On January 13th, 2017 I landed in Frankfurt, Germany. All of the signs were in German, which I could not understand at the time, but the first thought I had was, ‘WOW, I really did it.’
After running around the airport in a full-on panic mode, I finally found my connecting train to Berlin. A kind gentlemen helped me get my luggage onto the train and also helped me find my seat. Finally, I could relax.
Four hours later, we had arrived in Berlin. I got all of my luggage off of the train and managed to find a taxi to bring me to my hostel. I didn’t want the jet-lag to hit me, so I decided to visit the apartment viewings I had previously arranged. I decided to take one in Wedding, (a district in Berlin) and I moved in the following day. Throughout the next seven months, I lived in that tiny little apartment, on the fourth floor, without an elevator, with a man from Bonn. During this time, I successfully aquired my visa, found a job, and settled into my new life.
My time in Berlin was the BEST of my life, but also the HARDEST of my life.
I thought teaching English would provide me with enough income, but I was wrong. I cleaned toilets at a bar to make ends meet and I once got so happy because I found one euro on the ground and I knew I could buy extra eggs that week. I lived in a really unsafe environment and I knew I needed to leave. I spent a couple months living in Brandenburg, (another state in Germany, nearby Berlin) and then I finally landed solid living accomidations at Alexanderplatz!! Finally things were starting to look up. I found a wonderful family to nanny for and money no longer was a problem. I grew my friend circle which complies of the BEST humans that I absolutley adore (and are still friends with today,) I met my amazing partner, and I finally started feeling like I had a home in Germany.
Throughout my time in Berlin, I grew to love the city more and more. I loved the diversity. I loved the culture. I loved the partying. There is an energy about Berlin that filled my heart with joy.
I felt accepted. I felt free. I felt connected. I felt alive. Everything about this city fit me perfectly.
One day I wore my afro to go out and I did not receive strange looks, (which would be completely different in Minnesota.) I wasn’t followed around stores like I used to in Minnesota. I didn’t expereince any form of racism in my 3.5 years in Berlin and this was LIFE changing for me, I finally felt accepted as a human. Berlin helped me grow so much into the person I am today. I learned even more independence, strength, joy, success, and love.
Berlin was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Berlin was the first step in healing years of internal pain. Berlin showed me that home doesn’t need to be a location, it can be a feeling. I felt more at home in Berlin than I ever have in Minnesota. I met amazing people, learned GERMAN, forgot some English haha, forgave myself, and had some of the best times of my life.
I am so thankful for the 3.5 amazing years I got to spend in Berlin.
I am now living in Cologne, which I absolutely ADORE! More to come on this wonderful city later. 🙂