La Esmeralda x Florality: True Wanderlust

Friday, August 7, 2015

True Wanderlust

You've saved up, you've dreamed, you've packed your bags. And now you're standing in line to board a plane that's going to take you to the place you've always just thought about going to. But now it's actually happening.

This feeling is true wanderlust.

If you don't already know, the word "wanderlust" actually originates from the beautiful Germany itself. "Wander" is wandern in German, which means "to wander" and the German word lust is "to desire." Literally: to desire to wander. Pretty straight forward.

So it only seemed right when I finally took the chance to travel to the place I've been wanting to go to for years....Germany.

I bought a special notebook just for this trip and the future ones to come, to log all of my adventures. I had a place to stay with my best friend, a suitcase full of hopes and dreams, and not a single itinerary in hand...

The first thing that had to be accomplished! Germany surprisingly had a wide variety of ethnic food. Turkish, Indian, Italian, and Chinese only being a few selections in many meal decisions...all good choices.

And, of course, I didn't forget to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Vegan Numi Chocolate Tea Cookies
Organic Matcha Green Tea Lemon Sorbet

And the sights were breathtaking. Every landmark is so surreal. I had to consistently ground myself every day and say "I'm in Germany. The place I've wanted to be in for five years."

The Dom Cathedral in Cologne, Germany

"Schloss Benrath" (Benrath Castle) in Dusseldorf
"Altstadt" (Old City) Dusseldorf
Cologne, Germany
Die Liebesschloss Brücke (The Love Lock Bridge) in Cologne

Hofgarten in Munich

The Viktualienmarkt in Munich
But the best part of it all? The friendships. Every single person was beautifully unique, from all over the world and Europe. And Germans are one of the most accommodating!

King Ludwig White Beer & the Chinese Tower in Munich

Planning to travel to Germany soon? Here's some DOs and DON'Ts that will be helpful for navigating:
  • DO use Trip Advisor for your sightseeing needs. Google Maps is also a great source!
  • DON'T buy your phone SIM card in the airport. Wait and ask your hotel staff or a friend where the best place is to buy it. I promise you it's at least four times cheaper!
  • DO travel by "Meinfernbus", it's one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get around all of Germany!
  • DO ask for help when you're lost. If your German is good enough, ask someone for directions! Germans are very approachable (despite the straightforward expressions they may put on) and if you're brave enough to try your German, go for it!
  • DO stay at places with free WiFi. You'll need it.
  • DO let your bank know that you'll be leaving the country. It would be a shame for them to close your bank account because of unknown ATM withdraws while  you're abroad!
  • DON'T stress too much about a set schedule. Germany is very hipster and very laidback. Unless you planned to go during an event, I challenge you to go without a plan! Things will come up and you'll be glad you didn't plan because you can make the most of this new opportunity!
  • DO try the beer. Germany is known for it. In many cities they have beers that they're known for. Cologne has the "Kölsch." Dusseldorf has the "Schlösser." Munich has liquid get the picture.
  • If you're staying with a host family DO where your house shoes and DON'T forget to bring them a gift for their hospitality. A guidebook of the city/state you're from is nice!
  • DO buy Birkenstock shoes. While Germany considers most Birkenstock shoes (especially the Arizona style) to be house shoes, the fashion in the U.S. begs to differ. So buy them here. They're half-price at the brand name store. Don't get me started on the Birkenstock outlets.

Ultimately, have fun! Wherever you're going, or wherever you want to go, cherish your time there, take pictures, and make memories that will last you a lifetime.

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