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newyears 003Last year we rang in the new year with our good friends the Yagers (who now live in Kirchzarten) on a giant ferris wheel near Brandenburger Tor in Berlin. The experience was so exhilarating that my usual sense of claustrophobia in the midst of an enormous crowd quickly evaporated. Berlin has a way of doing that, transforming a fairly taciturn individual into a sensory sponge for the sights and sounds of humanity.

This year we’ll have a slightly less raucous New Year’s celebration with close friends in Bozeman. The contrast underscores the big picture differences between Bozeman and Berlin. Here in Bozeman we’ve had a quiet holiday filled with ping-pong, knitting, baking, reading, sledding, and so on. I’m itching to board a train and head in any direction that will take me to another country, but I probably won’t be going any farther than Billings or Helena any time soon.

But soon we will know if we are going to make another continental move, a move back to Germany. The decision hinges on getting the right type of job offer(s) and establishing that we are not unduly disrupting the lives of our three children. But these short-term considerations almost pale next to the benefits of living in a country with less gun violence, a stronger safety net, and free college education for the kids. Wherever we are next year, I’m grateful to have dual citizenship and the possibilities that come with it.