Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.
I departed Munich on the 10th of June 2016, at 6.35am, on board LH1808. I chose 5A, the seat right by the window and I remember how the sky above me looked: a light, faded pink canvas, marked all over by careless streaks and smudges of grey watercolour paint.
A middle-aged man sat down beside me, his wife diagonally in front of me to my right and his young son, Moritz, right in front of me.
“Papa, alles in Ordnung? Hast du keine Angst?” (“Papa, is everything okay? Do you have no fear?”) Moritz asked his father, to which he replied in between barely suppressed giggles, “Ja Schatzie, alles in Ordnung!” (“Yes Darling, everything’s alright!”)
Moritz turned to his Mum, “Mama, warum fliegen wir nicht ab?” (“Mama, why are we not flying off?”) “Die Türen müssen noch geschlossen werden… Dann geht’s los!” (“The doors must still be shut… then things’ll get going!”) I jolted when Moritz suddenly exclaimed, shrieked almost, “Türen schließen!” (“Cloooooose the doooors!”)
His father and I exchanged smiles – mine was of amusement while his was of slight embarrassment. I didn’t think he needed to be embarrassed though, his child was so charmingly adorable, so incredibly curious, so wonderfully innocent.
Apart from the few words we exchanged every now and then, I spent most of the flight quiet in my thoughts, looking out of the window and down at Earth below me. The clouds looked like what I’d imagine the insides of a soft, fluffy duvet would look like. Every now and then, the sharp peaks of mountains from down below poked right through to say hello.
I kept thinking and thinking, I couldn’t quite place my finger on the word I could use to describe the nervous excitement — fearing yet yearning for the unknown — associated with new things, that which I felt inside me.
I have always felt myself at a loss of words trying to convey that sort of a feeling precisely. I have to throw in several words to convey the effect: anxious, dreamy, excited, nervous, fresh, overwhelmed and so forth.
The closest one word I could think of was ‘Forward-looking’. But I feel, it is a bit too positive. Another word that I would consider is ‘Ambivalent’, but it needn’t necessarily convey the feelings of a new beginning. There must be a better word, isn’t it?
I arrived in Terminal 1, while Miriam was due to arrive in about 75 minutes later in Terminal 2. I got on the airport shuttle bus to realise that there were not one, like we previously assumed, but TWO terminal 2s, namely T2B and T2C. So there I was, hundreds of kilometres away from home, unable to speak a word of Spanish, on an airport shuttle not knowing where I should be heading… but I listened to my heart, it told me “T2B”, and that’s exactly where I went.
It wasn’t too long before Miriam’s familiar face emerged out of the arrival hall. In a land of foreign-ness, her presence was just about all I needed to untie the knots in my unsettled nerves…
Here’s me embarking on the near impossible, slightly daunting, but nevertheless exciting task of documenting all (or at least almost all) the amazing moments I experienced during the 27 days I spent gallivanting around Europe with Miriam. 🙂