As I write, I am hurtling through the German countryside on InterCity Express. And I mean hurtling as the speed reading is 248 kilometres per hour.
I have just been served a cup of tea and 50 minutes in to the journey, I am feeling relaxed and contemplative.
The view outside is a sea of green, all shades of green. The blight on the landscape comes in the form of power lines and their supporting steel structures. I have never before so starkly noticed this visual pollution.
I leave Berlin with a heavy heart. I loved Berlin and if I was 30 (or more) years younger, living there at least for a period of time would very attractive.
It appears to have a lower cost of living than many other so called major cities. It also has a lower cost of living than Sydney, Melbourne and possibly Brisbane. In several conversations with people from other countries who have chosen to live in Berlin, relative low rent was mentioned as an attraction.
Our group from MND and ME referenced the low cost of restaurants and other services and goods. One item I pay $8.00 for in Brisbane was 2 Euro.
Berlin is a City I felt very at home in, language aside.
I made new friends in the MND and ME community and re-connected with others I had met previously.
I was also hoping to establish new contacts in relation to my business plans and at least two people I met will become the focus of future projects.
There was an unexpected unfolding that initially challenged and subsequently energised me.
On the first day in Berlin, a lady from Canada asked me what I do for a living. My answer was initially less than articulate. It was the first time this question had been asked of me since I departed my past Corporate Life. I eventually replied that I am a “freelance writer” and further discussion followed.
It was most liberating and exciting to answer this question on a dozen or so other occasions, and far more instantly articulated too.
It also provided unexpected reinforcement of my decision which on Sunday, will have been in effect for 3 months. It has gone quickly and I cannot recall a single moment when I have wanted to be back at my old desk.
It is surprising the opportunities that arise from nowhere. Perhaps the most extreme came from a conversation with a most interesting, successful and high-profile gentleman. He asked me a few questions about my writing before asking to swap contact details, adding he is seeking a ghost writer for his book. I reluctantly explained that I was not a book writer, however further discussion revealed other opportunities for collaboration including content for his website.
As much as I would like to spend longer in Germany and Europe, I am looking forward to heading home. There is a collaborative project I am working on and we will be launching before Christmas.
There are several other ideas I am keen to “pitch” as well as following up opportunities coming from this trip.
Melbourne beckons in a few weeks’ time and there is a bike ride in the Snowy Mountains in December to ensure life is not all work and no play.
My question to you is, if you could answer with anything you wanted, how would you answer the question “What do you do for a living”?