Since I the moment I moved from noisy, crowded Berlin to a quiet, small and cosy village at the Lake of Constance I always wanted to get back. Back home, back to the loud, colourful streets of Berlin, to daisies growing next to concrete, to sunsets over colour smudged industry buildings, to nights that become days just because you wanted to. Not because the first train in the morning was at 5.30AM so you had to swallow your disgust over terrible music with another disgusting beer to hold on. Yes, I exaggerate. The Lake of Constance is beautiful. At least partly. I still don’t like the little village we used to live in because it’s almost cynical to call that little puddle there part of the Lake of Constance. But there were also great things. And great people. What wonderful moments I shared with some of those people, how we danced and partied and sang and laughed and lived. Exactly the same way that I wanted to dance and party and sing and laugh and live in Berlin. ‘Cause most of the times those amazing moments were shadowed by one thought: “It’d all be a lot better in Berlin right now.”
Berlin has always been the bar that I put everything in relation to. I didn’t move away voluntarily which just raised that bar even higher. I just moved away when I was about to set my own life in Berlin. Sure, it’s where I grew up and until that moment I didn’t know a lot more than that. However at the age of 15 I was about to discover all the possibilities that crazy city has in store and to find favourite spots. Well, so much for that. So my imagined Berlin-adventures turned into ideals that were fuelled by my friend’s stories and my own dreams and how it turned out, I would and will never reach them.
I tried to find that ideal picture of Berlin again and again and I kept running away from that city to return with a new perspective. But still no trace of the place I’ve been wishing for so badly. Where is that magical moment in which I see Berlin glitter and sparkle from head to toe? In which I dance around the streets as if I was surrounded by a cotton candy cloud and a gold, warm liquid is flooding my body?
Face it, Jess. You’ll only find that feeling inside of you.
I missed opportunities and wasted great moments while keeping up that expectation of living, feeling and seeing exactly what I’d like to see. It took me seven years, two longer time periods abroad and one special person to make me realise that. Berlin is not the middle of the universe. Neither is it the end of the world. There are great and exciting things everywhere as well as there are weird and bad things everywhere. It is not only extremely important to honestly (!) question your own opinions and believes and if necessary to throw them away but it can also be incredibly exciting. I’m not saying that I’ve changed into a complete different human being from one day to another and I do assume that my love-hate-relationship to Berlin will be a forever ongoing issue. However, a tiny step out of my comfort-zone-bubble towards some fresh air lets me see things differently. It makes known things shine again and it makes new things appear.
This little step of honest distance does not only make Berlin glitter and sparkle but also every single moment, that I appreciate conciously. That is the first lesson travelling has taught me but for sure not the only one.
This article is a contribution to Maria Anna’s Blogparade about things that travelling can teach you. She’s an inspiration herself and always makes me smile, think, laugh or all at the same time with her posts!