Why I Should Give Berlin a Second Chance
Berlin is the one city that we visited in Europe over the summer that I know I have to return to. And, contrary to what you might think, it’s not because it was my favorite. In fact, this city that everyone raves about, this city that is now drawing a large number of digital nomads from all around the globe, was my least favorite city of all. After visiting the likes of Munich, Paris and Amsterdam, the grungy city of Berlin just wasn’t doing it for me. It didn’t charm me as it seems to do everyone else. But as I am writing these words, I know it wasn’t the city that was at fault. How could I be turned off from a city that is so rich in history? The problem was 100% me just not being ready for it. To be quite honest, Berlin was the last city on our 3 week tour of Europe and I was just exhausted. I don’t think Berlin ever stood a chance.
If there is one thing that we’ve learned about ourselves this past year, it’s that we are not good at fast travel. We could never be those backpackers that are forever hopping from place to place without settling long enough to unpack their bags. I don’t know how they do it, but I admire them for it. Charlie and I, on the other hand, are much better suited for slow travel. Arriving to any new and unfamiliar place is often overwhelming in the beginning and we are travelers that need time to recover from our transit, get our bearings and take our time exploring a new place rather than diving in head first. Otherwise, we end up grumpy and bickering with each other and ultimately just exhausted.
We already knew this about ourselves when we planned out our 3 weeks in Europe and we wondered if we were cramming too much into our itinerary. However, after the prices of accommodations left us with our jaws hitting the floor, we figured we should try to fit in as much as possible because who knows when we would be going back. Not only that, but there are just so many places in Europe we are (still) dying to see and narrowing it down to just a few seemed impossible. So, we decided to suck it up and give the backpacking lifestyle a go.
As I mentioned before, Berlin was the last city we would visit before flying out of Frankfurt back to America. By the time we made it there, we were finally coming out of our SE Asia mindset and getting over our culture shock. We had the train system figured out for the most part, we had our first AirBNB experience (plus 4 more) and Charlie was starting to learn to stay out of the bike lane. Every day for three weeks we were on sensory overload with all of the new sights and smells. We were overwhelmed with our new food options, stuffing our faces with all of the breads and chocolates we so dearly missed in Asia. Every day was a thrill as we continued checking so many things off our bucket list, from traveling through the Alps to climbing the Eiffel Tower, visiting the coffee shops in Amsterdam and cruising down the Rhine River. We were on a complete high (not just from the coffee shops) for 3 weeks, and then before we could make it to our final destination, we crashed.
Not only was the whirlwind that was Europe finally catching up to us, but we were also tired of watching every single dollar spent which is something we weren’t used to doing in Thailand. And, on top of that, we were also just days away from going home. It had been 11 months since we’d been home and seen our parents and the excitement of that had kind of outweighed everything else that was going on in the present. I found myself counting down the days to that flight, ready to get home, see my friends and family and just sit still for a while. How could I have possibly been counting down the days to leave Europe?!?
Berlin is kind of a blur in my mind and I guess that’s why I’ve put off writing about it for so long. Even though I was there less than 6 months ago, I don’t remember much of it at all. Other than the funky Mauerpark Flea Market, our wonderful AirBnB hosts and meeting up with some friends from Chiang Mai, I can’t really tell you anything about our time there. People love to bring Berlin up in conversation and discuss their love of the city and I just kind of sit there trying to think up something to say. For this reason, Berlin is a city that I know I must visit again and I have to be better prepared. I think it’s one of those cities that grows on you more and more the longer you stay. Four days was never going to be enough time. I have to give it another chance…a city like Berlin with so much fascinating history deserves another chance. **If you want to give AirBNB a try (and we strongly recommend it!), sign up through our referral link and we both get a $25 credit. It’s a win win! —> click here!