Group adventures are a lot fun. You get to meet people, joke around, and experience every moment together. You feel a part of something and in this case, I feel like I’m part of a close-nit family thousands of miles away from home.
With all its benefits, group outings are important. They can make or break a study abroad experience. But in the past two weeks, I realized alone time is just as important. And I haven’t given myself the chance to do many things on my own.
This thought dawned on me when I took a 7:15am bus to Dresden last Saturday. While my friends slept in, I watched the sun climb up and shine down on the green countryside of Germany. There was no busy chatter to distract me from my own thoughts. I had my quiet freedom.
Throughout the day, I navigated through the Old and New Town Square of Dresden by foot. Honoring each whim and taking detours here and there. I explored the Zwinger Palace, Furstenzug, and got lost in the beauty of the Palaisgartens.
Furstenzug (Procession of Princes)
I parked myself by the Elbe river. There was no rush to hurry towards another attraction. There was no urge to snap countless pictures to capture the moment. I was able to sit down and just be – which satisfied my introverted soul.
Sitting by the Elbe river
I feel like I’ve grown a lot in the past few days. I know that sounds unbelievable, but it’s true nonetheless. Being lost in a city of unfamiliar places, language, and people, I learned to trust myself to navigate through all situations. No matter what, I’ve been able to get from point A to B, order/cook meals, and make friends. Even with two weeks under my belt, Berlin has shown me that we are very adaptable. This revelation has given me confidence to take more “risks” and break down some of my insecurities.
So, when I have free time, I give myself me time. It’s been going very well so far. Check out some of places I’ve explored below.
Top: Exploring Mauerpark on a Sunday afternoon.
Left: Smelling the flowers at Treptower Park
Center: Trying Purzelchen (classic German dessert)
Right: Chilling by a lake at Treptower Park
More to come in SIX | Money Matters