Before I left for Germany I got one piece of advice that I kind of dismissed as I thought it was untrue. When I received this advice, I immediately thought “he has no idea what he is talking about”. You know when older people tell you something, but it takes you a while to realize they were right? I’m definitely a “learn by doing”, instead of by listening type of person. Which is possibly part of the reason going to University for four years seems like torture to me, when I’d rather be learning by actually doing something.
The piece of advice from this wise person was “it doesn’t matter where you go, but rather who you meet along the way”. To me that wasn’t the purpose of the journey, I was always the quiet one who preferred to sit back and listen, I didn’t care if I had 5 friends or 30. If I was going over 5000 miles just to meet new people, there was clearly something wrong with the picture. Why couldn’t I just stay home and meet new people there? I was going to Germany so I could learn the language and travel a bit of Europe.
Of course there is no denying Munich is beautiful, but I quickly saw that he was completely, 100 % right. We could have been in any city, but the people I’ve met along the way have taught me so much and became life long friends. Of course it’s hard to replace German beer and days hanging out in the English garden. But I know that if we were in a different city that could easily be Spanish tapas and Sangria, wine and French cheese, Australian sun and beach days working on our tans. But we are here, in a city that will always bring me back memories of snowy days and beer filled nights, seeing who could finish their Mass the fastest, planning the next early morning trip to the airport or to the bus station or the countless nights going between the same three bars.
From nights playing pool at shitty bar, to days spent walking around trying to discover new things, then reverting back to our usual drinking spots, to the nights spent at Euros for the millionth time running into the same people and the bartenders knowing us by name, for me Munich will always be a city filled with friendship and love. For every corner and every spot I could write a story about what happened there, but most of those are going to stay untold. If I ever come back I know it won’t be the same because we all will have moved on, but the memories shared with my friends are still going to be the brightest part of this city in my mind.
“Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest. It’s about who walked into your life, said “I’m here for you” and proved it.