It’s the time of day when you could see a crisp outline of your breath against the darkening purple sky every time you speak.
Dusk in Berlin.
I’m on my way to meet a few friends of mine in Kreuzberg, a borough known for its eccentric qualities. I feel a light burning inside me as I briskly walk along the canal that runs through the neighborhood. This light gives me confidence.
The light makes me feel significant, although I’m 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 in need of a walk all one must do is pick a point and leave. Or rather don’t choose a point, just leave. It’s often better that way.
Even if it’s especially cold which is often in Berlin.
I don’t mind it. Every time I step outside the cold overwhelms me. It makes me 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 and I must write it down. This is what I love about walking.
It’s inspiring — as if the buildings reveal a different part of their history at distinct parts of the day when the sun shines on something new.
I hear the sound of the train approaching. It soon becomes louder than the clacking of my shoes on the cobblestone sidewalk. There’s an old-world charm about the train. 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.
As I wander the streets of Berlin, my mind wanders, too. I’m feeding off 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? That’s the question, isn’t it.
We meet and make our way to a pub for another mate’s birthday. I don’t know him, but the more the merrier. In Europe it seems people genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
I see 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’re truly there in that moment. In Berlin there’s the freedom to simply be yourself. I admire that.
It’s amazing how the people we meet traveling can have a profound impact on us. That’s the wonder of it all. The ones that we meet and the differences that we see in them, and eventually in ourselves.
When we’re truly 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 and it takes a moment to snap back to reality. The city of Berlin will always stay with me. I can’t stop thinking about it.
The blending of the old and the new, the beautiful subtleties, the connections. 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.