Kickin' It

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Oh Berlin, Berlin... I really love this city. For the longest time I felt like I didn't have a home - a place I truly felt I belong - not even in my home country (the Netherlands). Or perhaps I should say especially not in my home country. It's an odd feeling and hard to describe, I just never felt like "yes, this is it, this is my place". My first time living abroad was in Vienna, Austria, and perhaps that city came the closest to feeling like a home. It actually made my own country feel less like home. I guess once I moved abroad for the first time I knew that the expat life was the right thing for me...

My second adventure abroad was Vancouver, and even though I quite love(d) that city, it also always felt like a temporary "home". Not even because I was far away from my family, but I think mostly because I was away from Europe.

I felt that the cultural differences were subtle (nothing had a major impact on me), but somehow living in North America made me feel more European. It's not a rare phenomenon that people become more patriotic when they live abroad, but I never thought I'd be so proud to be European. Perhaps I also felt that way because the people there thought that Europe is so cool. It made me feel a bit cool.

Moving back to my own continent in February I wondered whether I would feel that sense of belonging once I settled down in Berlin. You can expect, hope or try as much as you want, those kind of feelings are always a bit out of your control. You just won't know until you know. And it takes time. But this city, with all its different vibes, interesting people, and maaany hotspots... I think this is it for me. My home. At least for now...