Making This Home
November 8, 2010
Briefly tell us who you are, where you are, and what your blog is about.
I’m American; my husband is German. We split our time between a 480 square foot apartment in Berlin, Germany and – get this – a house made out of hundreds of recycled tires in the Rocky Mountains. We ride our bikes just about anywhere we can, eat our vegetables, fly airplanes, and have an enormous passion for seizing life.
My journals have always documented our adventures. But we just couldn’t keep it all to ourselves. (The love of fun journals, I mean. NOT the jetlag. You really don’t want that!)
Living abroad has completely changed that definition for me. Before you can make a house your home, you have to make your community become your home. You have to love where you live.
I’ve met some really amazing expats in Germany – some are other Americans, some don’t even speak English. We struggle through German lessons and conversations together.
You don’t have to be fluent in the local language to call a place home. You don’t have to completely understand the culture around you to love it. You just have to be open.
At the same time, I have been meeting expats who just ache to get back to where they came from. They hold on so tightly to the world where they came from – to the place where everything was comfortable. I come home feeling drained.
Somehow, I’d love to give them passion for this fabulous place where we get to live. It’s all about your attitude and the way you look at everyday life and the choices you get to make. No one can alter that for you – no matter where you live or have lived.
So what is home?
If you’re not there right now, what do you suppose could change that? Is it physically moving to a new place? Or is it moving your heart?Tell me some ways that you have made your living space in Germany a home?
We make a handmade home. I sew and cook and journal our story. But even deeper than that, we designed and built the kitchen all by ourselves. My husband would be at the table saw with a sheet of wood we were turning into a cabinet door; I’d be hanging out the window to balance the fresh cut. We’d be varnishing and sanding.
Germans actually refer to our open kitchen as “an American kitchen”. That space is all my own (even if its only 36 square feet) to create American food or figure out German ingredients.What advice can you give to other people who are “making home”.
Love Where You Live! I think that phrase says it all. It’s also the title of the home minibook I sell at my shop. So much of our stories of who we are and who we are becoming happens at home. Sometimes sitting down to write about it truly makes you realize how much beauty there is where you are.Gadanke. You can also find her on twitter and facebook. Thanks Katie, for letting us take a peak into your world.