“I can’t explain it”
When I set out to travel abroad I never really thought about the significance of counting the days I have been traveling. Another traveler I follow “Biff Narlee” who I find to be a comedic genius in front of the camera will occasionally write down and display the number of days he has been on the road. I never made a commitment to doing something like this or really keeping track of the day count at all. But after passing a year it was easy to figure out when day 400 was approaching. I don’t know why this number made me reflect so much once I knew it was approaching. I don’t know why exactly, but like many things in my life I can’t explain it. It was feeling inside and prefer to follow my feelings. The feeling that arose when I realized 400 was approaching is that it was time to book a trip back to Ohio.
If you follow my Instagram or Facebook than you know for the past week I’ve begun to travel for a bit in Europe. I just spent 4 nights and 5 days in Germany. I was fortunate enough to have met a travel addicted surf friend (Meike) who lives in Munich while on a surf trip to Lombok a month ago. She offered to put me up and show me around if I came to Munich. Germany had always been a major bucket list country for me. It is where the majority of my bloodline originates from and I was brought up on bratwurst, sauerkraut and beer by my Grandma and dad. So in my quest to circumnavigate around the planet during this trip I decided to book a flight to Germany, which would provide a chance to see two other new countries (Belgium & Holland) with relative ease. It also made the decision easy when I found a $350 flight from Amsterdam to Cincinnati.
Before leaving to Indonesia everyone following my Instagram told me that I should stop in Berlin while in Germany, but “balling on a budget” as I like to live now there wasn’t enough money and time available to visit both Berlin and Munich. A free place to stay in München (German spelling) and the proximity to Bavarian style food made this an easy choice. Berlin will just have to wait for the time being. I was lucky enough to get to experience a late-night Berlin electronic music club like experience in Munich at Bahnwärtwer Thiel. This club is built right next to the train tracks. It is constructed from old shipping containers and an old train car. The art inside and around is very hip to creepy. The lighting for photos was too bad for the creepy spare bedroom in the shipping container club to turn out so you will just have to go see this place in person!
Germany lived up to all of the expectations I had built up in my head since a young child. I visited a couple of old castles, saw the Alps for the very first time, drank many types of beer, over indulged in multiple pretzels and other various Bavarian food specialties. I’m pretty certain in five days there I gained back all of the weight I lost while living in SE Asia and may need to get a heart stint put in a few years early. We rode bikes and walked enough around the city in order to help burn off the extra caloric intake in hopes that my abs resemble a six pack and not a pony keg. The food and beer were well worth the extra work. Munich reminded me a lot of Denver, but just slightly farther away from the breathtaking mountain views.
My wonderful friend and tour guide Meike is almost as addicted to the surf lifestyle as me so it was a mandatory for us to go surfing on one of the several river waves located in Munich. We were able to rent a special board shaped and sized for surfing a stationary river wave from the SantoLoco Surf & Skate Shop. We headed out to the beginner’s wave at Flosslände aka Floßlände. We gave it our best shot learning how to surf a stationary wave over the course of two afternoons. The second day my friend Verena, who I drove around New Zealand with for 5.5 weeks came to watch. Meike and I weren’t exactly impressing Verena or the local spectators with our skills, but it is fun to be able to say that I’ve officially surfed in Germany.
Last night I took a 12 hour bus ride and arrived to Brussels, Belgium. I’m meeting up with a friend, who is now one of my closest travel friends. Rick and I met in Vietnam last year through some mutual travel friends from the States. He’s one of the few people I know who has the same flexibility to go wherever he wants when he wants. It has made it easy to bond a friendship and explore several countries together. After Belgium it will be on to the Netherlands before heading home to see Tez (my dog - he has his own Instagram if you want to creep it) and family. Arriving in Cincinnati will officially complete my first around the world trip. But it won’t be the end of my travel lifestyle as I plan to keep going after a month in the USA.