The Day I Went to Hamburg (and Decided to Travel the World)
Spending a week in Hamburg was probably my first real trip and it was during this rather uneventful week that I decided I was going to travel the world. Sure, I’ve been on vacations before and I’ve done some traveling, but never like this – with a backpack, on my own. It was both a bit scary and very freeing, a lot like traveling in general.
It wasn’t my first time on a plane and it wasn’t my first time far away from home. I wasn’t even completely alone. And to be completely honest, Hamburg really isn’t my favorite city in the world. But experiencing a trip like this for the first time completely changed my view of everything, and made me want to travel again and again and again.
So I did. It wasn’t always fun or pleasant or comfortable (or cheap – I can’t even imagine how much money I’ve spent on travels in the past decade or so!), but it always gave me way more than it took away and I haven’t regretted one single trip I took. Even when I spent my nights in cold and creepy airports, even when I spent hours and days on dirty trains and buses, even when I carried heavy suitcases for a lot longer than my arms could handle (I wish I could say that I’d learned to pack lightly over the years of traveling – but I didn’t), even when everything went wrong and all I wanted was to be back home, in my own bed – it was all worth it.
The feeling of being completely free, wandering the world and going exactly where you want to go, exploring new places, getting to know something completely different and meeting new people, some good and some bad, just existing in a totally new part of the world is so fascinating that I just cannot get enough of it. And I hope I never will.
So if you’re ever in doubt, go. I did. And it changed everything.