When I begun planning this trip late last year with my boyfriend, I came up with this crazy itinerary that took us through six continents and had us traipsing through at least 30-40 countries. We were going to start in South-East Asia and move through China into Europe. From Europe we were going to head down into Africa and end the trip in South-America. Obviously this trip was a little (VERY!!) ambitious and would have cost a crazy amount of money.
So we did what any poor, young travellers gripped with wanderlust would do and skipped off to South-East Asia where cheap hostels and budget-eats were aplenty. We had great plans to see Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos and plans to stroll amongst temples, float down rivers and stroke sleeping tigers.
Basically my plans did not involve breaking up, parting ways and then moving to Germany to live in a castle for five months but as you know if you read this post this is exactly what happened. When the relationship ended my plans were abandoned, my dreams were scattered and my self-confidence was completely lost. With nowhere else really to go, I turned up in Germany heartbroken, tired and just very disillusioned with life. I was in a very bad place. A place where I had lost my spark. Those first couple of weeks I cried a lot. I cried for the loss of my best friend and travel partner. I cried because I had lost my self-confidence and self-esteem. I cried because I didn’t know what I was doing in life. I had made so many mistakes. I had lost “Jo” and it really sucked.
And then slowly, I mean really slowly, I started smiling again. I started not hating the girl that was looking back at me in the mirror (she wasn’t that hideous after all!). I started getting excited about the future. I started to create, to love and to be silly again. And then I started laughing. And I haven’t stopped since. Sometimes my face even hurts from laughing too much. I believe it was God and amazing new friends that helped me immensely through this time but I understand that it’s a personal thing.
This morning as I left my castle in Germany, I felt such an immense happiness! I wanted to scream “the future is so bright!” at everybody (obnoxious). It’s just that living in Germany and in a castle with all my friends has been incredible. It is just full of beautiful people who want to fight injustice, poverty and hopelessness. People who are creating beautiful music, painting and photographing the world and just simply loving each other. It’s just a very special place.
And the funny thing is, that dream trip we planned in the beginning and threw away when it seemed impossible? Well, it’s kinda coming true for me. This year has taken me to Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Greece. I have swam amongst Thai islands, trekked the Himalayas, biked along the Berlin Wall, wandered around pretty Prague and ate my way through Northern Greece.
And it doesn’t stop there! The next five weeks will take me to the UK, Finland, Boston, Maine, L.A, San Francisco (including an extra special adventure I will be announcing shortly!). From there I will head home for a short rest (#sleepforweeks) and then onto the next chapter of my life which will no doubt involve travel and writing. And yeah, I didn’t expect to do it on my own, but looking back I wouldn’t have it any other way. I now really enjoy my own company!
Now I don’t want this post to seem boastful in any way because I still have my fair share of sickness, sadness and worry. I just really wanted to write this 1) to get my head around the last five months and 2) to encourage you that sometimes things don’t go to plan but that’s okay! If you make the right decisions and keep soldiering on then there is another great path just around the corner. And you CAN do it on your own.
So,Thank you Germany for being my home for the last five months. Thank you for your green, leafy forests, your delicious pretzels and your amazing on-time public transport. Thank you for being the place where I met some of the greatest people on this planet. Thank you for your summer night bonfires, your woodland adventures and your fields of yellow. Thank you for being the perfect place to heal.
As cheesy as it sounds, Germany you will always hold a very special place in my heart and I’m sure you will hold me in your clean,heavily-populated embrace again.
Goodbye Germany! The future is so bright!
Have you gotten through a breakup? Do you feel happier now? How do you feel when you leave a country you love? I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.