In 2009, having worked for almost ten years without a proper holiday, I finally mustered enough courage to take a trip on my own. And I chose Berlin.
I had become interested in Street Art and Berlin had featured in a number of articles I had come across and the more I read of other people’s accounts of the city the more it intrigued me. I booked a luxury hotel at a bargain bucket price on Expedia and cheap flights with Easy Jet and armed with a couple of guidebooks I went to see it for myself. And I fell in love. I saw a lot of the city in five days but I knew I had only scratched the surface. I went back in 2010. This time for seven days but still left knowing there was a lot more to discover. In 2011, I decided to leave my job in the City (a decision that baffled and scared my parents in equal measures) and spend more time in Berlin. I had already booked my third trip at this stage so had another week under my belt by the time I made the arrangements to move.
I found a flat through an agent on the internet, booked more flights with Easy Jet and packed as many of my possessions as I could carry.
I was careful to keep my plans loose so that I could do what I wanted, when I wanted. I had an idea that I would like to be in Berlin for a year. I think you need to live somewhere to really get to know it and you need to see it in all seasons.
I was determined to learn to speak German so I took Rosetta Stone Levels 1-5 with me and hoped to study in the mornings and practise during my forays in the afternoons.
I had been thinking about how best to record my experiences and my thoughts about my time in Berlin for a while by the time I set up this blog six weeks into my stay. Whilst it’s easy to upload photos to Flickr or Facebook, write short and to the point comments on Twitter or write anything and everything in a diary, a blog seemed like the best way to achieve all of the above.
So, time for the experiment.
I’m not usually very good at getting my thoughts down on paper (or onto the web in this case) and I don’t even find it easy to navigate my way around other people’s blogs so this could be an unmitigated disaster. But as the alternative is not having a record of what will hopefully be the most memorable year of my life, it’s got to be worth a try.