I’ll be straight with you. I’m not adventurous. It’s a romantic thought to be ‘young, wild and free’ and I am in love with the idea, but I’m far too logical and practical to have that much guts.
That said, I embrace tiny little experiences that aren’t too crazy – and these usually come in the form of learning something new or going on vacations.
So we went to Europe this year and managed to check those two boxes off. It was a good time that felt like an educational school trip about World War II. That stuff intrigues me. The fact that the Holocaust happened fascinates me to no end – that fact that we could let it happen right under our noses.
First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.
We visited Dachau, and we went to Sachsenhausen. It was so peaceful and unlike how you’d imagine a death camp to be. Everything was made to help visitors understand what went on, except no one would actually be able to imagine it fully. And we learnt that this was what intolerance looked like.
Intolerance against a different race, culture, religion or sexual orientation would ultimately look like extermination camps – if you had a problem with homosexuals or muslims or anyone, your intolerance would mean horrid things for them, whether you were passive about it or not. Putting that into context blew my mind.
Amsterdam, on the other hand, was tolerant of everything, which made our trip pretty memorable (Ha ha).
All articles about being young suggest traveling as the thing to do, whether you can afford it or not. My holidays usually aren’t as immediately life-altering and dreamy as those articles make it out to be. But I can definitely see priceless value in getting out of my daily life and getting into my traveling pants.
I didn’t just visit Europe to learn history though. So if you find yourself in Berlin, you need to grab heavenly Vietnamese food at Monsieur Vuong’s because that was probably as life-changing as anything.