Failing Forward

with Daniel Cassadio

Chapter 6 - A Voluntary Hitchhike

Chapter EntriesDaniel Casadio1 Comment

At the local café they have built here at the community. I’ve got cake and a hot chocolate with me; could life get any better? 

I wrote this blog: 

Despite having quite a few fights with Google Maps trying to navigate my way around Berlin, I ended up getting to where I needed to go. Most of the time. It can always be a bit of a weird feeling exploring such a huge and vibrant city solo. You realise how lonely you really are but I’ve learned to embrace it and it makes it so much easier to meet new people from all over the world. Pros and cons, I guess.

After giving Berlin a good explore; learning about the Berlin wall, eating some pretty tasty sausages, meeting some other great American friends in my hostel and having some great chats. I also watched the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie solo. Never before have I been to the movies solo. It was weird sitting in such an empty English cinema and being pretty isolated but yet again, I embraced it. Owned it. And enjoyed it.   
But as you may know with me, as soon as I get comfortable and settled (even in a hostel), I’m on the move again. It was time – off to the next destination.

I got onto a train to Northern (I think) Germany. I got onto the train and just sat on the first seat that wasn’t reserved. It was nice, I had loads of leg room and waiters were going by with food and drinks. A lady came through checking everyone’s tickets, turns out that the carriage I was in, was in fact too nice. I was in first class! Lucky for me, the train started moving and this ticket-lady was my favourite human being on the planet when she said I could stay until the next stop.

After the train ride, I then got onto a bus and I talked to the bus driver briefly. I took out my phone and I asked him if he could drop me off at this bus stop, he agreed and everything was okay. I spent around 90 minutes on the bus and the bus driver finally stopped at the last bus stop. I asked him again if this was the right bus stop and he said yes. So off I hopped in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I was overlooking a beautiful lake and I saw a small little festival happening not very far away. I thought my host might be there to pick me up. I explored the little festival, there were two dudes playing the guitar and singing, shop stores and a big tent. There was hardly anyone there, maybe 15 visitors at the most and one of them was me. I looked back and I saw the bus driver watching me. I didn’t really know what to think, so I continued to explore and kept a good eye on him. Just to make sure, because to my Ma’s logic… he could be a serial killer.

After a few minutes, I was running out of things to pretend to look at, so I walked back to him. ‘Are you lost?’ he asked me with a thick accent. ‘Yeah I am, am I here’, I showed him my phone with the same bus stop I showed him earlier. ‘Oh no, you’re not here’. My heart sank. Well where the hell am I, stupid bus driver?  Angry DC thought.
I cooled myself down and then asked ‘how do I get here then? Do you know if it is far?’. He shook his head and closed the bus doors behind me. Well it looks like Ma was right, this guy is about to take me to his cell where loads of other lost travellers are.

I was completely mistaken; this lovely Turkish origin gentleman took me all the way back to the bus stop I was meant to get off. Although the bus was completely empty, this guy was incredibly warm and friendly.

Now I was finally dropped off at the right bus stop but I was incredibly late. My host wasn’t there and I was stuck in the middle of nowhere. Do I hitch hike? I don’t even know where I’m going to, I don’t know the name of the place or anything. I saw a wooden shed not far from the bus stop and I saw someone working there. It was worth a shot, why not hey? As I start to walk on over I’m thinking; there will be a language barrier and I’m about to ask directions for a place that I don’t even know what the name is. I walked on over and started chatting to this German middle aged gentleman. His English was pretty good so there was no need for my Oscar winning acting skills. He pointed to a poster on his door, it was a café that wasn’t far from here. I remembered that there was a café on the perimeter where I will be volunteering. I haven’t got anywhere else to go and I have no idea how many cafes are around in this area, but let’s go for it. This kind gentleman drew me a map of how to get there, it was around a 3 – 5 km walk. I was not keen at all to walk this road, I was already quite exhausted. As I thanked him very much and was about to leave, he stopped me.

Then the next few words made my day; ‘would you like a lift there?’. Is this next level travelling? Being asked to hitch hike? If so, I like where the future is going!

He drove me to the community and what a character he was. A very upbeat and smiling guy, with some awesome stories of hiking in South America and exploring different cultures. I was truly inspired by this guy. It was a shame that the car ride was short, but I was so eternally grateful for the kind gesture.

As soon as I got out of the car, I wandered to the café where there were a few people and asked if they spoke English in the worst German speech ever. They all said yes and that they were volunteers as well here! It was absolutely incredible being so welcomed in such a beautiful and warm community of the locals and also the 30 or so other international volunteers. Travellers from the U.K, Spain, Italy, South Korea, US, Denmark, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Argentina and so many more places!

The reason why this blog has been so delayed is because it’s been so action-packed here. Having endless in-depth chats with all different kinds of beautiful people who are all on their own journey and in different stepping stones of life. I’m constantly being taught new ideas, hearing crazy adventure stories and being encouraged to open up more about myself.

Really am loving where I am at the moment.

Adventures are everywhere. Grab one. They are free!