18 Nov Dusk in Berlin.
IT WAS THE TIME OF DAY when you could see a crisp outline of your breath against the darkening sky every time you spoke.
Dusk in Berlin.
I was on my way to meet a few friends in Kreuzberg, a borough known for its eccentric qualities. As I briskly walked along the canal that runs through the neighborhood, I felt a light burning inside of me. It gave me confidence.
The light made me feel significant, although I was walking alone.
A long walk can cure most things. They make these magnificent cities seem small and personal, where no corner of the map could stay uncovered with a couple cups of coffee and a pace in my step.
When you’re in need of a walk, all one must do is pick a point, and leave. Or rather don’t pick a point, just leave, it’s often better that way.
I don’t mind it. Every time you step outside the cold is overwhelming. It makes you feel alive.
On these walks all there is to do is think. Think about your surroundings, think about the city, think about life. As each building passes another thought pops into my mind. This is what I love about walking.
It’s inspiring, as if the buildings reveal a different part of their history at different parts of the day, when the sun reveals something new.
I hear the sound of the train approaching and it soon becomes louder than the clacking of my shoes on the cobblestone sidewalk. There’s an old-world charm about the train. Maybe because I’m not used to seeing them, but I wonder where it’s going.
Where am I going? At home, I’m uncertain about my future. At home, I’m lost in the comfort of it all. I have opportunities in front of me, and they’re mine to take.
Now as I wander the streets, my mind wanders as well. I’m lost in the excitement. It’s new, and every time I come back to Europe I get this feeling that consumes me. Do I want to stay? Do I want to just explore for a while, maybe find a new purpose and a deeper perspective of what I want? Or am I just running from the uncertainty.
I meet my friends and we make our way to a pub for another mate’s birthday. I don’t know him, but the more the merrier. What I noticed in Europe is how people genuinely enjoy each other’s company. It’s different when being out in the states, when it often feels like there’s something to prove.
Here I see both girls and guys together with maybe just one other person, simply talking and having a drink. They seem absorbed in each other, often in jolly spirits, not once looking at their phones or what’s going on around them for a period of hours.
They must be truly there, in that moment. There’s a freedom to simply be yourself. I admire that.
It’s amazing how people you meet traveling can have a profound impact on you. The ones that you meet and the differences that you see, in them, and eventually in yourself.
The ability to stick with others and create meaning. When you are really present, it can change someone’s life.
Every time I travel it makes me more and more curious. I’m never quite the same when I come home. The city of Berlin and Europe as a whole has stayed with me, I can’t stop thinking about it.
The blending of the old and the new, the wonderful subtleties, the connections. I want to get back out there, continue to see the world and create my own perspective. Without knowing how the rest of the world lives, how can we ever question what we know so well? Being comfortable’s nice, but I want the courage to be uncomfortable for a while.