In January I went on my very first solo trip ever: 3 weeks of railing through Europe. I felt so nervous the days before I left and even when I woke up on the morning of January 2nd I was still not sure if I really wanted to do it. I was a bundle of nerves! Although I am 24, I had never stayed anywhere by myself, and now I was going to a place where I knew no-one and where I would stay with strangers. For some easy-peasy but I was not so confident at first! But turns out, I had nothing to worry about..
I took an early morning train from Amersfoort to Berlin. My dad dropped me off and the moment the train started pulling out of the station there were some tears. Now it was really going to happen. I still had no idea what was in store for me so that didn’t really help that much. When I arrived in Berlin, the first thing I noticed was the immense cold. Back home it hadn’t been that cold but in Berlin I was surprised with sub zero temperatures. I did not dress for this! It was just a short walk to the hostel, my first hostel stay!
For my first 3 nights away I chose to stay in a 6 person female dorm in the Generator Berlin hostel, although after I didn’t bother searching for specifically female dorms anymore. There was just 1 girl in the room when I got in, and I was adamant to see something of the city instead of staying in and waiting for more people to come in. I decided to walk to the Brandenburger Tor and then went to the Reichstag, where I had made an appointment to go up in the dome. Even in the dome it was super cold, but the view was pretty awesome despite the limited visibility. It was kinda weird to walk around alone because everywhere I saw couples and families enjoying the post-New Year’s days. Being alone for the first time can be quite in your face.
After the Reichstag I wandered to Potsdammer Platz through the absolute bitter cold. I spend some time in one of the malls located at the Platz to have some wifi and call home. Luckily for me there were still Christmas decorations up everywhere, so I was infused with some Christmas cheer. I grabbed cheap food and that turned out to be a stupid choice. I walked past so many busy food stands and ended up at an empty one.. Never a good sign!
I must say that at that point I was feeling pretty low. I hadn’t even left home for more than a day but I felt so lonely. Luckily everything was about to change. When I got back to the hostel, my room had filled with a bunch of lovely girls. I got to talking with a very nice Brazilian girl currently living in Dublin. I kinda invited myself along when she mentioned that she was going to go on a pub crawl with two other Brazilian girls. In the first 30 minutes things were kinda awkward but when the alcohol started flowing we started speaking the same language. It was really nice to get to know new people and learn about their lives.
The pub crawl was okish. The first bar was nice, we really got the opportunity to talk and get to know them. The second club was very nice for dancing and I had a blast. Unfortunately the third one looked cool (see above) but was not really my style. We had to wait forever, in -24 degree real feel weather, and I can asure you that is pretty darn cold when your are wearing jeans with cut-outs, but when I got inside the place was pretty empty and the music was not really my taste. I decided to call it a night and head back to the hostel while my new Brazilian friends danced the night away. Apparently 10 minutes after I left they went to the next club and that one turned out to be awesome. Just my luck.. Ah well, I had a great first evening!