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Return to Munich: A Lesson in Travel

Authored by Jeremy Sutton

When I was in college I spent a year in Munich on a student exchange. I had a good time. It was historically significant because it was when the Berlin Wall came down. The world shared a sense of excitement and worry as the the Iron Curtain opened up to the west. As an adult, I decided I wanted to return to the place where I spent such a significant period of my youth.

I realized that I would not be returning to the exact same place, in that the city and country have changed and modernized just like the rest of the world. What would I see that has changed? The Bavarians are notorious for resisting change, but technology has affected the whole world and certainly the ultra-tech savvy Germans.

This trip was also going to require different planning than in my youth. As a 20 year old, I had little in terms of possessions and I had the luxury of being able to store them with family. Now, I need a dog and house sitter.

This trip was also going to require different planning than in my youth

landscape-nature-man-person traveler

Consider Obligations

Being gone means that I have to consider my obligations. I didn’t want to simply drop of my dog at a friends and leave my home empty while I’m gone.

He told me you needed make a plan for storing all of your belongings because his were ruined when he chose a non-climate controlled storage unit. To him, this meant it was worth it to make sure that nothing happened in my house without vigilant supervision.

If a pipe breaks it can be a small issue or it can completely devastate a home. If no one is there, a broken pipe can run water throughout your home, ruining the house and everything in it if it isn’t stopped and dried. But if I had a house sitter, the situation could be dealt with in a timely fashion. His point was very convincing. I combined forces and paid for a house and pet sitter.

I also did homework on my destination. Even though I had been to Germany and specifically Munich before, I knew it must have changed and I wanted to maximize my trip. I read about the fun things to do in Munich, some were new and some I had experienced. I brushed up on the subway maps and whether or not I should use Uber or taxis.

Fun things to do in Munich

Photo CC by Jit Bag

Conduct Fresh Research

I spent a lot of time researching a trip to a place where I had already spent a year. What could go wrong, right? One thing that slipped my mind was that I was younger, I drank more and I was better conditioned for partying. On my first night in Munich, I went to a local pub to unwind from the travel and enjoy a beer.

One beer turned into three. No big deal, right? Wrong. I passed out on the table and the server had to wake me up and help me out of the place. Somehow I woke up in my hotel room, but with only a blurry memory of leaving the pub.

I was on vacation, so I felt the need to maximize my days. But, I couldn’t get out of bed. I was hungover like I had never been. I couldn’t get out of bed. I needed aspirin and water and breakfast, but I could hardly roll over. Pain pierced my temples and I was nauseous. I threw up in the wastebasket that was in my room.

A long day of traveling, sightseeing, and walking will definitely take it’s toll.

Revitalize Your Trip

After I became clear that I wasn’t going to feel much better and I needed food and water I finally pulled myself out of bed and went to the store, got aspirin and carbonated water. I was hungry. Obviously I would go and get some bratwurst, schnitzel or some other German delicacy, right?

Nope. I was so hungover, I found a Pizza Hut, ordered a combination pan pizza with jalapenos and a large Coke. I took my cache of food and beverage back to my room, ate and drank in shame and wasted a whole day.

The next day I probably set a record for cramming the most tourism into one day. I returned to locations that were important to me and I took in new and renovated sites. I ate, not merely German food, but Bavarian food.

I became orthodox in my experience and tried to erase my embarrassment for eating Pizza Hut in my room from my mind. I ended up having a great trip even though it got off to slow start. When I returned home, everything was in place, the dog seemed well fed and walked. The only real issue happened by creating self-inflicted wounds. Chalk that up to new travel wisdom.


Germany travel guide Amazon

Lonely Planet Germany

Germany travel guide Amazon

Fodor’s Germany (Full-color Travel Guide)

Germany travel guide Amazon

DK Eyewitness Germany


Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.

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