So its a bit expensive to head back to the United States during Christmas so I like to do the next best thing during those two and a half weeks I have free: Travel.

This year, with two of my other english teaching friends, planned a trip to Berlin, Prague and Budapest and I added on some time in the beginning of the trip to visit with an old friends in Weisbaden. WOW! What a trip!

It ended up being a great time to get to know my new friends and reconnect with old ones. It also reminded me that staying in hostels are not too bad. We stayed in the Heart of Gold Hostel in Berlin. Right near the City Center it was conveniently located to the cool neighborhoods and main attractions and the highlight of Christmas time in Germany…..THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS!!

But this post isn’t about that.

One non-convenient thing about Heart of Gold was that they only offer wifi in the common zone/bar/breakfast area downstairs. When traveling to a foreign country free wifi is coveted so we were forced to spend time socializing with other travelers (joke! no one forced us.) What was really fun about this is when we heard people speaking a language we understood we were naturally curious to ask where they were from, what they were doing in Berlin, how long they had been there, how long they would stay and where we they coming from or going to. You know, covering the basics.

Through this method of quick get to know you, it was also apparent that many of us came without fixed plans and at any point in time you could persuade others to join you in a fun activity. Walking tours, Christmas dinners, trips to the Christmas markets and having four strangers slide down a huge ice slide together holding hands.

It was also during this trip that I was able to realize whether we come from east coast, west coast, the north or South America, we are all on the same journey. The lawyer on vacation, a soldier taking a few weeks personal leave time, a student or a teacher on Christmas break, the expat, the eurotripper find common ground. The people that I find myself with are open to offer ideas and perspective for life changing decisions without judgment. For so long I have felt that I have to go about life in a particular sequence and that I’m somehow messing it up by taking some time to really reflect on what is important to me. I have felt ashamed for not making the search for a lasting relationship the center of my world or even wanting that at this moment in my life. I have felt looked down on for not having a “real job” when I’m old enough to know better. Then one day during this trip I realized my life is my own and I will make my own destiny work for me.

I love traveling.