Ahhhhh!!! I am here! Finally! After months of waiting and planning, I am finally here! And it is incredible! The plane ride was cramped and long but Ashleigh and I made the best of it with movies, red wine, a few naps, talks and tons of laughter!
Upon arriving in Hamburg, Germany we realized that it was still pitch black at 7:30 AM! Crazy! We were hoping for some sunlight so that our initial navigation would go smoother. But that didn't matter anyway as it took us an hour and a half to leave the airport and by that time, the sun was up. Yes..an hour and a half. We leisurely took our time getting our bags, making sure we enjoyed everything there was to see even in an airport. We were dumbfounded by the train ticket kiosk, even in the English setting and we had to lug all our belongings back upstairs to the airport concierge. After shuffling all our stuff around, asking for help and making multiple restroom stops, we found ourselves finally on a bus to Kiel, Germany where we would meet Ashleigh's brother.
The bus dumped us out at a bus station and we then had to find a taxi to take us to the Opera House, where Nik (Ash's brother) dances/works, and then to his apartment in Kiel. We then unloaded and walked around the streets. We quickly realized that little to no one spoke any english and that things would be little harder than we thought. We knew it would be difficult but when yore in the situation, it just feels different. I did manage to eat some schnitzel though!! woohoo!! We later hung out with Nik, had a nice dinner, and spent too much time inflating an air matress. haha, all in all it was a good day.
I am realizing that I am completely submerged in this journey, out of my comfort zone and a little scared. I knew this would all happen but to actually feel it is different. There were already some moments of panic, frustration and fear but I talked myself out of it and kept going. PLUS, I have had some AMAZING messages from my loving friends back home!! You guys make me feel so strong and so supported that it brings me back to reality; this scared feeling is only temporary and you guys remind me of that. My friend Micaela wrote me:
"But the beautiful part about travel is when the scared, homesick feelings fade away, you are able to revel in your own independence. If you stay open, assertive, and sharp, you will meet people from alll over the world, and you will transcend your own identity as an American girl from Pasadena California, and you will connect to others as a citizen of the world. You will see that the world is big and beautiful and sometimes unstable, but that strangers can be kind and witty and just like you."
This is stuck in my mind forever now. I love it! All my concerns melted away when I heard this. That and skyping my parents :)
I tried to upload photos from my ipad and it wont work so I am not sure how often I will be able to do that... I'll have to figure it out. In the meantime, I am on Nik's laptop so I can share a few here. Enjoy, and leave me some love!!