By voyage reporter Jess Frith
Off to Berlin...
Why go to Berlin, or anywhere for that matter? The world is a vast and noisome place. But I have spent the majority of my adult life listening to every second person glibly heave up the story of when they went somewhere, and am fed up of it. It is about time someone went to investigate this supposed continental life of cool, and if such an investigation were to happen, Berlin seems the place to conduct it. I keep hearing that it's the 'coolest' city in Europe, resounding with art, culture and experimentation. And, it's currently the winter, so there'll be none of this Mediterranean soft-option nonsense.
Anxiety and how to overcome it
A guide would be useful though, a suggestion of what happens. And there's the added difficulty of anxiety, something no one recounting their adventure seems to mention. All those neurosis about homesickness, bad packing, leaving behind friends, family and possessions, becoming ill while there, and that irrational guilt about doing something so self-indulgently opulent as gadding off to Europe.
Seize the opportunity
Step one, I suppose, is to ignore this. It gets in the way of the 'cool'. It's why people assert a mantra of seizing opportunities while young and single. Plus, living abroad allows you to disprove all those stern warnings that graduates have nothing to look forward to but a Dickensian grind of rejection and bar work. And you can have space to get some perspective from which to know what to do with this vast stretch of life that you are suddenly lumbered with a post-education responsibility for.
Do the planning properly
Step two logically seems to be planning. Everyone wants to head off into the sunset with nothing but a bag of essentials. But, after some thought, you might suspected that by day two or three, this will be wearing a bit thin. So here are some links to glance through before you leave. If you want to.
Information on everything; jobs, health, admin for moving, etc:
Transport times and routes in the city: