A free spirit refuses to be confined. Staying still serves not those who wander, for they are forever running, searching for the next big buzz hidden a walk or a ticket away. Humanity was not made for sitting at home; our legs were designed to roam the vast lands for hours on end; our lungs were made to efficiently keep our system flooded with the fresh air so we don't tire; our souls exist with the hunger to explore.
The one thing I LOVE about Germany, and Europe really, is how facilitated it is to travel just about anywhere. For starters, Germany is HUGE and you can practically go everywhere by public transport. With one ticket, you can literally go from one end of Germany to the other. If you're feeling a bit more daring, you can find other methods of transportation, like carpooling or getting a bus ticket. It’s also fun, but borderline terrifying of course, everything comes at a price, so plan ahead!
One of my first trips in Germany was a group trip to Passau with the Erasmus Student Network. Passau is a charming little town in southeast Germany, full of culture and history. It’s known sometimes as the city of three rivers because, as you may have guessed, the three rivers meet up in Passau. They are the Blue Danube, Black Ilz and Green Inn. The city also has this amazing old mountaintop castle which overlooks the whole city. Getting up there is totally worth it, as the trip leaves you breathless. Twice. After hiking up for about ten minutes, you realize that all the panting you're going through paid off. You are greeted with a rejuvenating breeze and jaw-dropping view. From up there, all the colorful houses and roofs blend into one magical canvas, with the sun shyly peeking behind the clouds and sending down a spectacular golden ray on the little city. An image imprinted in my mind to this day.
Trips to big cities are also a must in Germany, as they provide you with the exact opposite experience of what you receive from small towns and such. In Munich, walking out of the train for the first time inside the train station is a truly baffling experience. I thought it was cloudy until I looked up and realized I was actually inside not in the open. Taking a tour through the BMW buildings should absolutely be on your checklist, even if you aren’t into cars. The architecture of the BMW Museum and BMW World as well as the way they are designed truly makes you realize how creative and capable engineers are, and how much more character our buildings could have if they weren't just built with business in mind.
Another big city which is worth seeing is Köln. The moment you are about to step out of the train station, a big black object suddenly comes into being, taking up almost two-thirds of the glass-sided view. The famous Kölner Dom. A monolithic cathedral that feels impossibly large. I caught myself speaking "Oh my God…" out loud the second I laid eyes on it. Two towers reaching up to the sky, a mixed palette of black, gray and beige making it look charred and jagged edges all over the cathedral that give it a commanding presence. It seriously cannot be missed, and the kid inside me just can't help himself and describe it as "super cool".
Of course, trips and adventures aren’t just places and buildings. More often than not they are the people who are with us. Being surrounded by amazing people, and ones that I grew to value dearly, truly was the cherry on top. Sharing our stories, laughing at our mishaps, and planning for more things to come genuinely make all this time roaming around absolutely worth every moment. For each place we leave, we take a part with us, storing it within our heart and soul, growing with each piece we add to the collection. After all, who are we but our memories telling their story?
Ziad Alsurakji - Some random guy from Palestine who loves putting words together and drawing an image in your mind. As I did my exchange semester at DIT, I write about the simple, neglected things in life which just about anyone and everyone can relate to. I also love food, like a lot. So if you can bless my palette with new flavors, let's be friends.