My Dear Friends,
Today I embark on a journey that has been charted into my life for many years. I am moving to San Antonio, Texas. More than anything else that happened to me in the recent past, this is a dream-fulfilling event that will make me a happier, more complete person.
Over and over again people ask me, why San Antonio – why Texas? To understand this passion we have to go back to my childhood during which I was fascinated by what I saw about the USA in European media. It was dominated and heavily influenced by US culture. From movies and TV shows to music, food and clothing styles – everything was somehow related to the US. Also, let’s not forget that I was raised by the first and second generation after WWII – people that felt a deep respect and gratitude towards the American liberators. So one can truly say that I was in love with the USA before ever experiencing it! I remember shedding tears of joy whenever I got a hold of a vacation video that was shot in the land of my dreams. But I wanted to find out for myself and I begged my mother for months to let me discover America on my own. It was important for me to do that alone, because I knew that it was a very personal journey. My mom knew a friend living in Houston, Texas and I was allowed to stay with her during the summer of 1998.
The moment I set foot on American ground I felt at home. There was nothing rational about it, only a feeling of belonging somewhere that I had never felt before. Texas just felt like home, and I was hooked from that moment on. In Houston, I volunteered at the Post Oak YMCA in the mornings, and I discovered the city on a bike in the afternoons. The Texan vastness, climate, diversity, nature and hospitality blew my mind away. I was in heaven.
It was on a weekend when my host took me for a visit to San Antonio. It is hard to describe what I felt when I first saw The Alamo. It was just mind-blowing. The emotions that emerged in San Antonio topped those that I felt when I had just landed. It was in August 1998 when I promised myself that I would once live in that place. I just knew it – felt it in my heart.
I have since evolved into one of the biggest Texas fans out there. Anybody who gets to know me cannot get around learning about my passion for Texas. Very often, it is one of the first facts I mention about myself.
Today, almost 18 years later, I am on my way to move to San Antonio for good. The feeling is hard to explain. It feels surreal, it feels fantastic – I feel proud of myself, knowing that I have not given up on my dream, and that I was loyal to the purest wish harbored in my heart. To a stellar future!