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In 2004, when I met Alan at a party in Mainz, Germany, what I knew about Dallas was mostly derived from the TV series with the same name. I did not even want to know more, as I had no intention to fall in love with this IT guy from Dallas, who was on a work assignment in Germany and would leave again after two years. 

I had a good life in Mainz, a career in fiction- and TV-movie writing, a great group of friends, my family, lots of travels and a house right on the Rhine River.

But intentions and destiny clashed. I just loved to hang out with this guy who was nicknamed “The Dude” by his friends. I learned that we shared views and core values which was comforting, while being different was the exciting part. Even my dog, who didn’t like many men, loved him. 

When I accompanied Alan on a work trip to Dallas, I realized that my TV-induced conception of the city was quite wrong: There were no oil pumps but trees, diverse neighborhoods and a bustling creative scene. We both agreed that if we ever lived in Dallas together, it should be close to White Rock Lake. But that was a big IF at that time.

So Alan kept delaying his move back. After three years, he gave me a diamond ring and after five years, he was still in Mainz, and we got married. After seven years then, when his company´s patience wore out and urged him to come back to Dallas, I knew I would follow him.

In the German language, there is the idiom “Don’t replant grown trees,” which some of my friends quoted, warning that I would never grow new roots in Texas. But I didn’t listen. I had this melody in my head, an old song by Gladys Knight. The lyrics, “I´d rather live in his world than live without him in mine,” seemed to be composed for me.

So I had my car shipped to Port Authority and took a plane, my dog in its freight belly.

From New York, I drove the whole 1,500 miles to Dallas. I wanted to physically conquer the distance between the world I knew and the American Southwest, not just jump in and out of an aircraft and be catapulted in the unknown. 

When one night, I stopped at a dog-friendly motel in Alabama and found myself right in the aftermath of a gigantic tornado, I admittedly got nervous again, but didn’t have second thoughts. I arrived in Dallas, and there was Alan with a bouquet of roses — and also a bit-nervous smile in his face.

Ten years later, I can say that I did grow new roots in Dallas. I found friends, favorite hang-outs and restaurants, favorite book stores and favorite Texan destinations like Enchanted Rock and Big Bend. I had my first book in English published, the thriller Island of Dead Gods which, of course, is another huge favorite. But most of all,I am with my favorite man.

as told by Verena Mahlow