Have you ever taken a step back and thought, “I live here, but I haven’t really LIVED here?” I recently realized that it has almost been 4 years since my family moved to the Stuttgart area, but that I have not yet visited some of the staple sights, or just appreciated this unique place!

Flashback to almost 4 years ago. I did not want to be here, I was in denial! I spent 13 formative years of my life living in a sheltered small town. If I wanted to go somewhere I needed a ride or I did not go. Now I was in a city of over 600,000 residents, trying to improve my language skills ASAP, learning to navigate the labyrinth of subways, streetcars, buses, and adapt to hearing 10 different languages in 10 minutes. It was hard!

Flash forward to February. I had just learned I had been accepted to study at the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart. Since that initial move back in 2013 I traveled back and forth to the US frequently, at times staying for several months to work, moved out of my parents and learned who I am. Jonathan and I were not looking forward to transitioning back to long-distance, but we were fully aware that we could handle anything. So, we decided, that even though we were going to be apart, that we needed to take advantage of all of the opportunities thrown our way.

On Monday afternoon I did just that. After morning classes I headed into the heart of Stuttgart to meet a friend, who until then I just knew through social media! Carla and I met at the Schloßplatz, along with one of Carla’s friends, Keelie! The Schloßplatz, literally translated, the Palace Place, is a grassy area in front of the so-called, “New Palace.”

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