Prep for the next solo trip – a mini realisation boost
From UK to Berlin — the same question always arises, ‘What are you gonna do with Brexit?’ I basically have two years or so, I hope I don’t get the boot as I’d like to leave Berlin on my own accord but Australia is usually my answer. Not just an answer, but a plan I hope to follow through.
Last Friday after work, there was a Swiss party held in the hub — the communal party/conference space. Beers, Aperol, melted cheese on fresh bread, brownies, crisps and all general party goodies all on show. I believe it was the first real sunny day of the year that day, that type of day where a t-shirt and a jacket is enough, everyone is happy, and you can spend time outside (drinking). After getting drunk (or two Aperols later), I went along with a friend to CDV (Club der Visionaire), not having been to this place before, naturally I said yes. I forget I’m still so new to Berlin regardless of how settled I feel. Was a cool outdoor party space hovering over the canal; we had a drink, then got bumped around as the place got so busy. So headed home. There was a moment on Oberbaumbrücke (the bridge connecting Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg), the bridge I cross over daily for a lunch time walk but at this point it was 11:30pm; was dark, weather still warm, lights were lit and reflecting on the Spreé — it was so pretty. I’d seen it before, this time just tipsy, but particularly the moment here walking made me realise I’m really happy here. I felt the feeling I get when I’m travelling on my own and I spare a moment to myself to think, ‘well done, this was a good idea’.
Venice, Florence and Rome await me this week for 9 days. The longest European trip I will spend on my own, which always excites me as I’m proud to action something I want to do, but when it gets closer to the time — a tiny bit anxiety arises. I haven’t actually researched as much as usually do in preparation but I think I’m just happy to roam around freely. I will explore and sight see but not on a strict schedule (that’s sometimes the best thing about travelling alone — I’m so last minute, it doesn’t bother anyone else). It’s hostels all the way in all 3 places and I think I’ve chosen well on budget and reviews for where I stay (sleep = important). Perhaps the Venice hostel of paying for my own bed linen was not the best choice but it’s by the river so I hope that balances it out. It depends a lot on the people who stay in your room. In the past, I’ve been lucky. I always choose a female dorm no more than 4, but this time I’ve gone for 6 and 8 beds for costs. It’s either a good ol’ wreckless party vibe or a chilled ‘I’m just sight-seeing’ vibe. Tbh, I vote the second. I’ve booked myself a party hostel for Rome — the last of the holiday to just let loose a bit.
I’ve been asked a few times if I enjoy travelling alone. I do, but if I could choose exactly who I’d like to go with then it’d be way better. But that doesn’t always happen due to timing, budget, other people’s plans and just general life. I’ve learnt that if you want to make yourself happy by doing something, then you have to go it. With someone holding your hand or not, it’s actually a lot more accomplishing when you’ve conquered something entirely on your own. Of course, I dream of the perfect travel buddy that some people do have, to share memories with and all that but some people just haven’t been graced with them and I accept. I have friends, yes. Do they like to travel? Yes. But what happens is organisation and timing. Sometimes they don’t match, and I don’t push. I second thought this and maybe I just need to propose to more people — but honestly, I don’t want to gift people with my unorganised life and laid-back timing. A reason I’m happy to travel alone is because I’m happier to not bother anyone for how I am. Not everyone likes running around the airport due to bad timing, or buying unnecessary food incase struck by hunger — and by God, that’s tragic.
Just to remember. I moved to Berlin alone. And yet I have worries of travelling in Italy for 9 days. Going to main cities, where language shouldn’t be too much of a barrier. I know I’ll have a great time, but I do always question ‘what are you doing?’ Ha. Enjoying life I think is the answer, along with enriching life with seeing new places. It’s nothing crazy but it’s enough to keep me going and happy.
Today, I cycled 45 minutes to Tiergarten, on the Berlin road. That’s an accomplishment on it’s own I’d say, ON the right hand side of the road. Tiergarten was beautiful — I sat by the Spreé (river) and soaked up the sun. Another accomplishment is following maps and cycling the right way without panic of when you have turn left to cross over the traffic. That’s great. Well done. Then on the cycle home, I went by the river at my favourite time of early evening. I saw some really great buildings and landscapes, was so pretty and a perfect ratio of people to space —like 1:100, actual free space but busy enough that it builds an atmosphere. Not like South Bank in London on a weekend.
Today alone in Berlin reminded me of my accomplishments, and reassures me for my next solo trip to Italy.