just let my feet take me along the familiar roads. I could relax while taking in all of the sights that held so many memories instead of getting overwhelmed by everything being new. Don’t get me wrong, new is very exciting and it has been good for me to get out of my comfort zone but there’s just something so relaxing about being back where you’re comfortable and can breathe again.
Easter itself was a day full of family time. Another tricky thing about living abroad in an unfamiliar town is spending momentous occasions alone or without family. For the last 18 years I have spent every birthday, Christmas and Easter with my parents and brother so I was dreading spending my first Easter without them and the homesickness that it would bring. I am so glad that I decided to make the journey and spend the long weekend with my extended family instead of spending it with my host family which would just remind me of what I was missing. The weekend still feels like it was all a dream, as though I didn’t actual go to Austria after all so I guess that’s why I decided to write this blog post to reminisce and remind myself of the great time I had and why I decided to come overseas in the first place.
Just like a great dream you don’t want to wake up from, I was not looking forward to returning to Germany when the weekend was over. It was hard to say goodbye despite the fact that I will be back there in a few months. To have to go back to reality, back to work and back to Germany after having the most wonderful weekend surrounded by love and familiarity wasn’t easy. When I walked through the door I was greeted by hugs from the 2 little girls I look after and chocolate treats left on my pillow by the Easter Bunny so most of my worry and disappointment about the weekend being over dissipated immediately. Then it snowed for the first time since I arrived in Germany which was very magical and made me appreciate this incredible adventure I’m on.
I know that this blog post was short and sweet and I’m still not really sure what the point of this post was but it was a thing I did recently that made me very happy and I wanted to share it with you. I know I’m a day late but the Easter Monday holiday has thrown my life schedule way off track and this week has gone by in a blur so I hope you can forgive me for thinking yesterday was Wednesday.