It is hard to believe that this time last year, I was flying to Berlin in search of adventure. One year has now passed and I am still living here in Germany. I have seen a whole cycle of the seasons, visited several European countries and have discovered a certain fondness for this city, which seems to be forever evolving in new and exciting ways. When I first arrived, there were a lot of challenges, from job hunting to learning a new language, apartment searching, making new friends and applying for visas and work permits. It was all very overwhelming. But as they say, slow and steady wins the race. And whilst I am yet to win a marathon and still struggle to read the labels on items in the supermarket, I am certainly feeling very settled here and the future feels full of possibility.
Here is a little revision of the travel that has happened over the year so far:
- Explored Northern Germany, including Hamburg.
- Took a two month intensive German course in Berlin.
- Watched the autumn leaves falling from the trees all around the city.
- Dropped into a variety of German castles and learnt all about the Prussian kings.
- Visited the Spreewald by punt.
- Explored the deep south, including Karlsruhe, Baden Baden and the Black Forest
- Visited Potsdam and the magnificent Schloss Sanssouci
- Experienced a snowy winter in Berlin
- Cycled to a little border town in France!!
- Went to a wedding in Spain and ate churros in Barcelona
- Visited old friends in Aarhus, Denmark
- Celebrated my thirtieth birthday in Greece.
- Watched Berlin come to life in the Spring and finally, Summertime!
I had no idea how long I would stay in Berlin. Originally, I thought I would try a year, but sometimes circumstances just feel right and, rather than moving on this time, I have decided to sign another contract, renew my work permit and see what a second year looks like. Summer is here, Europe is buzzing, school holidays are just about to begin and there is a lot more of this continent to explore!