Just blogging

When time stops

Since I’m back to university, the same university I started my studies around nine years ago, it feels like nothing has really changed. My friends still live in the same town, few of them are still studying – like me. It feels like time traveling – I’ve lived abroad for 7 years and now that I’m back, things are pretty much the same. Especially this week, where we’re having a student exchange with (not only) students from Toulouse. The first time I participated in that exchange was exactly eight years ago and even though I was only 20 yo, the program was pretty tough. I mean, we were students. And so with the cultural program we’d do during the day and then the social gathering on top of it, we basically didn’t sleep at all for one week. It was pretty awesome. And still is, especially because the group dynamic this year is insane.

This weekend was the start of this year’s exchange and boy am I tired! And it’s only the start. (This is also why I’ve been running late with this blog post.) However, I’ll take it slowly this year because in contrast to my early 20s, I’m taking my studies a little more serious now and don’t want to miss classes because I can’t bring myself to get out of bed. Besides, even though I like the comfort of a little emotional throwback, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to do the same things over and over again. Of course, I’m super happy having my friends from university around, but at the same time, I almost feel like I’m back in my first semester and to me, that somewhat feels like regressing. That’s why right now, I’m planning to cram everything I still need to do to get my BA into this semester, so that I’m hopefully done by the end of the year. After that, there’ll still be time to travel and party.

Just blogging

Gypsy life

Last week, I wrote about my time in Munich and how those first few weeks were like. True, the beginning was a little rough, but it was all worth it because what followed after was just amazing. I it wasn’t super cliché I’d even say transformative.

So after staying with my host from Couchsurfing and crushing at my colleague’s place, I moved to this hostel called The Tent. As you can guess from the name, it’s a place with tents, you can either bring your own or sleep in a group tent. It’s a little outside, maybe half an hour from the center of Munich and located in the middle of a huge park, but it actually feels more like being in the woods.

I arrived and immediately fell in love with the place. It was a nice summer evening and travelers from all over the world were sitting on the terrace, playing guitar and singing. People were chilling in hammocks and beach chairs. A little further away, there was a group playing ping pong. Right next to the terrace, the Tent crew was preparing some barbecue dinner, it smelled delicious. There were colorful chains of lights hanging in the trees, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere. After the sun had set, a fire was lit and everyone sat around it. The campfire was a custom that was repeated every night. I never grew tired of it.

On my second day already, some other campers invited me to join them on a tour through Munich. We bought some wine and took a walk through the city before we headed to the Eisbach to watch people surf. We then sat down somewhere in the English Garden and spent the day sunbathing. Every day was more or less like that, spending every minute outside, having good conversations and cheap wine, I just loved it. We also went to the Tollwood festival which was taking place at around the same time and I almost got a tattoo there. One of my friends wanted to get one too, but didn’t go through with it after all. And since it’s no fun getting a tattoo at a festival all by myself, I didn’t get one either. Tough in retrospect, I’m pretty glad that we both kinda chickened out. We were drunk, and the tattoos would probably have turned out pretty ugly.

I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but my time at The Tent was just an incredibly freeing experience. (And I think the unreliable wifi connection added to that.) I got to know so many interesting people in such a short amount of time, everyone had a different, fascinating background.

I also learnt some stuff about myself, namely that I want to spend my life traveling. Not in fancy hotels, but in simplest way. (When I was 18, I actually wanted to life in a mobile home and travel around. I just never got a driver’s license because as it turns out, I hate driving.) I also discovered that I’m totally fine not wearing fancy outfits and that the more stuff you own, the more it slows you down.

So now the only thing I have to do is to figure out how I can be a traveling nomad but still have an income, aha. Maybe there’s a book for dummies that’ll explain it to me.

Just blogging

When I was homeless

Almost one year ago, I got this incredible opportunity to work as an intern at Condé Nast. I applied in a moment where I had nothing figured out and I didn’t even expect anything from it. I just wanted to see what my chances were, but thought that my application would probably be rejected. I’m not  sure if I’d have applied otherwise – it was past mid-May and they needed someone who could start in June and the Condé Nast office was in Munich, around 600 km away from where I lived at that time.

To my surprise, I got a callback only two days later. And since I’d never say no to an institution like Condé Nast, I started planning my move to Munich. Everything went well, I found someone to sublet my room to as well as an apartment. Everything went really fast and it was almost miraculous how perfectly things fell into place.

I arrived in Munich late on a Sunday evening and made my way to the apartment where I was supposed to meet the landlady’s daughter, my future roommate, who would be there with the keys. But when I arrived, no one was there. Besides, I couldn’t find her name on any of the door plates. So I frantically tried to call her, which also didn’t work, because apparently, she gave me the wrong country code (she and her family were Irish). I finally got a hold of her by messaging her on Facebook. She explained that there was some sort of family emergency and that she couldn’t meet me that day. But she’d try to get there the day after. She suggested that I should stay at a hotel until then.

I was pretty broke at that time, mostly because I had just paid a month’s rent and the deposit to that reckless bitch that didn’t show up. It also was my first time in Munich, so I had no idea where to go. Besides, considering that I was carrying four huge bags that night, I was also very reluctant to start wandering around, looking for a place to stay. And if that wasn’t enough, I also couldn’t really use my phone because I had limited data transfer. Lucky for me, there was a hotel right next to the apartment and with the money I still had, I even could afford a night. And they had wifi!

I had an inkling that I wouldn’t hear from that girl anytime soon and so I spent the rest of the night and the next morning looking for a host on Couchsurfing. Again, I was super lucky, because in only one hour I found someone who was willing to host me for a week. Yet, I still didn’t know how lucky I was at that point. But that couchsurfing contact also put me in contact with a girl who sublet her room at a student’s residency where I could move in a few weeks later. In the meanwhile, I squatted at one of my new colleague’s place (she even was so ind to stay at her boyfriend’s for that time). After that, I lived at a hostel. Again, it was my CS host who gave me the address. Eventually, I also got my payments for rent and the deposit back.

So yes, in the end, everything worked in my favor. The room at the student’s residency was only half of the rent I would have paid at the other place. But most importantly, I got to meet some incredible people and I’m incredibly grateful for all the help, support and unexpected kindness I received from total strangers. Without them, my situation would have been pretty dire to say the least, especially because I didn’t feel like I really had a support system back home.

This entire experience has definitely strengthened my wishful thinking that some things happen for a reason. I mean after the troubles during the first few days/weeks, I was much better off than I’d been with the original plan. And who knows how things would have turned out with a roommate who clearly doesn’t give a shit. (Btw, I still don’t understand what her deal was. If the family issue was real, then why couldn’t she manage to send someone on her behalf to pass the keys? For a moment, I thought it was a scam, even though I had a contract and even though extensive stalking didn’t show anything suspicious. But then I got all my money back. I really don’t understand.)

Also, the time I spend at the hostel probably was the best time I ever had. But I feel like I’ll talk about that in another blogpost.

Until then, enjoy your Sunday night!