“Making a big life change is scary, but you know what’s even scarier? Regret.”
Most of the time travelling gives me the same feeling, it’s a rush of anonymity. The chance to discover a new place. But what happens when you go back, and discover the same place again? Somewhere you used to know like the back of your hand, somewhere that holds your greatest memories and some of your worst too.
What happens when you go back somewhere where you aren’t anonymous? You see faces you know walking down the street, somewhere you once built a life for yourself.
Four years later, you realize that nothing has changed really, maybe a new store here or there, but what changed the most is you.. I feel like I’m just coming to my second home, not somewhere foreign. I don’t feel out of place or homesick, which makes me feel like I made the right choice in coming again. The city has a different feeling without the friends I made here before, but it’s still the same place I love and I know I can make more. It’s still the same place where people drink a litre of beer at 1 in the afternoon like it is nothing, where every corner has a bakery with fresh croissants and great coffee, where you see Denglish things like “Kaffee to go”.
Last time I was in Munich I left my host family at the last second, then proceeded to do nothing for three months. Although I was still in love with the city, I was overcome with depression and it left a sour taste in my mouth. By the end I didn’t see the beauty in the city, just the annoyance that I had lost three months and still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I expected too much and enjoyed too little.
Truth be told, I still don’t know what I’m doing. But I’m now more content with myself. I learned a lot by travelling and growing as a person since I was here as a nineteen-year-old on a gap year. This time I arrived in the city with fresh eyes and a new mindset, I could make this year what I wanted. It has endless possibility.
I started the week with getting a phone plan and registering my new address, (which took two hours by the way). Germany is still pretty old school as in you can’t do that sort of thing online. But then came the fun stuff…
Between hiking, beer gardens, climbing towers to view the city, and opening bank accounts, I had a pretty busy week. I rode on a motorcycle for the first time, and the second, and the third, and then I lost count. I went to Austria and saw a beautiful view and was still impressed with the lack of border, even though I’ve driven through it myself, where it literally said “Welcome to Austria.” No rude border guards, no stopping, simple.
Then I was hiking in Tegernsee, which is about 45 minutes away from Munich. We didn’t quite make it to the top, but we ended up rock climbing by accident. It was a lot of work after a night of drinking in an Irish pub then standing outside the central train station for a few more. Also known as exercising our right to drink in public, which I was a little too excited to do again. By the end of the day I was completely exhausted, yet still managed to soak up some sun in the English Garden where it was 23 degrees. Other than that I went to a few places I used to frequent, had a few too many pretzels already, and also a lot too many beers. But how can you resist when they taste so good?
This time around I’m really trying to do everything I can to fit in here, to learn German, to make a life. Because I don’t know yet where I fit in, but I know it’s somewhere abroad, or at least not my hometown. I can’t ignore the feeling that I get when I’m somewhere else than home. The feeling that I am meant to be there.
I can’t say that I’ll always feel the same way, but for now I think that I need to take advantage of my ability to adapt, the choice to learn about other cultures, the idea that there’s something more. I don’t need to try to love Munich, I already do. I walk down the street with the sun shining down on me and know I don’t want to be anywhere else right now, there is so much for me here.
With that, the next post should hopefully be an update about a job or a German course.
What do you want to hear about? I have some ideas for posts already, like how to eat vegan in Munich, a day guide to the city, maybe the best beer gardens in the city. Let me know below what would interest you!