A beautiful girl sketched in different aspects on a side wall of a building. The mural is barely visible from the street. Walk past unobservantly and you have lost the opportunity forever. Some street art is daringly obvious, in view for the world to see. Bold, brave artists admirably displaying their talent and opening their hearts to the world. Others, perhaps shy, screaming out to share their thoughts creatively to the world, but cautious. She is one of my favourite pieces of street art, almost hidden from sight, yet obvious enough to be discovered. She spoke to me. She told me a story of new love and excitement. The look in her eyes, the glimmer of light on her glasses, her faint smile. Someone loved this beautiful girl. Loved her enough to immortalise her forever, for the world to see and love her in their own way and to guess her story. I named her “My Berlin”.
The urge to share my travel experiences and to write a blog about travel has blossomed slowly. Not only because I love to travel, but because I relish the idea of my readers being transported in their imagination to wondrous places. The more I write, the more I share, the more I realise that this journey of sharing is one of my emotional expression. My journeys fill me with passion. Passion for the smells, sights and sounds; the people, the landscapes, the food, the energy of a location. The joy of a meaningful conversation of a new acquaintance, the delightful surprise of an unexpected discovery. The bewilderment created as I walk around a corner and spot a piece of street art right in front of me, glaring at me, devouring me with its hidden meaning, discovering that I identify with something in that creation.
I visited Berlin 13 months ago with my best friend Sarina, on a birthday weekend trip. When I revisit Berlin in my mind, my Berlin, I am drawn back to memories of retro cafes with seating made from old bicycle shelters, serving scrumptious breakfasts with carafes of tasty coffee and platters of seeded breads, fresh peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, soft and hard cheeses and cold meats; to cigar smoke-filled jazz bars crowded by friendly, oddly humorous Berliners enjoying instrumental tunes; to library themed bars decorated with magnificent lamps shaded by magazines and pages from books; to the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie. My Berlin is a place I feel connected to; where I was filled with excitement, and joy; where my passion for life was re-ignited like a phoenix rising from the ashes; where the next chapter of my life’s journey was born.
This is only the beginning of my travel blogging adventure. Eight months ago I made the empowering decision to give up a life that I had built for several years. The decision to extract myself from my business of six years, to close an important chapter in my life and embark on a new, exciting but also daunting adventure. It was a scary thought. To give up my comfort blanket, to throw myself into the deep end of a whirlpool of uncertainty and chaos. “Am I a dreamer, am I making a mistake?”, I asked myself. Yes I am a dreamer, but what would my life be without dreams, passion, risk, fear of the unknown? My dreams are yet to become a full time reality, however, every day I am thankful for the courage to follow through with my decision.
It certainly has not been easy creating this new path and leaving a familiar one behind. Neither has it been easy during the transition period to find the time and motivation to write passionately about my journey. At first, I had barely managed to create what I felt was a post worth publishing. I wrote, re-wrote, self-critiqued, tore my hair out (thankfully not literally). One day, during a fearless living travel writing workshop, while I listened to a fellow traveller and writer read part of an article she had written, it dawned on me that I was being too hard on myself – the story of my life. I just needed to let go a little, relinquish some control and trust in my abilities. With perseverance, my style has begun to evolve with each piece. I realised this writing journey is about me, expressing myself, coming out of my shell, sharing the things that make me feel passionate about life. The moment I signed my responsibilities to my business away, the moment the last chapter concluded, I moment I broke through the wall, I began to realise that travel and art helps me to appreciate each day for what it is. Some days will be dark and cold, others will bring light and warmth. Thank you Berlin for opening my eyes to this new path.
The most obvious collection of vivid street art is that illustrated on the remaining sections of the Berlin Wall. A street art festival bringing to life the emotions of the artists who contributed to this amazing collaborative gesture when the Berlin Wall fell. Depictions of what individuals, families, and communities felt during the epic moments of the momentous occasion, the weeks before and weeks after. Political, personal, heart felt views. My imagination is my only connection to that time. The art directs a movie in my mind. A mixture of feelings, each painting exploding in my heart, mind and soul. My heart races knowing that people experienced things that one never should. How daring and brave for the artists to share their emotions, to open themselves up to thoughts of others: criticism, praise, love, hate. Many words to describe what I see in those creations: fear, oppression, solidarity, freedom, beauty, appreciation, joy, pain, vulnerability and more. So many feelings. Something rings strongly and plainly: travel and art fill my heart with joy.
So in parting, I shall leave you with this. Find your passion, whatever it might be, and find a way to make sure that it is a large part of your life. Live and love fearlessly. Acknowledge that every day is a learning experience, and that you will make good and bad decisions. Accept that you are a living, feeling, vulnerable human being, you will make mistakes and so will others. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Learn to let go of whatever does not serve your personal development. Love your good, your bad and your ugly. Be thankful for those in your lives who care about you and who you care for. There is only one life and it is yours for living. My Berlin is a reminder.
You can order postcards of the sketch of the Brandenburg Gate through my art website: Kelly Goss Art.