Not every day gets to be full of adventure and positive experiences. Some days are tough, scary and grey. Early this morning I found out that a good friend of mine from Louisville died. Ryan and I were sitting in a coffee shop in Hamburg about to leave the city to head towards Berlin when I got on Facebook and saw the news from all my old friends in that city. Things like this are never easy to handle and being in a foreign country made the process of taking it all in so much more difficult. As soon as I found out ryan and I left the coffee shop to walk around. I started feeling heavy and panicky so we just walked around towards the train station to try and enjoy the city before we left. After a long walk we decided to try and start hitching, but were again met with a ton of rain and decided to buy another ride share to the new city. We walked a mile away to find our ride with a huge van filled with other travelers.
As we drove I tried to keep myself distracted and listened to some podcasts while I napped for a while. The ride went by quickly and ryan and I were dropped off at a subway station in Berlin to try another kebab in a new city. This one didn’t make the top five, but was still filling and got the job done.
We were told we had a place to stay with this guy, but again never heard back from him. We headed into the heart of the city and found the huge train station to take shelter from the rain. We began looking for other places to say, but nothing was working. I found some time to sit outside by myself for a while and let the feelings of loss come in for the first time today. I never expected to deal with something like this on this trip, but here I am.
After a while I met back up with ryan. We went outside to watch an entertaining magic show for a while before deciding we needed to go and find a place to sleep for the night. We walked around for a while through the city center and eventually made our way into a park. We found a few good spots, but each time we were about to get our things or we heard someone in the woods next to us potentially warning us to leave. So we did.
Finally we found a nice grassy spot to lay down and try to sleep. My mind wasn’t letting me go that easily and my heart felt all the weird things that cause me anxiety so I laid for a long time trying to keep cool. At one point I sat up and noticed that we had been surrounded by slugs. They were everywhere. This made me laugh and as I brushed them away from our tarp I laid back down feeling a bit more calm and peaceful.
It’s been a tough day trying to stay clear and positive, but the cloudy, muggy day has gotten the best of me. I’ve been low and grey all day, but am thankfully finding sleep and rest. Tomorrow I hope to wake up with strength to handle all of this and do what I can for the people who are hurting back home. Not all days are bright and joyous, but we always have the choice to do with them what we will. I choose to be strong and supportive in any way I can.