As all good things come to an end, the time has now come for me to say goodbye to Cincinnati, the city that has been my home for the past six months. Even being the travel-addict that I am, saying goodbye to places and people that I have come to love is always hard for me. Therefore, the last few days before leaving a place are also the most stressful— not because I have to prepare for my trip or pack my suitcase, but because there are always still so many things that I just HAVE to do before I leave (with so little time). I leave Cincinnati in five days to fly back to Germany, and I have only worked my way through half of the things on my to-do-before-I-leave list. There are still so many restaurants that I haven’t tried, so many museums that I haven’t had a chance to see, and so many places to visit in and around Cincinnati that I simply won’t be able to get to before I take off. On the other hand, I realize just how many wonderful things I have done in Cincinnati in only six months: I have eaten my way through most of the local chili parlors, I have enjoyed many many nights of great live music, I have been to a baseball game for the first time in my life, I have discovered Frisbee golf as my new favorite sport, I have shot a potato gun, I have tried some original Kentucky bourbon, I have learned how to navigate the streets of Cincinnati (and how to avoid the holes in them), I have come to know quite a bit about the city’s German heritage, and most importantly, I have met some wonderful and delightful people that will always have a place in my heart, no matter where I go. However, my Cincinnati experience hasn’t always been smooth. There have definitely been some bumps in the road. Especially during my first few months here, I had a hard time adjusting to the Midwest lifestyle of Cincinnati. I hated the oppressive heat outside and the freezing air-conditioned rooms inside; I hated the fact that I had to drive everywhere and couldn’t just take a bus or walk as I had done for the past five years; and I hated that everybody always seemed to talk about sports and I was the only one who didn’t have a clue. I was desperate: “How am I going to make it through the next six months?!” My friends tried to cheer me up: “Give it some time! Cincinnati is a city that grows on you. You’ll see!” In the end, they were right! The longer I stayed and the more of the city’s hidden charm I discovered, the better it got. Cincinnati not only grew on me, it won my heart. Now, six months later, I wish I didn’t have to leave so soon. A friend I met traveling once said to me: “Don’t be upset about all the things you didn’t manage to do in a place. See them as an opportunity to return.” In this spirit I can only say: Farewell, Cincinnati. Thank you so much for the wonderful time, and don’t worry – I’ll be back!
|Cincinnati’s favorite mascot: Pigs|