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A Little Bit of Home in Berlin

May 17, 2019

The last two weeks of my program involved studying for finals, questioning how I am going to pack all my clothes into my suitcase and fitting in last-minute activities in Berlin. Unlike most people in my program, my last two weeks also involved a visit from my family. I left home in February to fly to Berlin, and almost four months later, I was reunited with my family in my new home.

My mom and brother visited for a week, and it was my little brother Xander’s first time flying to another continent. Xander and I are almost nine years apart in age, so he is only 12 years old. Because of our large age gap, our schedules are really different. I spend most of my time away at college, while he is in middle school. Even though we are at different stages in life, Xander is one of my favorite people to hang out with. Having him in Berlin gave us a ton of time to hang out, and I got to experience my city through fresh eyes.

The apartment my family rented was in a different neighborhood than the one I live in, so Xander and I spent the first day he was here exploring. Walking around gave us the opportunity to catch up, and he filled me in on all the middle school gossip. We also found an ice cream shop that had the best ice cream I’ve had in Berlin. We spent the rest of our trip going to museums, exploring flea markets, and sightseeing the iconic Berlin landmarks.

During the entire trip, Xander kept saying, “I can’t believe I’m in Berlin!” I completely understood his exclamation because even after four months of living in this city, I still sometimes can’t believe I get to live in Europe. Having my family visit me so late in the program meant I knew the city well enough to navigate them around, and I loved showing my mom and brother what my life in Berlin looks like. When we were saying goodbye, I told Xander not to miss me, since I would be seeing him in less than two weeks' time. He responded by saying, “I am still going to miss you.” Seeing my family reminded me that I have a lot to look forward to going back to America. Berlin feels like home, but nothing beats being where the people you love are.

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