Watching the Inauguration Abroad

On Friday, a huge transition happened in America: there’s in a new President in town. And a lot of people are happy about it and a lot of people aren’t so thrilled with the idea. This post isn’t political, I’m not going to share my thoughts on the new president or the old one or the one that could have been. But watching the Inauguration while sitting on my couch in Germany brought a completely new perspective to the ceremony.

politics abroad

Living abroad brings incredible opportunities like travel, new culture experiences and learning a new language. Another huge plus to living abroad is being able to view America from a completely new perspective.

This past Friday, I got a whole new perspective on America. As Vinn and I watched the Inauguration on YouTube (thanks, technology), I felt an immense sense of pride, yet also an immense sense of vulnerability. I think I felt vulnerable because I now realize how much American politics, business and economics impact the rest of the world. And that people are going to ask me questions and I need to know the answers! A colleague asked me to explain the electoral college to her and I had to stop and think to make sure I explained it correctly.

I honestly haven’t put much thought into how America impacts other countries. Probably because I don’t love politics and probably because I was a self-centered American who didn’t really care what was happening outside of my country. But now, I can see how the decisions we make as Americans truly change not only people’s opinions of our country, but also how those decisions can change other countries’ day to day life. I even had a doctor’s appointment on Friday and the first thing he said to me was, “So you’re getting a new president today.” I could never say that to him two years ago. I knew of Chancellor Merkel before moving here, but what she stands for or anything, no clue. I couldn’t even tell you when the German election is.

Since moving here, I’ve put more of an effort into understanding the German culture and politics. I never would have done that otherwise. I’ve wanted to be the best American possible because I represent our great country while living abroad. And that’s why I watched the Inauguration. I probably would have just watched clips before, but I sat down and watched the entire ceremony. And as I watched, I felt feelings that I’ve never experienced. I felt so lucky to be a citizen of the United States because we have the freedoms to express our views no matter what they are. That we can have a say in our policies and can freely speak our opinions.

The ceremony of the Inauguration is so powerful and is such a symbol of change. We are lucky that every four years we can change the course of our politics and not have to wait until someone passes away for a new ruler to come.

I don’t really have a specific point here, I guess I just wanted to write that I feel even more proud to be an American because I am living abroad. And that the world is so much bigger than our country and that we are living in an exciting time! Who knows what the next four years will bring, but it will certainly be nothing short of entertaining.

How did you feel watching the Inauguration? 

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