A Chance to See Beyond Oneself
And so my new life begins in another country on another continent in a new culture with a foreign language.

I arrived in Germany August 2, 2010. I am staying with a family in a small village in the south of Germany, near the Swiss and Austrian border (the closest major city is Lindau). I am residing in a small camper next to the family's house. I considerate it a great pleasure to have my own space, even though it lacks a bathroom and insulation. But I have no complaints, I feel so fortunate to be able to stay with this hospitable and generous family and to enjoy the Bavarian surroundings.

This first week I have been settling in to my temporary new home and trying to get over the jet leg. I have also been working in the family's greenhouse plant nursery with various tasks such as planting plants in new pots, moving soil, and painting (it's been rather pleasant to partake in tasks that don't require strategic planning). It has been raining a lot and I am usually so tired from the lack of sleep that after work, I just go to bed. This Saturday has been an amazing day though! I went for a short hike near the family's house in the morning and in the afternoon, I took their scooter to explore the local region. I had the biggest smile on my face all day as I raced along the small countryside roads, stopping frequently to take in the breathtaking panoramas or the quaint scenery of rural villages. The surrounding natural beauty is unmatched in my opinion (on sunny days that is). See some pictures here

My normal routine will start next week. I will commute to Lindau in the mornings by train to take a language course (about 30 minutes away), commute back to work in the plant nursery, have dinner with the family, and then German homework in the evening. I am looking forward to begin developing my knowledge of the German language but also anxious with the immense challenge of learning a new language.  

Needless to say, I am very happy to be here and feel so grateful for this opportunity. I am enjoying learning about and adapting to the German and Bavarian (the local state) way of life. For example, my vegetarian inclinations are difficult to indulge, as the diet here heavily incorporates meat and the plethora of fresh local fruit available in California remains miles away - unless of course if I want to buy kiwis from New Zealand or other fruit imported from thousands of kilometers away (buy local!). But it's good to embrace change, even though it may not be the most environmentally sustainable option. I know it's temporary.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for being my friend. Thanks for saving the whales, or at least trying to. More to come.


07/08/2010 2:19pm


07/08/2010 4:49pm

I'm so proud of you, young man. You could grow a garden outside of your trailer, you know. Then maybe slaughter one of those cows and freeze it (buy local).

08/08/2010 12:37am

Es freut mich, dass du hier bist und unser Land kennenlernst.

Kellie Hamilton
08/08/2010 4:42am

Congratulations, Karl, on taking the leap! Good for you!! You\'re pictures are amazing! Maybe one day you\'ll make you way down south to Zurich for a weekend? Keep on truckin\'!

All the best,


08/08/2010 4:43am

Hey everyone, thanks for your comments!

@Kellie_Hamilton, it would be great to visit you in Zurich, I'll be in touch.

Phillip Bachler
22/08/2010 10:12am

Thanks for the update. It's wonderful that you are enjoying yourself and we miss you here in the states.

Debbie and Karl Smerecnik
22/08/2010 10:25am

Can't wait for our skype time, and when you come back to the US, would love your help with minimalizing!

01/09/2010 8:54am

Everything is so green there! Remarkable!

Love that your undertaking such an exciting adventure!

01/09/2010 8:55am

Okay, bad grammar.

Love that YOU'RE embarking on such an exciting adventure. :)

01/09/2010 10:35am

Thanks for commenting Lara, its great to hear from you!


Leave a Reply.