Ultimate Adventure: The Joys of Travel (Berlin)
By: Yolanda Clatworhy
(see more adventures here)
I’ve decided to title this entry “The Joys of Travel,” but not for the reasons you may think. Do you ever have one of those days where you wonder why you left the comforts of home at all in the first place? When you question your deep and abiding addiction to the act of traveling? We all do, and I had one such of those experiences yesterday.
Now to put it into perspective for you, I’d just spent two days snowed in and stressed out in New Zealand, then flown pretty much non-stop from Christchurch to Auckland to LA to Dusseldorf to Berlin. I love flying and all, but I think I spent more time on planes and in airports those days than I did in my own house last month. The only saving grace was being able to fly with amazing airlines such as Air Berlin, who was able to keep me fed, entertained, and comfortable for the final stretch of my journey.
Cue my arrival to Berlin, where I waited almost two hours for a ride that didn’t show (thankfully, the Triptrotting team had my back)! This was followed by a rapid succession of travel faux pas that show that even the most experienced of travelers sometimes just get it completely wrong. To any of my friends out there whom I’ve teased for being naïve enough to commit any of the following follies, I give you full permission to revel at the fact that I managed to commit a lifetime’s worth in a single 24 hour period. They include:
– succumbing to jet lag and waking up at 5:30am
– not reading directions right and biking around lost for an hour in the pouring rain
– doing so with all of my gear on my back and what is probably almost most certainly bronchitis
– telling the taxi driver to go to the “airport” and not specifying which airport it was that I was flying from
– frantically driving to the other side of the city through rush hour traffic to try and catch my flight departing from a special EasyJet airport (who knew?)
– making said flight, arriving in Budapest, and then realizing that I could not withdraw cash because I’d neglected to warn my bank I’d be traveling in Europe.
I’ll hang my head in shame about some of the above misdeeds. I’ll accept mocking, maybe even so do gracefully. What I won’t do, however, is regret a single minute of it. All of you out there who have ever traveled, know that the love of travel always makes everything worth it. In this case, it was the short few hours that I spent between my arrival faux pas and my trying-to-depart faux pas. Because what I haven’t told you about, is of a wonderful sunset bike ride along the banks of Berlin that re-ignited my love of the city and made me want to come back and live there. Of discovering floating clubs, and pools and beaches along the industrial waterfront, and secret oasis’ where you could admire the skyline and the houseboats from under weeping willow trees. Of sharing coffee and conversation and staring out at the rain that I’d been biking through minutes before. And of meeting people such as Fabian, the first official Triptrotter whom I stayed with.
Not only did he guide me on the above adventures, but he also gave me a place to sleep and shared with me the incredible project that he is working on: he and his friend will shortly be embarking on a round the world trip to fundraise money for grassroots organizations in the places that they’ll be going. How? By singing! Check it out (and spread the word) at www.fabandvivien.com
And now here I am in Budapest, loving life and, of course, the joys of travel. I will be off to Warsaw, Prague and Belgrade next… Lots of planning to do on StudentUniverse, which, by the way, has lots of great cheap deals on hostels and transportation! Tune in to see my adventures on Triptrotting TV Ultimate Adventures Channel!