Hallihallo! I am a 24 year old German travel-addict with a recently finished bachelors degree in physics – not sure how handy that will come in on this trip though. Since leaving highschool I tried to explore new places in every longer period of free time i had. I started to handle transport and accomodation through hitch-hiking and couchsurfing where I met amazing people and had the most wonderful experiences.
Always having been driven by a keen interest in politics, history and a more sustainable way for our society, I was active in a local Greenpeace group for a while. When the so called “refugee crisis” came to Germany, I looked for a way to help out somewhere and found myself in the Travelmakers-project, a hitch-hiking project which wanted to use ‘socially sustainable’ travelling to support a Syrian refugee home in Istanbul. I liked the idea of ‘socially sustainable’ travelling which meant that I would combine something I love to do with a good cause. In this project, I hitch-hiked with arround 20 amazing people from all over the world in 50 days from Berlin to Istanbul and experienced two of the most beautiful and fulfilling months of my life. On the way we would create street art, go busking and collect donations for the refugee home in an crowdfunding campaign. And sometimes we volunteered and helped out in social institutions as an orphanage or a soup kitchen for a day. I tried out many different things to bring myself in and learnt a lot during this trip which later gave me the confidence to start ‘Spicyroad’ together with Ia.
After I returned to Germany, the open hate on both sides of this ‘refugee crisis’ grew, a lot of right wing propaganda was spread through often faked stories and the violence against refugees rose up. I found this unbearable and was suddenly afraid of the country I grew up in. Then, in the end of 2015, 150 refugees mainly from Syria were accomodated into a couple abandoned buildings next to my home. I didn’t want them to experience anything of the anti-muslim racist hate so I joined the local refugee helpers and in the next months got to know some of these people that the media was constantly discussung about. After a lot of language barriers and friendly, apologizing smiles, I got closer with some Syrians and started to teach the German alphabet and language. A lot of laughter and chai was had and I experienced incredible warmth and friendship. Within shortest time, it was totally normal for me to visit my new friends after Uni and to learn and eat together. I also started helping out in a children program as most of the children couldn’t go to school or kindergarten yet. In these last 8 months of my time in Germany, I made incredibly warm-hearted friends that I now miss a whole lot.
I love the idea of socially sustainable travelling and that doing something worthy does not necessarily have to be a burden. In this project I think that we will gather amazing experiences while hopefully being able to help out people that can use our support right now. I am going on this Spicyroad – and I dont plan to leave it too soon!