Although this 2-month experience was expected and planned, the departure itself came very spontaneously. I was interviewed by Hestia Hellas on the 26th of October, booked my flight on the 28th, and landed in Athens on the 1st of November. The “pre-departure” day to Athens was, in itself, quite intriguing, as you will read.
Wednesday, October 31st.
Happy Halloween! I’m travelling to Berlin today where I’ll fly to Athens. Why Berlin, you ask? As I talk about it in this post, flying in Europe can be super cheap if you know how to travel on a budget. I start with a bus ride to Berlin Schönefeld, take a shuttle bus to the hotel, and settle in for the day.
I grab a quick dinner at the lobby and enjoy a glass of wine while doing some readings for an upcoming internship in Morocco– I am contributing to a 12-week course aimed at American exchange students, and local students, in Rabat. I first read Nezha Alaoui’s “Be A Leader” book (I recommend it!) and start making comments on the course plan. There’s something incredibly motivating about doing some work in a hotel, something I don’t know exactly how to describe. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten used to living out of a suitcase? I don’t know. I just know that, although being all over the place is exhausting, sitting in this hotel lobby, with my glass of wine, reading about what makes one a leader, is exponentially more motivating than if I were to do so in my bed in Hamburg.
In the distance, I hear an old couple speaking, and I realise later on that they’re from Quebec. If you also come from a small town, you know the feeling when you’re abroad and you find someone that speaks not only your language but your dialect! Someone that understands your culture and your humour. I’m not a spiritual person, but meeting these people at this specific time, a time where, although I was glad to embark on a new adventure, I was still bitter about what had happened in London, was somewhat of a sign. Maybe London wasn’t supposed to happen right away?
Later on, a young girl comes to me, her parents smiling and surely wondering what in the world she’s doing talking to a stranger, and asks me about what I’m doing. She then sits down next to me as I explain to her what I’m working, that I come from Canada and that I’m living in Germany now. She tells me that she doesn’t know where Canada is, but that she wants to go there too one day. I swear, I’m not one to believe in signs, but that evening was one full of weird, yet inspiring meetings. That little girl was me a couple of years ago!
I go back up to my room, finish up some articles for Kotmo and my blog, and get ready to leave at 3 AM the next morning.