Southern Germany, Green Grass, and New Goals

Wednesday, May 22 we saw the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles about half an hour outside of Munich. Catching trains, walking 10+ miles a day, and filling our days with city exploration characterized the majority of our time up to this point. While that aspect of this experience has been so rewarding and enlightening, our travel outside of the city was a much needed chance to just slow down and take a breath. To move to an area with less people, buildings, cars, and noise, and move toward an area with more grass, hills, mountains, color, and natural water helped to put my mind at ease and recharge as we continue our time here.

Even the aspect of traveling by train is a new experience that brings a different kind of headspace along with it. Taking a train, especially for longer distances, is an experience in it of itself. It allows you to sit back, turn your head to look out the window, and accept that you don’t have the speed of an airplane or the control of a car. There’s a sort of peace that comes with this and an opportunity to think in a way you can’t while you’re driving or walking to your next immediate destination. I never really have the chance to travel by train in the U.S., but I hope I can bring this kind of headspace back with me. Seize the opportunities that may be out of your hands and enjoy the moment. Like this one, you may never have this chance again.

This day continually progressed in excitement and nearly every head turn I thought to myself “this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.” I have never seen so much of that light shade of green. On the ground, in the trees, all around me it felt like someone turned up the saturation levels. Gabby made a comment afterwards that it was really exciting to watch me get so excited, and I really was. 

I love learning about the history of this country and these cities. But I also love living in the present and experiencing and seeing new levels of beauty that I’ve never experienced prior. This day was a day of witnessing new levels of beauty. 

Luckily I wore my Chaco’s so I took the opportunity to roll up my jeans and just stand in the large lake in the small town we were in. The water was so cold but it quickly became so peaceful. This day I was truly happy and I tried my best to just soak in every moment and try to brand these images into my memory. Coming into CR, I imagined Switzerland and Italy to be the places of visual beauty and Germany to be the place of knowledge and history. It was a very meaningful moment to be reminded that I have know idea what to expect. I have no idea what’s coming next, what I will learn, who I will meet, or what I will see. Every day brings something new and unexpected. I really feel like I’m developing this new way of experiencing my everyday life while I’m here. My goal is to bring this mindset of letting go, releasing any expectations for the near or far future, and appreciating what today will bring.

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