Willkommen in Deutschland

The sounds of metal against metal enveloped the space within an ambient cloud of honking cars, pedestrians walking to and fro and the faint ringing of bicycle bells. With my senses fully heightened by the visual and auditory experience, I looked at the world existing below my feet. Mesmerized by the moving sights and colourful sounds, I embraced the invitation to be taken into a whole new realm of possibilities, a dream of which I was just starting to imagine myself within.

As the S2 moved back and forth through the window, it was as if I was watching a movie screen, but this time the movement wasn’t an illusion, it was a reality. The bright yellow train seemed to be a mirage, overflowed with passengers coming from somewhere far and going to somewhere near. Below the bridge with the floating trains was the subway, and although I couldn’t see it from where I was standing, I could hear the echoes of the train.

On the sidewalk there was a designated portion just for the bicyclists. As I looked down I would watch a seemingly non-stop parade of bicyclists separating the fresh laid snow on the ground as they left a marked path from their tires. Every once in a while there was a young child passing, no more than 5 or 6 years old, riding on a smaller bicycle with no pedals as their parent walked beside them. The child almost seemed to dance across the sidewalk, as their little feet pitter pattered back and forth in a playful gait.

For several weeks I did nothing but silently observed this new world below. I witnessed the way everything moved, how everything moved, and I also witnessed myself even though I wasn’t moving. As everyday passed I expanded higher into the experience and although I wasn’t participating first hand I felt that I was, even as a silent observer. This was my first moments captured in the capital city of Berlin, a very special place that would change my life forever.

As a child growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I learned that many of the towns and cities I grew up in were colonies that were founded by the early German settlers that came to America. The Pennsylvania Dutch was a reference that was often times used by the locals, to signify much of the still observed traditions and people that abide by the culture of their German ancestry. I remembered going to Dutch Wonderland, a small theme park infused with the emphasis of the Pennsylvania Dutch, while it was an enjoyable childhood experience it was nothing compared to the joys I had at the internationally recognized Hersheypark nearby.

"As I started to explore more of Berlin, the hidden mysteries of this magical city slowly became revealed and soon enough it became my favourite playground in Europe."

~ Schönhauser Allee. Berlin, Germany. December 2011.

Even before I had started my spiritual path I had a spontaneous epiphany, a premonition if you will, to sell all my worldlies and move to the other side of the ocean, to the continent called Europe. It was quite an absurd notion at the time for many reason, the first being that I didn’t know one soul in Europe, and the second and most important reason is that I lacked the courage to even make such a drastic impulsive move. Even if I wanted to leave I didn’t have a passport and I didn’t know how to get one. As I let this thought play in my dreams I dared not to share this idea with anyone else for I knew that I would be ostracized. For several years I kept it to myself, and eventually I forget about, until the moment came to remember it again.

Germany was the first country that I was invited to. At the time of my epiphany I didn’t know a soul living abroad but year later as I ventured on social media I easily took to making friends all over the world, and it was then that I made my first connection to a dear friend living in Germany. As I started traveling around Europe I shared my travels and experiences on social media, unbeknownst to what my future would be and to what I was destined to become. I would often post about the beautiful people that I would meet along my journey and the many lessons that I came to learn on my path. Soon enough I started to garner attention from all over the world and then the invitations came pouring, one after another.

While living in Berlin I became accustomed to the German way of life, I started to explore more of Berlin, the hidden mysteries of this magical city slowly became and revealed and soon enough it became my favourite playground in Europe. From picnics in the park to Sunday afternoon walks in the cemeteries, from celebrations in the night life to drinking Apfelschorle and eating Brezeln during the hot afternoons, Berlin offers it all for those who are willing and need I say capable of taking. As with any measure of pleasure there is always the converse of pain, I will only heed this advice to those who bite off more than they can chew. Take no more, no less but take it all with a playful jest.

Every time I would describe Berlin to my traveling friends who have never been there, I describe it as a Spiritual Vortex, a cultural epicentre of young, open minded and open hearted souls, a convergence of sublime creativity and inspirations galore. Whether you come because you heard about the hedonistic indulgences, or whether you come because you know someone that knew someone that told you about the magic of Berlin, this is a place unlike any other place, this is a place that shows you in a light which you have never seen before.

For all discussions shared amongst travellers there are always the helpful tips, the hidden treasures only to be found off the beaten path and naturally, the cautious concerns, to be avoided at all cost. A few tips that I share about Berlin is the dichotomy of the proud German culture as the bedrock, and the diverse residence of the occupants, citizens from all over the world. You can find every culture represented in this ever growing city. Another advantageous tip is knowing how to speak German will only add to your experience but it isn’t truly necessary because everyone speaks English. It was like being home away home, but much more diverse than home.

As the months passed effortlessly in Berlin, I knew that I wanted to travel and see more of Europe, after all I was only in Spain and Italy but eventually I kept extending my stay in this poor and sexy city. Listening to my intuition, to what should I do next and to when I should do it, this was the catalyst that would begin a whole new chapter in my life. She was speaking to me in a new voice, she was telling me that there was more that I must discover and it was only after a beautiful winter weekend in Halle that I had another vision, a confirmation of what was to come. If only I was willing to take this first step, and as it was my destiny, in the full celebration of uncertainty, so I did.

Can you remember the last time that you gave yourself the freedom to explore a part of yourself that you have never explored before? ~ ༺ 𝓖