10 Things Berlin Taught Me

1. To See Things From a New Perspective

Berlin has a way of making you see things from a different perspective – both physically and internally. This Instagram shot taken from the top of Berlin’s TV Tower evidently illustrates the undeniable beauty of the city from above.

The stark white snow on the below buildings and roadsides together with the florescent city lights makes for a truly enchanting experience. This is not just a concrete jungle but a magical metropolitan merging the old with the new.

10 Things Berlin Taught Me

Seeing Berlin’s physical history from a different perspective can be breathtaking. Arrive at the TV Tower shortly before sunset to observe this incredible change in light and atmosphere over the city.

2. To Tear Down Walls

10 Things Berlin Taught Me

Berlin knows walls better than any other city. The wall, dividing East and West Berlin, has been broken down years ago in 1989. However, the trauma of the past remains in a tangible form. Some of the remnants of the wall can be found in their former state. These serve as a constant reminder of the rawness, harshness and destructiveness of the construction of the wall and hence the division of the people.

10 Things Berlin Taught Me

Other remnants have been brightly painted over, obtaining a new façade with a pop culture influence. They take on a new meaning and become something symbolically beautiful in the city’s urban landscape.

10 Things Berlin Taught Me

3. A Positive Outlook Is Everything

3.	A Positive Outlook Is Everything

The metaphor of a positive outlook persists in the streets of Berlin. There is no place that I have seen this so explicitly than on the graffiti walls, cobble stones symbolizing the length of the now broken down wall and vividly coloured posters advertising exciting art exhibitions and the like. All these are symbolic of the city moving forward, embracing change and rewriting its cultural and artistic history.

4.    There’s a World Out There That Needs Exploring

world out there

As a city, Berlin has so much to offer. And this desire to explore is pointed out in many different aspects of the city – from advertising balloons to Trabi motor cars. It is an open-mindedness that says, ‘I wish to explore, for only then will I be able to see clearly’.

5.    There is Beauty in Everything


This simple photograph I took with the beautiful red cranes against a bright blue background carefully encapsulates the simplicity and beauty of life and of the city. Berlin taught me to see the beauty in its past, its present and in its subtleties and as a result, embrace this. The past becomes an artwork that we must acknowledge, accept and move forward from but never let happen again for we learn.

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6.  You Have To Start Somewhere



Berlin taught me that change only happens when you start. When you put your foot forward, pursue your journey and forgive both yourself and others.

7.    Walking Helps Reconcile

postive outlook

The journey of visiting a new city is exciting. It is filled with the unexpected. From the initial transport connections to the exploration of the city by foot – there is a spontaneity that simply has to be captured.

Walking and exploring Berlin’s streets helps you reconcile what happened there. It is a city of progress. A city where walking palpably helps restore, resolve and reconcile.

8.    To Find an Element of Structure in it All


A journey to a foreign city allows us a dual-edged sword. On the one hand we want to be free to explore the place, do a little vagabonding and let go. On the other hand we cannot. We need structure otherwise we will loose sight of the goals of our journey. The balance is crucial. And there is no better place to learn this than in Germany.

9.    To Enjoy the Abstract


Berlin is an artsy, hipster city from its old Trabi cars to its odd water pipes in bright pink and blue that situate themselves throughout the capital. There is so much art and culture to enjoy here and you should sit back, soak up the abstract and take a break from your daily questioning.

10.    Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details

Make no mistake Berlin is historically fascinating. But don’t get too caught up in the details. The history of the city is disturbing and getting caught up in it is sometimes easy to do. Especially since the trauma of the landscape is so physically present throughout the city in the form of its many walls, facades and political banners. Of course we shouldn’t cover up what happened in this interesting city. Exposing it is the only right thing to do. But we shouldn’t dwell on its negative past, for in doing so we lose sight of its immense beauty and fail to forgive as we go.

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  1. Gillian says:

    fantastic pictures!