Austria 2014: expectations

Austria: December 22, 2007

Austria: December 22, 2007

In a little over 6 weeks I pack this wandering heart up with Mr. Dave-man and "hop" the large pond to Austria. We get to spend Christmas there with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins! It's our first Christmas together as well as  separate from our immediate families. And then my other dear friend and college roommate will join us for the last week of our visit. Three weeks of vacation in Europe is a pretty big deal. So it's all super exciting and if I'm completely honest, I'm just a little nervous.

The logistics — transatlantic flying, taking care of travels, exchanging currency, and speaking german — don't daunt me. Those things won't be difficult. As someone who's flown since infant-hood, things like airport security, passports and suitcases are a matter of norm.

I'm more nervous about taking two people I love to a place that is special and crucial to who I am. No one outside my family really knows what Austria means or is to me.

Half of me is Austrian. I have the citizenship. I was born there. I speak the language. And yet most of the time that affects my daily life so little. But it's always there. I struggle with how to include this part of me in my identity.

And now they will meet the people, see the places, get to know the Austrian Esther. It'll all be out there for them to see. And I hope and expect them to love it all. But there is a little nagging part of me that worries they'll hate not understanding the language, or think I'm a complete weirdo when I wear my dirndl. However, when I remember all the crazy facets of my personality these two have already put up with, I realize these fears are silly and the extreme, over-the-top planner in me gets distracted by all the fun little things I get to coordinate before take off.