Story / 19 Jul 2014 / 0 COMMENTS
The last time I wrote on here was when I was about to leave the UK and start a new chapter in my life in Germany. I knew that it was meant to be an experiment in order to find out if I would be able to live there.
I got rid of most my belongings and sent the rest that I had to Siegen, where I would be staying with my clients, turned friends Markus and Silke.
The beginning was an exciting time. I don’t why, but I have always liked the feeling of starting something a new, a fresh start, a blank slate, call it whatever you want. I just love the idea of leaving things and emotional baggage behind, like starting a new map on Sim City.
I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted to stay in Germany, as Siegen was always a temporary stop in my mind, before I eventually moved to Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin or Munich. Hence I decided to travel to those cities just to see if I could see myself living there. The first stop was Berlin. Here I finally met Pablo, whom I got to know through an e-mail I sent a couple of months earlier. He was developing a fitness app called 8fit and suggested that I could design their app icon and logo. Always being in touch via e-mail and Facebook messenger we never really met in real life until now. Coincidentally I was asked by DeGross, a product design company I used to intern for, to help them with an exhibition they were going to setup in Berlin later that month. Events like these really reinforce my view that opportunities always present themselves, you just need to look out for them.
Although Berlin was a pretty fun and interesting place to be, I didn’t really get the feeling that I belonged there. Once all the work was done, I returned to Siegen, but not without having bought an interrail ticket beforehand. I was planning to head to Hamburg and Amsterdam as well as Munich and Switzerland, for which an interrail ticket was considerably cheaper than buying single tickets. Looking back, that decision was one if the best that I could have ever made. A trip meant to end in Switzerland in order to visit my cousin for their annual sailing regatta, turned into a spontaneous trip to Southern and Eastern Europe that brought me through Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary. Instead of planning the trip I just followed my gut feeling and decided on the spot where to go next. I remember standing at the ferry terminal of Ancona looking at the departure boards, rolling dice in my head to decide which ferry I should take: Greece or Croatia? Another time whilst staying Dubrovnik I had the same decision to make, check out Montenegro or head to Zagreb in order to catch a train so that I could stay a night in Budapest. In the end I never made it to Switzerland.
Any fear I had about being robbed, not being able to communicate or getting lost were proven to be unfounded. The last doubts about traveling were gone. However the most important things I took away from this trip, weren’t the beautiful sights, nor the history I have learned or the pictures I took. It was the experience of being able to go anywhere I wanted to and the flexibility to decide if I would be going to the beach or do some work back at the hostel. Most important of all I met and made friends with people who share the same passion about traveling as I do. Finally someone who understood that you can never get enough of traveling, that is is not about taking a break from your life at home but simply a way of life.
That revelation really made me really question my decision of wanting to settle down somewhere in Germany and instead try to stay on the move as much as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to move every week but at least every 4-6 months. I am already starting to feel the travel bug once again, but without anything to hold me back or tie me down in one specific place I am already drawing up plans for my next trip. So where should I go next? I thought about Montenegro, Slovenia and the Czech Republic, but when it really comes down to it I need a bigger challenge. When I left Thailand 6 years ago on a cargo ship I always dreamt about taking the train back there. I couldn’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate my 25th birthday than taking the Trans-siberian on the biggest journey of my life so far…