A lot can happen in 365 days. Today, exactly one year ago, 12th of July 2016, I returned home from my world trip.
I can remember that day as if it was yesterday. At 4am I woke up in Bangkok. A city I really love. Everything started in this hot, sticky, over 12 Mio. inhabitant`s city. And everything comes to an End. Even a world trip which seems everlasting. In the dark 22 people room I packed my stuff, trying not to wake everyone up.
To get to the airport I ordered an Uber (Taxi) which I shared with the Australian Bloke Jobe I just met. We found out that we have the same flight to Cologne so we got to talk a lot on this 12 hour flight.
For my birthday in October last year Jobe came to visit me in Germany, which was really fun. We went to the Octoberfest in Stuttgart with my friends and had a great time.
As we came closer towards cologne I was nervous. To be honest: I was really nervous! I didn`t see my family in friends in almost one a half years and I was excited to see them again.
There was a lot of trouble and problems in Cologne because I lost both Bank- and Credit-card, had no money, no phone-simcard, had to buy a really expensive train ticket and missed my train. I hated it already to be back. And it was rainy and cold and the people were so unfriendly. At home nobody knew that I was coming home and I was afraid that they would go to bed already because it was late.
In Stuttgart my uncle Oli picked me up from the train station where we had a farewell over one year ago. I was really happy to see him and he drove me home. He was the only one knowing that I was coming home. He told my family that he had a training and would come back later for my grandma`s birthday. Nobody believed him so he drove to his office and took a picture to prove that it was true. As we arrived home it felt weird. Oli entered the house first and I waited outside. I told my family I like to skype them, because there was a TV-documentation about me and I wanted to watch it with them via skype. Unfortunately I didn`t know our Wi-Fi-password that I could skype them. I just decided to step in the house because I was all wet from the rain and freezing. Summer in Germany?
It was 10pm already as I was standing in the kitchen, everyone staring at me like they just saw a ghost. Of course they were all so happy to see me and it was a return with a lot of tears and hugs. That was a great birthday-surprise for my grandma who turned 69. That means that today it`s her 70th birthday.
That was a year ago. Since that I did 4 more (short) trips (Milan, London, USA and Austria) and I got a Job last year as an Online Media Manager close to where I live.
It`s really hard to describe but when you lock a wild bird in a cage it won`t be happy. The freedom I felt on the road will always be inside of me. I often dream about being far away in a foreign country and talk to strangers who become friends. I often think about what my life will bring and wonder if I will ever be able to travel again for a long time. I really miss the freedom to go where I like and when I like it. And it`s hard to fit in an environment where the people have so many luxury problems and the longer I´m here, the more I´m feeling that I worry about the non-important things too much, too. I saw people without a home and without food and I complain about rain in my holiday. I saw young people who would love to study but can`t and I complain about stress at work…
The good thing is that I´m still in touch with so many beautiful people I met on the road. With Vroni who I met in Thailand on my very first day I just travelled around the USA. Jobe from Australia, Welshy from Wales and Quentin from France came to visit me and Lena and I are planning to visit Jonas in Switzerland.
Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.
Whenever I feel the wanderlust again I talk to these wonderful people and the memories come alive again. Then I feel the wind in my hair as we`re driving around Vietnam with our motorbikes or I hear us singing karaoke with strangers or feel the warm sun on my skin as I´m sitting on a boat driving in the sunset to another country I don`t know yet.
No matter what happens, some memories can never be replaced….