I recently took a trip to Berlin, Germany to visit friends, work remotely, and have time for reflection. I haven’t had solo time to reflect in a new place in a long time and 2016 wasn’t a good year for me, I’m sure it wasn’t for many as well so this trip was much needed in my mind. Putting myself in new surroundings, visiting my dear friends I haven’t seen in months, and the thrill of my independent pumping explorative heart just out and about again is exactly what I needed before the year ended.
I always find something special with getting lost in a new place. I think it’s more the challenge of how will you find your way home. I didn’t use any cell phone service or data out there so it was memorizing maps, getting directions from friends and remembering your path and the steps I took. It’s a process you learn about yourself in the moment. Do you panic or do you figure it out? Or maybe it’s a combination of feelings. I ended up having to think, breathe, and take chances, they’re like my travel survival techniques I guess you’d say.
So while exploring a new city or country for that matter, I got to immerse myself in the history, architecture, stories, and characteristics of this place especially the celebration of Christmas time out there. The warm feelings of holiday Christmas markets, the cozy cafes, the flower-lined balconies, the cobblestone streets and lovely little bakeries that wrapped around, I was lost in a new place but also in love.
With every new place, I find myself fantasizing about living there, what it would be like to be a local, the challenges I would have to overcome to start new everywhere I go. How will I test my mind, body, and soul to put myself in an unfamiliar place and succeed?
As days went on, more yummy food was eaten, laughs shared, long walks down curious streets, that I start feeling a warmth in my heart. Not in a bad way like feeling sick or anything but it has been 5+ years since I traveled on my own across the world and this warm feeling identified as finding something that’s been missing for a while. Traveling centers me, it puts my life on pause and brings me to a balance. That it is essential to take care of myself, explore to keep my soul vibrant and scratch my travel bug itch whenever possible because, without it, I’ll be lost at home.