After moving to Germany in 2013, I was not able to visit the U.S. again until over 1.5 years later. So, when I came back from visiting my parents over Christmas, I never imagined that we would be going back less than one year later!

But we are! Last week, Marco and I booked plane tickets to go to the Chicago for 2 weeks in September!
We made the decision to do this during Easter break. I suggested it as we were talking through the possibility of going on a summer vacation. Since I am currently in the middle of my Master’s degree, the next 1.5 years of my life are pretty much set in stone. And since the summer semester in Germany runs from April to September, I have no time for a proper vacation during the summer.

However, classes end on July 10. That means that students get July, August, and September to take their final exams, write their term papers, and take a breath before the new semester begins. Since exams are generally held in the first six weeks of this time, that means that the end of August and the month of September is the best opportunity to get away.

Although I could choose to go home over the holidays again like I did last year, it is much easier for Marco and me to travel between semesters. Christmas holidays at the university only last two weeks, which means that the last time we traveled to the U.S., I had classes the day before I left and the day after I got back. 
Taking this trip between semesters means complete relaxation without worrying about any uni-related stuff. I will be done with my summer semester classes, but will not have yet started my winter semester. Marco will be done grading the summer semester exams, but does not yet have to start preparing materials for winter semester.

Since we booked the tickets one week ago, Marco also hasn’t shut up about drinking a cold Miller Lite, grilling steaks with my dad, and playing bags in the back yard. Let’s face it, visiting Chicago during the summer/fall is the way to do it. Forget about Christmas.