German Journey & Culture

A wise Italian man once told me to not write about where I went, but how I felt.  So while I can write about where I was or what I saw, I think it is important to describe how I fell in love with Europe, and Germany more specifically, upon exiting the airport.

Ironic how before I began this adventure, I assumed Asia would be the emotional challenge, however I completely underestimated Europe.  My trip began on a bad foot when I arrived in the Frankfurt International Airport at night, while it was pissing rain.  For safety reasons, I told myself I would travel by day if I could help it, but forgot I booked this late flight months prior due to price.  Many emotions stirred as I landed at 10pm that stormy Tuesday night;

Where was I going? I already miss Asia. Will I have to walk more than an hour with my 10k backpack? I could go home to America about now. Are Germans nice?  Seriously, WHY DID I DECIDE TO TRAVEL THIS LONG?! I feel so alone.

I took a deep breath and headed toward my bag to start this journey with an open mind.  After taking thirty minutes to work out the train system I was on my way to this random hostel I had quickly looked up in Bangkok.  I had no idea if I was reading the useless map from the airport correctly and as the train pulled up and opened its gloomy, dark doors, I saw a blonde young man.  As friendly as I am, most everything in my right mind would keep me from talking to a stranger minutes before I head off to a foreign hostel for the night.  Yet everything in my gut told me to walk his direction and sit across from him.  So I did.

The train pressed on and we exchanged polite smiles as I sat down.  I examined the train map in front of me as I was mapping out what to say to this good-looking stranger.  I shyly ask him if he knew the name of this hostel and what stop it would be off of.  He was kind enough to answer back and even said it was a bad side of town.  Great. We then started chatting about where he went to school and where I was travelling from.  Ten minutes into conversation he abruptly asks, “Do you do couch surfing?”

I took a second to smile with God, because that is exactly what I expected to do in Europe but hadn’t had time to organize it for the first leg of my trip.  “Actually I hosted people in New Zealand and was hoping to do it here”

“Well why don’t you just come crash on my couch tonight?  It will be easier than walking to the hostel, and I have a few friends coming over to watch the futbol match”

And just like that all those negative emotions were wiped clean from my slate as I followed my new friend Severin out into the cobblestone streets, with Prague on my mind.

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