It wasn't until I moved to Germany with my family that I realized the difference between "visiting" and "living" in Europe. Even a summer studying abroad in England didn't really do it for me. Those tourist sites now become places you take visiting family. You're not buying souvenirs, you're now buying practical local items that make sense for where you live. You're also learning the unspoken social rules that maintain harmony with your neighbors. We learn to work around "quiet hours" and local holidays.
What we still have to remember is that we live in a place that many of our family and friends back home have on their "bucket list" to see. We sometimes forget that those homes that look like they came out of a “Christmas Village” are the homes that we actually live in. In our daily routines we often forget to take those pictures that fill up our memory cards or phones when we’re tourists.
So, what should we shoot?
Fasching Goodies on SidewalkAs the parade floats passed by the crews tossed candy and snacks to all of the village residents lining the parade route.
- Your doorstep or front yard when a local event is happening right outside in your town or village.
Father and Daughter in Late Afternoon NapCapturing a quick moment on our back patio with our home in the background.
- Those quiet, everyday moments with your home as a backdrop.
Our Local Village SchoolOur kids attend an American school nearby but they love playing on the grounds here and making new German friends.
- The places in your local area where your daily memories are made--whether that's the local school, a storefront, a park, etc.
These tips don't just apply to those of us who are living away from our home country or hometown. My neighbors like hearing about and seeing photos of our life in the States. You should take the time to photograph those everyday moments with your home, your neighborhood, and your hometown as the backdrop. It's as simple as grabbing whatever camera you have and just committing to taking a few snaps a day.