9:09 p.m. - Munich, Germany
After making us some home cooked dinner consisting of spaghetti and white wine, Bettina and I walked from her apartment to the Munchen Hauptbanhof Train Station. I boarded my overnight train, with only 13 minutes to spare to say good-bye to my dear friend. With my back-pack inside the train, I clung to the handle of the door to keep chatting with her before the train rolled out of the station. I really wanted to sit down and talk with her for hours, and I could tell she felt the same way, although it was my time to explore the world on my own. I promised her I'd come back to visit soon and she reiterated that 'Hotel Betty' was always open.
I'll admit buying a one-way ticket to any destination is not ideal for most people. At the time, having no return dates was very daunting, because it took me out of my comfort zone. Moreover the situation raised one question amongst my friends in Europe.
“Where are you going next?”
“I don’t know.” I said with some pride.
Every one of them looked at me with concern and probably thought I should check into the nearest insane asylum instead of continuing my travels. Well perhaps a session with a shrink could be beneficial, but I think I would be crazy if I didn’t let my heart decide. After all, the theme of my trip has been spur-of- the-moment, and I still believe it’s possible to travel without planning and still live to tell about it.
Now I’m not one for regrets but traveling alone without a plan always raises three questions: Am I comfortable with my decisions? Am I scared? Am I worried about entering a foreign country, alone with no place to stay, no map of the city and without prior knowledge of the language? And I would always answer. Yes. No. Absolutely.
I told Betty, that I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t pin point what it was. I told her I just know this moment. I know what happened yesterday, and I don't know what will happen tomorrow, so what was I worried about?
I was afraid to fail.
Bettina's response struck a chord with me.
"Just fail. I have failed many times but at least I tried."
She said this with a gigantic smile on her face. Only a free spirited person can give such advice. She's right, whether it be a positive or a negative outcome, it really equates to a neutral result. Hence it becomes an experience.
Life is just that...an experience.
But there was more substance to her words. Ultimately she wanted me to enjoy the journey and also the suffering-process-of-it-all that sometimes comes with it.
She wanted me to live the moment.
Perhaps I will fail my Italian courses in Florence and now, it doesn’t matter.
Danke, Bettina. I needed that.