When Expedia approached us about their current campaign, running under the Hashtag #Reisefreiheit, (freedom to travel) with the request to write something relating to the reunion of East and West Germany, (October 3rd was the anniversary of the German Reunification) I was very exited. Not only was the day the wall came down still fresh in my memory, it also holds a special meaning to me, as without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. None of the the opportunities and possibilities that were since laid out to me and everyone else in East Germany would have been possible without it.

east germany

I still remember the day. November 9th, 1989, I was seven. It was the evening when the news came on and told everyone in East Germany that the wall was coming down – Germany would once again be reunited. Disbelief was quickly followed with euphoria and so my little family hopped into a car headed for the Berlin, the very next day. Little did I know then what that event would rally mean for me and my life. Without it, I simply wouldn’t be where I am today. In a way, that evening in front of the TV I was given the greatest gift I could have asked for.

It’s not easy having big dreams when the town you grow up in is small and the minds you’re surrounded with are even smaller. I had great ambitions but no one to take them seriously. “Be realistic!” I was told on more than one occasion. “Be reasonable!” “Don’t be foolish.”, were other favorites. I had to get away from that, I had to find out if they were right or if I could make it after all. If I could actually achieve the life I really wanted.

katja travels 2

All it took was one trip. A big one mind you, to the other end of the world. I was 18 and ready for it. I was ready for San Francisco. Finally I was surrounded by people I could identify with. People who inspired and encouraged me, who made me feel like I was on a good way, that the things I had planned were actually within reach. This attitude was new to me. For the first time I myself began to believe that maybe sky really was the limit. That maybe it wasn’t such a silly concept to believe that I could live a life filled with things I loved like travel and creativity. And Italian gelato.

katja travels

I started then to plan my future based on a simple question „If I could have any life at all, which would I have?”

If you’ve been following this blog you can probably guess what the answer to this was. Not to ruin the ending of this story but it did work. I found out that one really can make one’s dreams come true. I once overheard a quote that is still my favorite to date, unfortunately I am unaware of its author. It goes “The talent is to want it.” And this my friends, is all there is to it. Want it, want it hard.

To read the rest of this story and find out where the answer to the quest for my perfect life took me, click on this link.

*This post was created in collaboration with Expedia.