But, on the other hand …
Posted on February 19, 2012
The other day, I wrote about how, with two weeks left in Münster, I am trying to suck as much of it into my lungs as possible. How, suspended in this limbo, I am trying not to hurry time along so I can get on with things, but asking it to allow me enough of it, to truly appreciate the past 14 months. I am now about to completely contradict myself because there is another, loud, verbal, demanding part of me, one that is completely preoccupied with moving. Fixated on it. Willing it along. Placing the burden of expectation upon it, waiting for it to give, give, give … now, now, now.
One of the main reasons I based myself in Germany was because it is in the middle of Europe. Bang smack in the middle, with nine borders to boot. I would be able to experience living and working in a new culture as well as travel when time and money permitted. And travel I did; to Amsterdam by campervan, to Brussels by train and Dublin by plane. We drove to Denmark for a day trip and across to Bruges and Ghent for a weekend. I flew to London to visit my parents and Santorini was but a stone’s throw away for summer (as opposed to the first time I decided I was going to spend a summer in Santorini, when it took 24 hours and cost $3000 to get there). And then there was Germany itself. Münster, Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Nürnberg, Fürth, Köln, Osnabrück, Kiel and the soon to be new home, Weiden. It was all trains, planes and the autobahn.
Quite obviously, I love to travel. It brings something out of me, something I feel is rather important. I love that thrill of being somewhere new, that bubbling in your stomach as you disembark somewhere completely unknown. I like standing in foreign supermarkets, drinking in foreign bars. I like sitting in cafes and lying in parks. I just like being in different places. I like having that difference to look forward to, to plan. Or to enjoy spontaneously because a weekend is free and tickets are cheap. This was the fuel that drove my Big Move to Germany. And after my Big Move to Germany, this fuel was going to drive me to Spain or China, where I would spend another year working and living in a different country, surrounded by different people and a different language. And after that, to London, perhaps, to finally give that whole Australian-living-in-London thing a go.
But then, someone happened. And then, after many months and three extraordinary weeks together on an extraordinary island, that someone and I decided long distance just wasn’t going to cut it. Cross country just wasn’t going to cut it. Add to this the fact that I was ready to plan my next adventure, ready to leave the cosy confines of Münster, and he was moving to the south-east of Germany, a whole different country, depending on who you ask. It made sense to move in together.
So everything changed, and in changing, many things ground to a halt, including travel plans. After a spontaneous Belgian stint in October last year, border crossing got bumped down a notch on the priorities ladder. Travel became weekend trips to visit SG in whatever city he was working, and then ten days in the north of Germany for Christmas. Money had to be put towards train tickets and petrol, commuting 8 hours to said place from Münster, for apartment viewings and job interviews, then furnishing a new place.
As a consequence of all of these things, I have stayed longer in one place than I planned. And those feet I thought may have slowed down a little, are beginning to tap again, with restlessness, with frustration. It makes me wonder if I will ever settle and with what amount of strength I will have to fight myself, when the first year has passed in Weiden. When I am knee deep in a Bavarian winter, staring out the window, dreaming of the south of France or Jamaica. It makes me feel a little sorry for just how much wanderlust harping SG is going to cop. Good thing he likes mini-breaks.
We have things planned, once we’re settled down there. And thank God, otherwise I would do my head in. A day trip to München for lunch and a gig, a train trip to Prague. SG wants to drive to Italy in April for a little sojourn and we will go to Santorini for two weeks in the summer. Moving, finally, 6 months after it was first discussed, will be an all consuming antidote to this extraordinary restlessness that currently pervades my days. Moving will be a new town and new borders. But ultimately, moving, when it finally happens, will be extremely satisfying because, it will fuse the reason I came here, with the reason I am staying.