With about 2 hours of sleep, I woke up like a zombie at 4:00AM. For some reason, I couldn’t will myself to sleep, even though I was frankly exhausted from the night before. I managed to finish all of my packing and even swept the floors and counterparts of the AirBnb, and that still didn’t knock me out when I laid down. I immediately jumped into the shower after turning off my alarm clock.
I put the apartment keys in the safety box and wheeled my bags down to the garage where the car was parked. Marienplatz at this time of the morning is absolutely serene, with birds slowly waking up and early morning commuters quietly walking to catch the first trains of the day.
Grabbing the parking ticket and receipt for one last time, I threw everything into the car, including the bike bag. Everything fit! I got onto the road to the airport. Also, I’m looking forward to no longer doing expense reports at least for the next few months.
Check-in and baggage drop were really easy to get through. I was super nervous that I would be over the weight limit because Eurowings is a stickler for their rules. Thankfully, everything seemed to be within the allowed weight, which was a big relief. Wheeling the bike bag was also much easier than anticipated.
After passing through security, I popped into the lounge to send out some last minute emails and updates. I also finalized my tickets to go see the little one this weekend, which I’m really excited for. I boarded the flight at 7:05AM, and fell asleep almost immediately.
1.5 hours later, I landed in London Heathrow. I had about 1.5 hours to spare, so I crossed over to the B Gates after passing through the immigration check-point. The morning rush was just about to kick-in for all of the incoming and connecting flights.
In the lounge, I had another few emails and responses to shoot off before heading to the next flight. I accidentally mis-read my ticket and almost missed the boarding time. Showing me when the gate closes instead of when boarding starts is not helpful. Of course, all was okay and I got on to the flight.
9.5 hours later, I landed in SFO. The flight was really relaxed. I sent out some last minute emails and messages before closing my laptop and catching up on 💤 and a few movies / shows. I finally watched the new Top Gun movie, begrudgingly. I generally don’t like re-makes.
In a lot of ways, I’m a movie purist. I like to let the things that have passed remain a key influence that serve as a legacy builder for the movies that follow its inspiration. Needlessly extending story lines more often than not just leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth because an implicit comparison gets created. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great movie. Tom Cruise is one my favorite actors of all time. But I didn’t need the cheesy / corny ending.
I also started watching The Last of Us, which was amazing. Now, I’m a big fan of games turning into television shows or movies because that brings exciting elements to life. Anyways, I’ll save my rant for later. It took some time for my bike bag to arrive in the Oversized Luggage zone, but it eventually came. Thank god for Apple Airtags 🙂!
My UberXL as a Chevrolet Suburban. It was weird to sit in such a huge car. It was even weirder to be on the freeway after 3 months of small streets. Of course, there is the Audobon, but often times it ends up becoming a 2-lane highway. We do have the I-5 in California, but we also have the 101 and the 405. Noticing the buildings that didn’t change but also the new developments that popped up, things felt familiar but also different after 3 months away.
At home, I put the bike bag into the garage (I’ll unpack that tomorrow). I started un-packing my clothes and what not. It feels like nothing has changed at all, which honestly is a really nice and comforting feeling. No matter how long you’re away, whether it’s a few days or a few months / years, the greatest feeling about coming home is when everything is familiar and things are exactly where you left them. It’s simultaneously beautiful and haunting.
My First Meal
I was craving something to eat. Because I slept pretty well on the airplane, I tried to acclimate as best as I could to the current timezone. Things will get weird again in a few days when I head to east coast and return back over the next week. I thought to myself, what is something truly American? Of course, one of the most American things of all — Panda Express. So, I went and got me an entree plate with spring rolls. I know, it’s unhealthy and artificial and what not, but it does taste pretty darn good. I’ll go grocery shopping tomorrow.
I tried holding out as long as I could, but my body was starting to keel over. I peeled myself from the table, brushed my teeth, and jumped in bed. I tried to keep myself occupied by watching random videos on YT, but eventually I slipped under the sheets, and fell right asleep. Oh, how I’ve missed my bed! Apart from family and friends, I would have to say I missed my bed the most. It’s that feeling of being hugged by your mattress that contributes to the feeling of home. It’s hard not to love it.
Coming to an End
My trip to Germany has now officially come to an end. It’s crazy too think that 3 months, 90 days, has passed. It felt like it was yesterday when I flew out back in March. So much has happened that I honestly haven’t been able to process it all. This has truly been an unforgettable experience. I’ll share my personal thoughts and takeaways from this trip in a separate post (and my plans for The Monthly Mantha going forward). All I can say is that I’m glad that I pushed myself to keep a log of my daily activities. I’m also very thankful for all of you for joining me on this adventure. I hope you’ve had a fun time following me along this crazy experience.
Germany, I’ll see you soon!
Peace and Love ❤️