Remember my last post where I was kind of freaking out about leaving the country (I do). Every terrible thought was racing through my head about every little thing that could go wrong. But I ended that post with two promises: a promise to overcome my fears, not letting anxiety win, and a promise to keep all of you updated on my travels so here we go.
Lets begin with the scariest part of it all for me — the flight overseas. Y’all I was sitting at the airport and I looked straight at my friend and dead seriously said
“I’m not getting on this plane”
Her response, “just get on the plane its going to be fine.”
Going to be fine? But we are going to be traveling at like 500 mph over open water and like what if the plane runs out of gas (I know thats not realistic but still), what if we crash (also not likely), what if the plane lands in the water and we are stranded in the ocean (even more unlikely) — what if this, what if that, etc.
My next fear, what if my luggage is too big to be carried on the plane? What if I have to check it in? What if it gets lost and I have nothing?
Then this fear, what if I don’t make it through customs? What if they don’t let me in the country? What if I don’t make my connecting flight?
Y’all I was a wreck.
But the good news is: I survived my flight. I landed in Berlin feeling on top of the world. I did it. I made it through my first overseas flight and in all honestly it was not terrible. In that moment all my fears seemed so small. I was in Europe for the first time and there is so much to do and so little time.
We immediately checked in our Hostel and set out to explore (keep in mind we had now been awake for over 24 hours but it was 11am Berlin time so sleep was not in the near future). The first stop was obviously for coffee and food because none of those things were offered on the flight.
If any of you have traveled abroad you know that the first day there is kind of crazy. Its like this feeling of where do I even begin because there is so much to see and do. Then there is also this feeling of how to I even get anywhere, none of these people speak my language and I don’t know what I am doing.
Since we only had two days in Berlin we figured it would be best to hit all the main places. So we started with going to the bier garten because who doesn’t love some good German beer. The next day we started the day off by going to the Memorial for the Murdered Jews. To best way I can describe it was that it was beyond impacting. There is hundreds and hundreds of really tall stone pillars of all different heights. The heights are a representation of how many Jews were murdered in each city with the tallest being the cities where the most Jews were murdered and the shortest one being where the least were murdered. I think it is safe to say that no matter where you live you know the gravity and impact of the Holocaust but I can personally say that I didn’t quite fully understand it until it was put in front of me at this memorial. If you are ever in Berlin this is a must visit.
We then went to the Typography of Terror Museum which is a Holocaust museum that is located at the old Nazi Headquarters. Once again a must visit. It was crazy impactful to be standing in the building where so much history and life changing events took place.
We then did some other little things like go to the Berlin gate, shop at the local outdoor market, visit City Hall, and eat some pretty amazing street food.
Just in our little time there we met other people from Australia, Brazil and New York. Simply talking to other people, learning about new countries and seeing what Berlin had to offer was more than I could have asked for. In short, Berlin was a success.
Next stop: Warsaw, Poland. This only meant that the next round of anxiety kicked in. It was my first time on a train and this wasn’t just any train but it was an international train (aka that means more customs). I could probably write an entire blog post on how eventful the train ride was but I’ll keep it short. We couldn’t print our train tickets but we didn’t think it was a big deal because we had the mobile tickets. The tickets were all in German so we had no idea what they said. We couldn’t find out seat number on the ticket so we sat anywhere. Within 5 minutes we were told we were in someone’s seat so we moved to another car only to find it was once again someone’s seat. The lady came around to scan our tickets and we then found out that mobile tickets do not work on international trains (great). She let us get away with it though and scanned the ticket anyway. We crossed over to Poland which meant our tickets needed to be scanned again. This time the Polish conductor said we couldn’t get away with it which meant spending 150 dollars on another train ticket (oh what fun). Anyway, we made it to Warsaw safely and that is what matters most.
We mostly did a bunch of little fun things in Warsaw. We want to the market, walked around old town, ate lots of good food, drank lots of good beer, and hung out in good company. Our stay was short in Warsaw so other than that we didn’t have time to do much but it was definitely one of the cutest little towns I have ever been in and I am hoping to go back and spend more time there one day.
Lastly, to end this blog we have safely made it to Krakow, Poland and I am writing to you from our cozy little hostel in the heart of the city. We have a booked schedule ahead of us so stay tuned for more crazy travel adventures.
If you made it this far (I know this was a long blog so props to you) the only thing I want to leave you with is get out there. See the world. There is so much to see and do and fear should never hold you back. My time traveling so far has been nothing short of amazing and has taught me so much about independence, coping with being out of my comfort zone, and about how to read a map (y’all we have gotten lost so many times).
More post coming at you soon!