My solo time this week was a little unconventional. I spent a day traveling by myself from Munich to Barcelona after a crazy weekend at Oktoberfest. Let me tell you a little bit about Oktoberfest before I talk about my day of traveling.
I have never been to anything like Oktoberfest. I have heard plenty of stories and seen pictures but none of that could prepare me for this crazy festival. I took an early Friday morning flight with some of my roommates and as soon as we landed we headed straight to the Oktoberfest fair grounds. Luckily some of our other friends were already there and had a table. We headed to meet them at the HB tent, and when we walked in the doors I was totally unprepared for what I saw. There were people EVERYWHERE, the huge area inside the tent was filled with tables and people were sitting, standing, dancing, and doing who knows what else all throughout the room. We just stood there for a few minutes taking it all in. We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying our beer and meeting people from all over the world.
After a day at the beer tents we headed to our campsite. I am usually not one for camping but with what seemed like half the world flocking to Munich for Oktoberfest, camping was the cheapest option. We stayed at the campsite with a company called Stoke Travel and it was clear that they knew how to do Oktoberfest. We spent the rest of the night enjoying our free dinner and sangria before heading to bed in preparation of an early morning. On Saturday we awoke before the sun and once again headed to the Oktoberfest grounds. Getting there early meant our own table and we were served some of the first beers at 9am. The rest of the day is history and I can honestly say that I will never forget my experience at Oktoberfest. I was sad to have the day come to the end but happily welcomed some sleep.
My solo time this week was spent traveling. Since we had all booked Oktoberfest back in summer, our flights were all different because we just booked what was cheapest for ourselves at the time. I have never traveled by myself before in a place where there was a language barrier. It was quite a journey to even get to the airport. I had to take a bus to a train to the airport and I almost got on the train going in the wrong direction but looked up at the schedule board right before I stepped on and caught my mistake. I got to the airport with plenty of time (some people may say way too early, but I would rather be safe than sorry) and sat down for lunch. I took time to just observe everything going on around me and was wrapped up in the fact that everyone was speaking a different language than my own. When it was time to board the plane I got in the wrong line because I had no idea what was being said in German but everything was figured out and I made it to Dusseldorf for my connecting flight. I spent a while in Dusseldorf because my plane was delayed. This was the point in the day where I took a moment to step back and think about things. I was getting frustrated about the delay but after realizing there was nothing I could do I was able to see the bigger picture. I was sitting in that airport surrounded by people I could probably not converse with. It made me realize just how big the world was, I was outside of my comfort zone but I was experiencing something that most of my friends back home will never get to experience. Being thrown into a different culture with a language barrier isn’t easy but I am glad I got the opportunity to experience it last weekend.