Four days ago I found myself in a small town in Germany, my toes were numb from the winter wind that strikes through to your very core, and my soul was some what flattened. I had just spent two amazing weeks in Berlin with old friends whom I met in San Francisco when I was living there.
I should have been ecstatic but instead this overwhelming feeling of being abundantly lost overcame my body.
Usually I enjoy the feeling of being lost, but the days that followed showed me how upsetting your soul can get when being lost in the wrong frame of mind.
If I am honest, I suppose it was the cold that was really getting to me. So many people kept telling me to ‘get over it’, and to enjoy it. But after over 6 months of Summer I had landed in Europe to a raw and intense cold front. I was so use to following the sun that the grey skies that led to below zero temperatures could do nothing for me than make it hard for me to ever want to leave the comfort of indoors.
We ran around Berlin, regardless of this, causing the complete trouble we knew we would when we finally all reunited, I had dreamed of the day that I was going to get the chance to do this again, with these people who helped create who I am today, in the city that has my heart. It truly was wonderful, yet something was bothering me, like an itch at the back of your neck that you know your not suppose to scratch, yet knowing that your not suppose to scratch it just gives you more incentive to do it!
I found a new travel buddy in Berlin, an absolutely insane, out-of-this-world Brazilian named Laura.
Laura shares a lot of the same values of traveling as me, as well as that, she’s completely mental and has this attitude that absolutely anything is possible and she shares the same love as me in relationship to San Francisco.
Safe to say she is my kind of human!
We decided to travel together after Berlin. I voted for somewhere south, where the sun would at least be at our demand. So we headed to a small town near Frankfurt called Mainz, where Laura had a friend who we could crash with that she met in South East Asia. From there we decided to book a flight for a few days later to Porto, Lisbon.
Mainz is a small University town thats placed quite quaintly on the west bank of the River Rhine. We stayed in a small flat with Phil, a German university student that shares our love for travel.
We spent out days exploring the city and… well sleeping. We were so exhausted from Berlin that we slept in most days and spent our nights roaming roaming around aimlessly.
i was stuck in my head, a place I do not like to get stuck in. The freedom of my brain and stability had some how started deteriorating, all I could think about was how happy I am whenever I am in San Francisco. I constantly wonder if I will ever find a place where I felt so full and so much inspiration.
I had cut myself off from the world for a few days, I deactivated my Facebook and sat in this room in Mainz wondering how it could be that I could feel so much happiness and wellbeing in one place, and so much confusion and frustration in another.
I was ready to leave Germany. MORE then ready. As beautiful as it is, the cold was started to ruin my time and I was missing my Vitamin D.
On the day of our flight from Frankfurt to Porto, I jumped up, brushed my teeth, put my clothes on and rushed out the door.
Me and Laura farewelled Phil and got on the train to the airport. We had be assured that there was only one airport in Frankfurt, we took every pro-caution to be at the boarding gate to our flight on time.
We exit the train smiling and giggling, still half asleep from the early morning wake up.
We search the information board for our flight, Frankfurt to Porto. Our flight is no where to be seen. Of course.
I start to get nervous and run to the information desk that is close by. I show the man my E-ticket and he looks at me with this “Oh honey… Im so sorry” kind of look on his face.
He explains to me that we are at the wrong airport, and that we can get a bus from here to the one we need get our flight from.
I smile and gasped, “Thank God!”
“My dear… The boarding gate for this flight closes in 25 minutes, it takes 1 and a half hours to get to this airport from here.”
I look at Laura and she is staring back at me with this blank look on her face. We are both super stuck for cash, I’m literally out of cash, minus $$ even, and Laura is now down to her last $2000.
We walk away stunned and go and sit down, stealing wifi from the airport trying to decide what to do.
My argument was I was done, I wanted OUT of Germany, I wasn’t even thinking about how much money it would cost me. I wanted to book a new flight there and then and be on a red eye by midnight.
Laura talked some sense into me, explaining its not worth it, we just needed to calm down and research cheap flights again.
We researched flights between Germany and Portugal, Spain, and France. As it happens we found a cheap flight for the following day, this time into Lisbon instead of Porto. We booked it and took the train back to Phils.
The next 24 hours where that of utter deliriousness and confusion, me and Laura, tired with our head in the clouds, walked around Mainz laughing at our misfortune.
The next day we got to the airport 3 hours early, when we finally got on the plane to fly to Portugal, our exhaustion got the better of us and we both passed out. When I opened my eyes, I looked out the window and saw a beautiful landscape of pristine blue ocean, and lush green land. Finally, a little sun, mixed with that of nature.
I have been in Lisbon for 5 days now. The streets have become familiar and as I walk through them I can’t help but to feel nostalgia from another place in my head that leads me again, back to San Francisco.
Maybe its the fact that Lisbon has its very own Golden Gate bridge. Or maybe its the cable cars that connect you from the top to the bottom of the steep roads. Whatever it is, Lisbon is a replica of San Francisco. The misty cool air states that you are somewhere in between an Australian and European winter, like that of a San Francisco winter. The sun shines all day, though take a wrong turn into the shade and you experience the chills of a full frontal winter.
I was unaware that coming to a city so similar to the one I love, would open up my eyes and free my head from the confusion I had set myself in.
My first day in Lisbon I left Laura at our couch surfing hosts house and I walked the streets alone, looking for a place to clean my dirty clothes. I found a laundromat, set my clothes to 30 minutes and went out in the park next door. I laid on the grass, soaking up the sun and wrote something in my notebook about the infectious seduction of San Francisco.
My head was no longer stuck in its own, I felt not alone, but lost. Inspired again to keep capturing every inch of beauty that I experience every day.
If nothing else, thats all we can ask for; to be thankful for the beauty that surrounds us…
These are the words I wrote as I lay in the sun that Lisbon has to offer me;
This is where it started, my head up in the clouds,
I couldn’t see much further then that of what trees can see for miles.
I looked around, I took a breath, my eyes started to shine,
I started to move I felt the air that forever feels like mine.
This place, I’ve been more then once and still to no suprise,
Whenever my feet are planted here I just can’t help but to cry
It’s not because I’m sad, no way, quite the opposite in fact.
This heavenly earth, the one I’ll always crave, has given me just that.
That feeling that your falling from a plane down to the ground,
With strings attached you know your safe but forever you scream and shout
With joy of course, adrenaline, the shear thrill to be alive.
This place that I’ve been dreaming off is here and plain in site.
It doesn’t judge, it doesn’t curse, it holds me just so tight.
I express myself with bubbles and art and in return she smiles with delight.
The streets are filled with character the mountains filled with land, land of which I’ll cross with shoes that hold the dirt and sand.
The dirt from the ground smells different to any other dirt, the trees, the bark, the leaves smell so majestically perfect.
The golden bridge gleams in the sun but even in the fog, the fog brings out the best in us, you wouldn’t think it possible.
So here I’ll stay my hearts bounded to you forever and a day.
My home, my safe zone, yet my unbelievably eccentric city,
I love you so San Francisco you’ve become a part of me.