Tourist tinted glasses

In the spring of 2014, my trip to Berlin was my first visit to a European city. Indeed, it was my first visit to any country in the western world. It was a mere four-day trip, but one where every moment promised and delivered wonder.

I encountered stories from World War II, explored gigantic museums and enjoyed quirky street performances. But even the more ordinary aspects – visits to supermarkets, using the same ticket on a bus, a train and a tram, people carrying cycles into trains and even the bright shade of blue in the sky seen through Berlin’s clean air were fascinating experiences that are etched in my memory.

I have lived in Berlin for more than 2 years now. Several of those sights and sounds have become commonplace and mundane. My wonder has given way to a daily routine. But those streets, trains and supermarkets have not changed that much. It is merely the state of my mind that has.

The world is what we wish for it to be. As a tourist, we spend a large amount of time and money to travel to an exotic place. Taking all this trouble changes our state of mind and sets us up for filling every moment with wonder. But the same wonder is accessible to us without having to be a tourist. All it requires, is for us to put on our tourist tinted glasses.

There is, indeed, much wonder in every corner of the city that you have grown up in. If you don’t believe me, ask that person who flew in from half-way across the world and just asked you for directions.

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