Travelling to another country is a highlight for many people. Using your annual vacation to escape from everyday life and to relax for at least one week – or even more.
But what if this vacation will mix up your entire life? What if it will indicate the beginning of your future and you don’t wanna go home any longer?
I experienced many of these moments. You can learn to love a new country; and home seems to be totally boring and unspectacular at a stroke. Especially if you have lived somewhere else for weeks, months, even years. And then you go back home and the shock is huge. Me, who grew up in the province somewhere in central Germany, had the feeling that at home nothing, absolutely nothing had changed, in the meantime as I travelled the world. Everything was the same, except me. I was a completely new person, a stranger in my birthplace. It was as if I had doffed my baby shoes in India. And therefore wings were grown. Those wings which accompanied me to South America and which I loose every time on the way home. Because somehow – and I can’t describe why – nowadays every return to my home feels like a step down memory lane. I hang up my backpack full of experiences in the dusty closet and exchange it against gossip, familial intimacy and the “just-being-a-girl-again-feeling”. What sounds insanely tempting for others is a curtailment of my dreams. I feel like a parrot who lived in the Brazilian rainforest and was later locked up in a cage – for the amusement of an European family. You shouldn’t misunderstand me: I like being at home, but just because of the people. But I’ve seen too much, experienced too much to feel home here. It’s too gray, too depressing, too silent – and I’m much too young to call such a place my final life destination. Because a human being isn’t meant to be at one place the whole life.
It feels as if I walk like a dreamer through the entire world in search of my new home. But so far my search wasn’t successful. Because there is one thing missing to break away from my childhood and my memories: courage. The fear of a new beginning is extreme because so many things can go wrong. At last recommencement means being organized – and me as a creative head, am I good in this? Fear increases with the vast mass of documents that I need to fill in. Like a couple who separated due to irreconcilable differences, I separate myself from my dream because of insurmountable bureaucracy. Of course, you need all these documents translated into the national language, accredited with umpteen stamps, authenticated by the consulate and submitted on time. You have to prove a steady income – or an asset. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that blessed, neither my ancestors. As a typical working-class child I know how to count every penny and save money effectively. I have even financed my travels through temporary jobs alongside my studies. It wasn’t always easy. When others had free time, could go on first semester parties, I was working on the till or sitting in front of my laptop, earning my own money. Even the office for Federal Law on Support in Education had nothing left over for me. And – after all these years full of studies, work and globetrotting – suddenly fear is catching up with me.
Emigration seems to be so real at once, knocking at my door. But am I ready for this new beginning? I hear voices in my head asking: How are you going to finance everything? Will you ever be able to live independently and carefree? Are you going to risk too much? What if something will happen to you while being abroad? What if you will become a victim of a robbery or even a murder? And the voices turn into people – and become the shape of my family members and my friends. They are happy for me, they stand by me, but they are afraid – just like me. I know that I can always come back home if anything will go wrong. But it would be a new defeat in my life.
And so I dream on and try to get rid off my silent demon, my fear, planning, saving money and by outgrowing myself. I have already shaken off the dust and mothballed my baby shoes again. Because it’s time to grow up and wake up from my hibernation. Brazil is already waiting for me. This time there is no turning back. And so I am walking tensed at slow pace towards my future. With my wings in my suitcase.