You voted and I listened. And unlike many politicians, I’m keeping my campaign promise and heading to Germany. I’ve booked a flight to leave on Saturday. And guess what – it’s a one-way ticket. Yikes! And, for some reason it feels right that I leave on 12-13-14. Hoping this brings me luck. I’m counting on it (get it?!).
Purchasing the one-way ticket was a terrifying click of the mouse. There’s a great lesson here which I discovered many years ago and I’ll share it with you in just a bit. First, my secret – I’m a creature of habit who’s afraid of change. What? I know, it’s a bit of a surprise. Also, I’m a homebody. I love curling up on my sofa in front of the fireplace. I also love the town I live in. So why am I doing this, you ask? A couple of reasons; first, I like to challenge myself. I’m a true believer in confronting your fears. I am here to learn and grow. How will I ever do that by sitting in my house and going to the same coffee shop I’ve visited for six years? Also, while I love my physical location, I’ve not found a job here that I’m passionate about. I don’t want to be sitting in my house fifteen-years from now, looking around, and saying to myself, “I love my house, but I’ve been uninspired by my work for years.”
So, back to the lesson I learned years ago? Nothing is permanent; I can always buy a return ticket. This is the thing that helps me overcome my fear of change. But how will I ever write the book on this incredible journey – both physical and spiritual – if I’m too afraid to leap. Yes, I’m afraid, but I’m going to do it anyway because I’m more afraid of wondering what would have happened. I booked the flight through Webjet on Air Berlin for $771. That’s pretty awesome considering I only booked it twelve-days in advance. While some places make you have an outbound ticket in order to enter the country, I find nothing on the German government’s website which indicates this and I’ve seen a couple of travel sites stating that it’s not required for Americans. Rules change all the time so there’s always the possibility that they won’t let me in but I’ve used my smile (and sometimes my breasts) to get into places before so I’ll be sure to wear my push-up bra . . . uh, a big smile on my face. If worst comes to worst, I’ll buy another one-way ticket headed back home or onto somewhere else for the beginning of February.
Now, a bit more info. A few months ago I signed up with House Careers and Trusted House Sitters, two house-sitting services. For a minimal annual fee I receive listings on opportunities to house and pet sit around the world. My plan (ha!) is to use this to stay in between Drop Me Anywhere trips so I don’t have to fly back and forth. The plan of not coming home in between also allows me to rent out my house so the mortgage is covered (yes, I found Cedric and Fan, a great couple who will be renting my house). After the last voting closed, I went on the sites to check out places to stay in Germany after I spent a week or more running around exploring. The thing is, I found a last-minute listing to pet sit a cat named Siegfried in Berlin. After Jen, Siegried’s human companion, and I Skyped, it seemed like a perfect fit. Jen is an Australian opera conductor and vocal coach who has lived in Germany for six years. As her father is a retired airline employee, she’s flying back to Australia for Christmas. The trick is that she’s flying standby, which means she’s not positive of the date she’s leaving but guesses it will be somewhere around December 15th-17th. What? Unplanned travel? That’s crazy! Oh wait, I think I like this. So, although it means leaving just a few days earlier than I’d anticipated, this is very much what Drop Me Anywhere is about. Don’t miss out on opportunities because it’s not in your plan. So I’ll arrive in Berlin on December 14th so Jen can introduce me to Siegfried and show me her flat. She even likes Glüwein!
As far as where I’ll stay before she leaves – I’ve reserved a night at the Berlin Plaza Hotel (the name sounds fancy but I don’t believe it is). After a long, overnight international flight, it’s always nice to have the first night’s hotel booked so you have a place to crash. After a quick search on Cheap Tickets I found this place for $41 and used 20% off coupon they’d sent as I’m on their mailing list. So, for a whopping price of $37.74 (including taxes), I have a hotel only two kilometers from Jen’s place just off the main street in Berlin. My advice on these booking sites – use them. Get on their mailing lists. Create an alternate E-mail address to receive them if you don’t want them clogging up your inbox (and they will). It’s worth it. I’m only reserved one night as I don’t know when Jen is leaving nor do I know the hotel or the area. I can always book more nights if wanted and needed.
Where will I go from there? I’ll stay at Jen’s until January 6th (I’ll explain more of this later, so tune in) and then, well, we’ll see. I’ll stay in Germany (most likely) until the end of January as I’ll be presenting a lecture to the students at ANGELL Akademie Freiburg which offers degrees in International Hospitality Management (see, I’m not just another pretty face).
I’m still figuring out how I’ll structure the articles for each trip as I won’t be writing for DMA and Rebel-With-A-Cause every day for six weeks or more. I’ll probably right almost daily for a week to ten days as I have in the past and then update here and there to catch up or when there is a particularly interesting day. But I’m truly not sure. Then again, I didn’t really know what this whole thing was when I began it. I trust that we’ll find a good rhythm and that you’ll let me know what you think is working and what isn’t. I can’t always promise to take your advice, but I will read every comment with great consideration.
And stay tuned because the next vote will be up within the next two weeks. Where will we travel to next?