In 2015 I left Australia with a one-way ticket and $500 in my bank account. I’d never left the country before. I sent my passport away for my English work visa to be approved, in true “me” fashion I waited till the last minute to get the visa application sorted, so the day before I was supposed to fly out of Brisbane International airport I sat waiting at my dad’s house thinking it’s over. I’m not going. I was way too chicken to fly alone and my best friend was leaving whether I sorted my visa or not. I thought, I’ll check the mailbox one last time and if it’s not there I’ll call and I suppose reschedule my life. Shitting my pants I walked to the mailbox already prepared emotionally to have to make the trip on my own to Frankfurt. I have never anticipated a package more than this one. Anyway, I opened the mailbox and “boom” there it was. The holy miracle of all the days!! I immediately called my best friend, we both screamed with excitement and I ran around her house yelling to the family” I’m going to Europe”
The flight was great, I went with Emirates. They gave me this nice little package and I learnt for the first time what a long haul meant. Mane as I tired by the time we hit Singapore, with still another flight to go.
What’s funny to look back on now is the fact that I was so insanely scared. I thought this was easily the most insane thing I’d ever do in my life (I have had a baby now so I am well versed on the fact it’s gets way more cray cray) I remember being so scared that in Singapore we had time to have an adventure and I cling to our boarding gate, like there was no way possible I was going to miss the second flight.
I’m pretty sure I slept and it was really easy and fun the next leg of the flight.
Touching down in Germany in Frankfurt was pretty much one of the coolest moments of my life. I’d never felt so aware. I don’t know about you but when I travel this awareness arises from me, and I notice almost every little detail, I’m seeing birds, noises of boats off in the distance, a vase of flowers 2 stories up in the window of an apartment. It all seems so significant.
We had a hostel booked near the train station and it seemed pretty nice. Our room was shared and I accidentally woke up this guy who to this day I never got to see his face, he was a total ninja and never made eye contact!
When we got there the others wanted to go for drinks at the bar, me I wanted to settle into the room. I’m actually the lamest backpacker, I barely drank anything. Actually, in the year aboard I think I had 3 drinks. I was high in life. I didn’t need stimulants, plus I was so committed to personal safety I thought I didn’t need to binge it up. I’d done my fair share in the safety of my home town Toowoomba to consider a lifetime of drinking for most!
Anyway, the others came back after a few and went straight to sleep. I was already in bed. Next morning the girls slept in and I needed adventure. I think I freaked them both out because I was gone for a few hours. I just went on this huge walk.
I don’t know about you but I don’t think the typical tourist places give you a real feel for what people do in the city your visiting. I honk the boring stuff has so many interesting unique things that are woven into the normality of it all. In the middle of the suburb where the airport is, there is this tent city. Now before I left Aus I’d never heard of tent cities. So when I first saw it I was intrigued. I figured it was probably. It a place to walk around acting all touristy so I sat at a bus stop at one end of it with a park behind me. It was surreal. This city, of basically a camp. Right in the middle of a serious business area. The news stand to my left, selling coffees and news papers to the business people just strolling around. The city itself was really quiet. Locked up almost. The privacy was fairly good, which surprised me. It looked like people were fairly proud of where they lived. To this day I still wished I could have gone into the tent city and made some friends. I could only imagine the stories they had to tell about the city and their lives.
I wasn’t far from the hostel so when I got back I could still see in the distance the edge of the tent city. While I stood out front of the hostel my best friend and our travel partner rolled out the doorway and noticed me
Immediately. My bestie giving me a stern reminder that it’s safer to do this stuff together and never take off on our own. I knew she was probably right but I will never forget that hour on the bench by the tents.
We were chatting away when I realised, Yangon this place, is a brothel. Not our hostel but the establishment below it. Whoa! How had none of us noticed this till now? We moved inside quickly haha. We didn’t want any men mistaking us for someone who may have been working the street!
We didn’t stay in Frankfurt for very long, we had plans to travel to Prague on the way to a hens weekend in Amsterdam!
I can tell you that I didn’t actually see any of the tourist destinations in Frankfurt, but what I did see was, my first tent city, a driving business district that seemed to have some amazing German efficiencies, my first lunchtime sausage feast with all the businessmen coming out into the street, in the blaring sun, bald heads, pit bellies, eating sausages and drinking beer. I still remember the swinging grill over the hot coals cooking the sausages and the sauce station having only Mayonnaise. For an
Frankfurt airport is really close to everything and If your travelling through you could walk to your hostel without a problem. Just avoid the women of the night and be prepared for swinging sausages!!