I think it is very important for people to run away...from home, from the mainstream, from their family, from the culture, from the society that produced them... because the moment I have to learn something new, like new habits, new languages, I myself have something like a rebirth. I reduce myself to the lowest denominator and this is very healthy for an artist. To start all over again.
— Saul Steinberg
In November 2018 I traveled to Europe and visited Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, and Copenhague. For many reasons, the city I enjoyed the most was Berlin. Their landscapes are amazing, everything in Berlin is surrounded by wild nature and you have many beautiful parks and lakes. The nightlife and the music scene is everything I wished for. The people's attitude towards life, work, and how to spend their free time is something I found interesting too.
Back in Argentina, we were going through the ending of our relationship with my girlfriend, and with no strings attached I decided to move somewhere else looking for fresh air. It took me 6 months to get back on my feet, organize everything and get ready to leave the city that was my home for almost 5 years 😱.
Everything starts with a ToDo list, so I took my notebook and wrote down the following tasks:
- Sell all my stuff
- Get Mela's passport to get her out of the country
- Get all my paperwork to start the German Freelance Visa application
- Find an apartment in Berlin
- Choose a date and buy our tickets
- Save money!
- Relax ☕️ and enjoy our last days in Buenos Aires!
Then I moved it into a Trello board, of course!
Finding an apartment supposedly to be the most difficult task. I needed a flat which allows me to:
- Register my address (anmeldung) to get my Tax ID to start the whole visa process.
- And the most important thing, it has to allow pets.
I messaged around 25 people over different Facebook groups, from those, I got 10 interviews over WhatsApp and only 2 of them fitted with my requirements. My options were to live in a shared apartment (WG) with 2 foreigners, the real estate agent told me they were web developers, or in the other hand, there was the opportunity to live with 2 locals, Sarah and Peter. Being surrounded by tech people has been my reality for many years, and as I said at the beginning of this post, I needed some fresh air, so the decision was pretty clear for me.
The most stressful process was to get Mela's paperwork to travel to Germany. We visited the vet 3-4 times to get her vaccines and the microchip required to get outside of the country. After that, we got an appointment with the SENASA to submit Mela's medical records to finally get her "passport" (which is a bunch of papers that look like a contract).
Selling all my stuff was an easy job, I took pictures of everything and posted them on Mercado Libre and Facebook market.
With everything ready the wait started. In the meantime, I visited my hometown, spent time with my friends and my family. It was time to recharge my batteries for what was coming 💪.
So what's next?
The first step doesn't take you where you want to go but it takes you from where you are.
To be continued...
Update: Here is the second part of Moving to Berlin