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  • Writer's pictureNadine Almer

Day 1 - The Flow

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

4. & 5.1.2021

The day began, apart from not sleeping at all, really good and everything went according to plan. Not only that but I had yet a few beloved people to say goodbye to and I really felt so much love towards all of them, curious when I will see anyone again.

After a change in Basel SBB to the supposedly nonstop train to Amsterdam Centraal, I felt great. Marjorie had enough space to rest, I had 6.5 hours of blissful doing nothing awaiting... it all seemed so easy, I felt at ease.

Shortly before the border from Germany to the Netherlands the train crew informed us that this train would not be going on in the direction it was supposed to go due to an constructional issue and all passengers travelling to Amsterdam Centraal would have to get out and change a few times in order to arrive at their planned destination. This information alone shook me trough as it was the exact opposite of what I was expecting. Here I was getting comfortable with my fancy new tablet (departing gift from my beloved work colleagues at home), writing my blog article "A love letter to Aarau", getting comfortable after the last days of emotional rollercoasters, and now this: Marjorie, huge and heavy backpack, 2.5 hours delay, 4 changes to go and an Uber cancellation to tend to.

Due to this unexpected turn of events I became acquainted with two of my fellow travellers, a very nice lady coming from visiting her son in Geneva and another woman having visited her sister in Biel over the holidays. All three of us felt very anxious because we all had heavy luggage and the times for changing trains were rather short, for example having 5 minutes to get from platform 17 to platform 4.

But we found comfort in each other as we shared our concerns. Nonetheless, as if this was not enough to handle, I found out while talking to these two citizens of Netherlands that their country declared just last week that a negative CORVID-19 test must be carried with you when travelling into the country, which I did not have because I had not known about it. I felt sick to the stomach, so helpless and instantly thought how the heck I thought I could manage a trip like that at all, I felt like a little girl, scared for her life and the well-being of her dog, unable to prevent the worst happening just because I was sloppy in preparation for this trip! When all three of us had managed to change from the original train as we arrived in Cologne and got into the train going to Hamburg we stayed together, helped each other with our luggage and kind words- after I found out about the needed negative test result to cross borders we were getting off the Hamburg train at Düsseldorf, heading to get into the next train going to Venlo and it was in this train that I really thought I would faint as I received an email from my first hosts in Scotland through the WWOOF community. They had to cancel my visit due to the Scottish Parliament's decision to lock down the same day at midnight, no travels except for work or absolutely needed maintance obligations.

My mind gave me the absolute worst possible ways of what could happen to Marjorie and me if they would control us in this train and I could not provide a negative test result, to pictures of us living under abridge with nothing to eat and freezing to death. I imagined being thrown out of the train, advised to get back to Switzerland where no apartment would wait for us that could give us rest or security, I imagined them taking away my dog and putting me into quarantine while taking my passport from me or getting to the UK at last but having nowhere to stay and ending up without money on the streets. Of course it is needless to say that I truly, honestly overreacted- but even so I felt like I cannot catch any air which prevented me from calming my nerves with breathing techniques, my body felt so weak I thought I would faint right there within this train and I would not be able to do anything about it. But for now I needed to focus on the first challenge: the border and the non existent negative test result.

The border drew nearer... and passed, no one came looking, no one controlled anything not even the train tickets. When we arrived at Venlo and changed to yet another regional train going to Endhoven my heart rate slowly calmed down and for the first time after one hour I could breath again. The danger was not over because I had to make it through another 1.5 hours and one train change until I was at the save harbour of Amsterdam Centraal- but of course everything went well, and I guess that all of it was necessary. Thinking about this journey on the very first day I learned so much for which I am grateful. I met amazing people, kind people, supporting people and I got to know myself more and how easy I fell into old ways of thinking.

After arriving at 23:24 in Amsterdam Centraal I had secured an Uber drive to our first AirBnB, a lovely cottage at the beach. Thanks to my father who gave me the input to try it out, I got to know Ibrahim, a wonderful driver who told me about his roots in Somalia, Africa and how he immigrated to Norway with his family but, like me, needed a change of tapestry and ended up falling in love with Amsterdam. He was so interested in why I embark on this journey and why I think that having no adress and no secure way of earning money, that I really enjoyed telling some stranger my beliefs and the challenges I seek to find what I am looking for.

Now it is day 1 of the journey, 5th of January, and I can breath, eat and smile again. Marjorie and I had a wonderful day in this lovely cottage and on the beach. My circulation slowly came back to life, I was able to eat something without getting sick by the smell alone, Marjorie enjoyed playing with other dogs, I had several interesting conversations with the owners, I kind of felt like this was all I need: my dog, one room and the vastness of the ocean. By 12 o'clock I had arranged a new AirBnB in Newcastle to put myself in quarantine for 14 days until the 21st of January, filled out the needed government document 48 hours before entering the country and secured the freedom to get on as planned, managing to reach the island and from there seeing where I will end up. While I was watching the seagulls and the waves I felt at home and safe again, the fresh air filled my lungs and by the afternoon walk, this time through a vast landscape of dunes, all the stress was released and suddenly I felt timelessness- I was in no rush to get anywhere! Yes, I had to look out financially, but I have all the time in the world to let the flow of life bring me to wherever I need to be.

Within this tranquility and beauty of nature, majesty of the sea, I got to understand that I was so focused on getting to Scotland and have everything working out as I planned that I forgot the whole point of this trip: surrender to the flow of life.

The longtime plan still is an Earthship community on a coast of Scotland but the personal development happens everyday and I wanted to let go of fear and anxiety, commit myself to surrender and trust in humanity, life and the universe. So there it is, lessons learned: people are kind, life throws curveballs and surrendering to them makes it worth living.

All love and light to you, beloved soul


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