Back on the Road

My American Guitar

You may ask yourself why this blog is called The name came up on the occasion of a brainstorming session with our American friend and rhetoric coach John Faulk, one of the most inspiring personalities that I have met in recent years.

While collecting thoughts and ideas at the flip chart in our conference room, we engaged in a profound and very emotional conversation on my American past.

Precisely 25 years ago, I left my home in Munich as a 16-year-old high school student to live in an American family in Michigan for one year as part of an international exchange program monitored by Youth for Understanding, one of the oldest exchange program organizations, sending thousands of adolescents across the world and providing them with a unique and life changing experience.

During my time in Michigan, I became part of the local community and dove right into the American culture and way of life full-heartedly. It marked my life forever. Returning to Germany thereafter was much more of a culture shock than my initial arrival in the US.

10 years later, I happily accepted the opportunity to enroll in a one year Master’s Program at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. While this experience was substantially different in many ways, also because I was there during the attacks of 9/11, my emotional connection to the American people grew even stronger. Wonderful friendships from my high school time were revived and new ones were born. They are all very dear to me.

One of my closest friends from law school came to see me a few years later in Paris where I was working at the time. We had already been playing the guitar together back in Atlanta and continued to play guitar together in Paris. He had this beautiful Washburn that he carried around with him in a hard case.

On the morning of his departure from Paris, he made me a very special gift. He gave me his guitar. I was blown away. He said: “Whenever you play this guitar, think of us.” I do. Every single time I hit those chords.

Comments (1):

  1. Henryk

    5 June 2017 at 20:11

    Ein schönes Konzept zu einer noch schöneren Geschichte. Alles Gute für die Zeit Out Of Office!


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