What do I write about after a hiatus of almost 2 years? Ok, how about a little update on the family? We’ve now been living in California for 5 whole years. Been US residents for 3 years. Our younger daughter has spent more than half her life in this country, and has never gone to school in the UK. We don’t own a house here, but love the one we’re renting, even though it’s an old, never updated 60s shack, and not at all what we envisioned when we first moved here. It’s a California Ranch-style house (sprawling over one level). We drive a Subaru Outback (the Bay Area active family vehicle of choice) and an electric car (but not a Tesla – yet!). Our children are locals (friends, language, references). Working for our school district, I am very much part of our community. We go back to England and Germany at least once a year and still feel very much at home there. But we are really and truly at home here too. We’ve become Brigermican. True transcontinentals.
When you move countries for the first time, you never really think about nationality, and how immersion into another culture will affect your attitudes and opinions. Having moved countries twice now, I feel more and more fragmented. At times, this feels as bad and as unsettling as it sounds. But for the most part, it’s just the way things are, the way I am.
Sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out had I stayed put, and only dipped my toes into another country every now and then, the way I thought things would be when I was growing up. I don’t think it would have happened. I remember the restlessness, the desire to leave my secure home town and all that it stood for, while being strongly connected to it. That connection is still there, and sometimes my homesickness hits me so hard that I want to get on the next plane. However, I believe that I was born with an extra dose of restlessness; it is part of who I am. And now I seem to have found a place that is full of people like me. The Bay Area is an exceptional place. I am surrounded by people who know exactly what it feels like to be fragmented. I can pick up the phone and talk to someone who understands. I can get in my car and go to a place I love. I may be fragmented, but those fragments fit quite nicely together most of the time.

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