The other day I stumbled upon the only pictures I have in my possession from my first visit to Germany. My first trip to Europe was life changing. I know, I know, it sounds melodramatic, but it’s the truth. [I can’t believe it’s been almost ten years. Has it really been that long?!] If it wasn’t obvious that I have a
mild obsession–let’s call it love–of Germany it is now. Had I never gone to Germany I probably wouldn’t be as infatuated as I am now. Actually, had I not gone to Germany I would probably never travel farther than the Caribbean or the continental United States.
I’m a rather shy and nervous person so it takes quite a bit of effort to do something outside my comfort zone. I know that probably doesn’t come through on these posts, thank goodness, but every time I travel somewhere, even if it’s somewhere I’ve been before, I get nervous. The idea of possibly having to depend on myself in a place where I don’t speak the language honestly terrifies me as much as it excites me. I have a difficult time putting myself out there and just fumbling my way through a language or weird pantomiming. I’m trying to get over it, but that’s a bit easier said than done. I also generally try to avoid people because then I don’t have to talk to them. So without that first trip I probably would never have been able to pluck up the courage (or funds) to travel anywhere. Thanks, Mom, for the first opportunity to see something outside of my comfort-zone!
Okay, for full disclosure, my first European trip was with a tour group. As annoying as they are, I’m glad that was my first experience. It kept the feelings of being overwhelmed to a minimum and allowed me to see a wider range of places than if I would have just shown up in a German city for ten days. [This post isn’t meant to be about what I did during my first time in Germany, because, honestly, I can’t remember the details.]
I think it’s fairly safe to say that every traveler, or almost every traveler, has a life changing experience that carves out a special spot in your heart for one particular country. Not everyone falls in love with the first country they visit, and I’m not entirely sure why certain places resonate within us so much. I can’t put my finger on what it is about Germany that makes it so important to me. Maybe it feels like home to some part of my unconscious mind, or maybe I’m reaching too much. [Way to sound like a weirdo, Britt]
My first visit to Europe permanently changed the direction of my life. I went from passively wanting to travel at some point in my life to wanting to experience the world as soon as possible. I wanted to experience more than my own backyard, and thanks to a super cute German I get to do just that.
What country, city, or place has a special spot in your heart? I’m genuinely curious, and I also, selfishly, want to add to my list of places to eventually see.