Since moving abroad I’ve been having a great time being a tourist in my own hometown every few months or so. I couldn’t have picked a better time for a visit this summer as the weather was just perfect for balmy nights in the beergarden, there was a free outdoor jazz gig, I got to play with my cute nieces and discovered a few new corners of the place I grew up in.
So here are my top 8 reasons why visiting one’s hometown can be the best and most relaxing holiday of all:
1. The temperature actually reaches 30+ degrees
Ah it’s so nice to be able to leave your umbrella at home (if at all, it might come in handy to shield you from too much sun) and spend every night beergarden hopping, fanning yourself with the cocktail menu while contemplating the next drinking destination. In Augsburg alone there are about 100 beergardens to choose from, there is even a little guidebook for that serious (= Irish style) beergarden crawl!
2. Your mum/friends/neighbours will happily feed you
Let’s face it, you’re only in town every couple of months, so there should be dinner invitations left, right and centre. I never fail to have Kaesespaetzle at least once when I’m home and never turn down an invitation for afternoon tea, especially when the host mentions homebaked cake…mmmhhh…in fact I more than once managed to have four brunch/coffee/dinner/coffee get togethers all in one long, leisurely vacation day. Bliss.
3. You get to hang out with old friends
No introductions or explanations needed, no awkward moments, just sipping coffee together, giggling about jokes that only you find funny and having a brilliant time.
Outdoor jazz gig in the beautiful Damenhof
4. You don’t need to bring a guidebook
You know how much the tram ticket is and where to catch a bus to your favourite cafe. You don’t need to do any sightseeing because you know the place inside and out. Plenty of time to just relax, eat, drink and laugh.
5. Everything is cheaper – especially food and drink
Well, this might not apply if you’re living in any other place than Dublin, but it is just incredible how much cheaper everything always seems back home. Being a firm believer in appreciating the little pleasures in life, I always happily eat and drink my way through the menu of all my favourite foodie places and smile at the thought of how in Dublin this would have cost me a small fortune. By the way, buffet style brunch (usually includes a hot drink and/or juice and a selection of savoury and sweet food all for under a tenner) is amazing in Germany and you can sit there all morning with your friends.
Yummy coal oven pizza for €7 and it was so big I couldn’t even finish it all
6. You discover new things about your old home
When your friends are at work but you have a bit of time on your hands, take an extended walk around town and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll find. Turn into a street you normally wouldn’t take, peak around an unfamiliar corner, get off a tram stop earlier, have a chat with a stranger at a newsagent’s, sit on the steps of a little church watching everyday life go by.
Don’t dream about the past when happiness is at your footstep. Wake up and discover me. Yours, Augsburg. One of the winners of the ‘Lebe mich. Dein Augsburg.’ competition (see also: http://www2.augsburg.de/index.php?id=20536)
7. You remember what’s cool about the place you’re from
When it’s almost time to go back pick up a few tourist office brochures to show to your friends and colleagues abroad. Every place tends to have a few interesting things it is known for, be it the best local brewery, the most famous writer or artist or some curious historical facts – go dig them up!
City Hall and Perlach Tower
8. You can bring back some things you crave when you’re homesick
I always miss my favourite chocolate, speciality teas and my mum’s christmas cookies, so on the way back to Dublin I generally fill up my suitcase with as many of them as I can fit in. I tell ya, having such a stash with things from home is priceless when you’re hit by a bout of homesickness on one of those dark, rainy November days.
If you ever make it to Augsburg, check out these sites before you go:
The ‘Fuggerei’ is the world’s oldest social housing estate dating to 1516.
Augsburger Puppenkiste – Augsburg’s renowned puppet theatre company
The Eiskanal – the world’s first artificial whitewater course (used during the 1972 Munich Olympics)