a collection of european ramblings: poetry, journals, photos, and more

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I spent the better half of July traversing countries an ocean away from my home…aka I was in Europe. If I’m being honest, I never thought I would get the chance to see outside of the US until I potentially studied abroad in college at the age of 20. When the opportunity to go to Germany and Switzerland with my best friends to learn about sustainable living (a topic I am most passionate about!!), it was like a dream come true. How could I not partake?

I signed up, started collecting new outfits, got a job to pay for part of the trip (shout out to my parents for paying for the rest, I’m forever grateful!!), and began daydreaming of what my first time abroad would be like.

Spoiler alert: IT WAS MAGICAL! The places, the scenery, the people, and the even the bus rides brought tears to my eyes daily…no joke. I’ve never felt more lucky or ~blessed~ (I never use that word, so that’s when you know it’s real) in my life. This experience was one for the books, and by books I mean my journal and the notes app on my phone 😉

In a bid to break away from my traditional “what I learned” blog posts, today I’m sharing my stream of consciousness throughout the trip in the form of poetry, photography, and short journal entries. A more formal blog post about the trip is still under consideration, but for now, sit back and take a peek inside my brain while in Europe.

July 9, 2019 // over the Atlantic Ocean

July 10, 2019 // Berlin, Germany

July 11, 2019 // Berlin, Germany

Holzmarkt 25

(stolen from my very own Instagram caption)

COOLEST PLACE IN BERLIN: Holzmarkt 25 🙌⚡It’s a creative marketplace where they use the power of the surrounding community to make something meaningful and sustainable within.

The land Holzmarkt 25 was built on used to be government-owned property and there were plans to turn it into just another business building. It took the Berlin citizen’s protests, referendums, and lots of using available resources to convince the government the city would be better off with a community space.

All buildings in the marketplace are made from reusable material (container village, reused wood, old windows, etc.) Now, there’s a recording studio, public kindergarten, bars, cafes, theatres, acrobat floors, artists, and writer spaces for low-income creatives that can’t afford city studio prices. The founders believe that value > making instant money. On top of that, they brew their own beer, grow their own food, make their own bread, and roast their own coffee. Also, per say a musician can’t pay rent, if they play in the market pub for free, their rent is waived. All money made goes back into improving the marketplace. I’M IN LOVE!

July 12, 2019 // still Berlin

(stolen from my very own Instagram caption once again)

Above you can see Prinzessinnengarten, the urban garden we visited and toured today 🙌 Inspired by the urban gardening tradition in Cuba, it’s a community garden with organic and fresh food for people who need it. Their food waste is used to produce other goods or as compost to turn into usable soil. Also, they host weekly workshops to teach community members how to cook, preserve, and produce their own organic veggies and foods.

Also, 75% of all pollinating species have gone extinct. Bees are central to Prinzessinnengarten, and they keep their own bees for pollination. The gardeners have seen what has happened in regions of China, where farmers now have to pollinate each flower by hand, so they understand the important of keeping then around. Sustainable areas in cities are vital and this one was perfect!

July 13, 2019 // Stuttgart and Freiburg, Germany

July 14, 2019 // Black Forest, Germany

July 15, 2019 // Vauban, Germany // Alsace, France // Lucerne, Switzerland

July 16, 2019 // Mount Titlus, Switzerland

I AM IN A MOVIE…or at least i feel like it ☺️ Today was probably the best day of my life, I couldn’t stop smiling as I rode a gondola to 10,000 feet up, went sledding at the top, and saw FULL SNOW for the first time in 4 years. I’ve yet to process what all the new places and experiences have brought me, but I can say I feel like the luckiest person alive to have this opportunity so early on. So, my message to you is: TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED, especially the experiences you never expected to have. YOU DESERVE IT and you owe it to yourself to soak it all in unabashedly!

July 17, 2019 // Lucerne, Switzerland

Although the trip to Europe wasn’t spontaneous, today, we had a final hour of free time in Europe and my friends and I spent it impulsively buying swimsuits then swimming in Lake Lucern, Switzerland! It was COLD but refreshing and one of my fav times on the trip. So, take time to be spontaneous this week! Planning things last minute can sometimes make you feel like you’re living a little larger, a little wilder, and a little happier :))

July 18, 2019 // over the Atlantic Ocean

Travelling is a privilege, one that I am lucky to have had this summer. If you ever get the chance to travel, whether it be to a new state or a new country, DO IT! Travel widens your perspectives and opens your mind to new places, people, and cultures. I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world and I wouldn’t want you to either 🙂

Love, Olivia

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