Monday, October 1, 2007

My Journey

Overcome your fear, life is an adventure.

A delayed flight! Stuck in a foreign country. An unknown language! Not one familiar face. That’s nasty. For a girl who was raised in a protected environment, it was like living a horror movie. Her worst nightmares come true.

Yes, it was mine. One cool summer night at the Berlin airport, that shut down, soon after I landed its gate. Raik, my friend who was to pick me up didn’t turn up as expected. He lived in Riesa, hours away by road. All information counters closed, no way to exchange my traveler’s checks, the petty cash not enough to make a phone call to the only number I had, to reach Raik. Without a soul that spoke English, I was stuck with myself in the waiting area until morning that seemed eons away. My mind was struck with fear. Worried and confused. Through it all, I believed that my faith would pull me through.


That’s how he found me. A Good Samaritan. A stranger whom I will never meet again yet cannot forget. He was a traveler using the lounge for an early flight. That’s all I will ever know about him. Language didn’t matter; he spoke German, I English. He gave me coins in exchange for my Deutsch Marks. More than what I had. Expecting nothing in return. A kind gesture. I left several hysterical messages to Raik for abandoning me at the airport. But having the stranger to talk to, helped. He was a godsend. I was right to trust my faith.

Next morning I got hold of Raik in Riesa, who had come to the airport the previous night but was misinformed about my flight. He gave me directions to Riesa via train. I was still afraid, to make the journey alone, in a foreign land but preferred it to continuing my wait at the airport. And boy was it worth it? The train ride is one of the best memories in my life. I was enamored by the sense of adventure I felt when I overcame my fear.

The short ten hours was a journey of sorts, filled with lessons and adventure. I believe mind is always the culprit. My fear, my worry and finally my happiness were all in my mind. Where I am didn’t matter once I conquered my fear. My outlook colored my vision. Who I am didn’t matter once I saw myself in others, gave credit to them as I would give myself. I stopped thinking the world revolved around “me” and life became an adventure. Mind over matter. Easy to preach, tough in reality. But I believe practice and constant faith makes it possible. Faith, a simple word but powerful enough to alter lives. It can be called God but I believe it can take many forms. It is the happiness I feel when I watch a beautiful sunrise, the music in my heart at the site of a rainbow, a wonderful friendship or even a Good Samaritan!


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A piece send out for "This I believe" in National Public Radio
and now for the prompt : The Journey in Writer's Island.
as well as the prompt from Sunday Scribblings on Fellow
Travellers.
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17 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

They are there everywhere.

Just when we need them...

tumblewords said...

I had several similar experiences in my younger, braver years so your post hit home with me. Fear stops many experiences, I think. Sometimes I wonder about those I didn't have, because...
Great post, well written!

Christine said...

A life lesson you'll never forget. An angel in disguise. Great story.

UL said...

Thank so much for your comments. I love these prompts already.

Granny Smith said...

You eloquently voiced a universal truth. I, too, have met them everywhere - the caring stranger, Brazilian, Japanese, Balinese, Swedish = even American!

Wine-dark Sea said...

Thought provoking.

Shari said...

Sounds like a scary experience, but it probably made you stronger. This reminds me of a time when I was in Frankfurt, all alone, at 18. I was so naive.

Thinking aloud said...

god that was some experience...that is one of my worst fears...but a sehy say...overcoming them makes you stronger...

Prats said...

Trust will always come to our help!! But that was one helluva experience...though in all this you made yourself a new friend

Robin said...

What a happy development to have found your good samaritan, and even better to have then been able to set off on a life-changing adventure.

You've just given me an idea for what to write about, too :).

keith hillman said...

You are never far away from a good samaritan. I'd like to think that I have been one once or twice.

Enjoyed your story very much.

rebecca said...

angels come to us guised in many different forms....

and yet the best was when you stepped outside into the unknown....not letting the fear be your fellow traveler.

thank you for sharing this story...it was terrific.

John Tran said...

This piece definitely hits home with me as well. Fear is the greatest enemy to action and the greatest friend to procrastination!

Tammy said...

I'm so glad you overcame your fear and grew from it. Good story!

Remiman said...

UL,
what a wonderful lesson here about extending a helping hand to a fellow traveler.
Great story1
rel

LittleWing said...

so enjoyed your story... i too traveled far and wide long ago.. i can so relate to the fear factor ...but then again, w/o faith absolutely positive i would have never gone anywhere...thank you

Amrit said...

Hey..very similar experience...i cud feel what you would have gone through!!! but the way you express is no way similar to me...yours is simply amazing..my narration was bland (i feel so)!!

and thanks yet again....for liking my bland and boring post and for your concern as well...i am gargaling :)