“Munich is sooo beautiful …” my friend and I said again and again, when we walked through the sunny pretty streets. Wistful and perhaps a bit coward towards taking the next step. Leaving familiar surroundings behind us, as well as the comfort of our life, in which we stand firmly with both legs, makes us contemplate about life decisions a lot. These walks were beautiful and agonizing at the same time. We had always this gigantic question mark “Should we do it or rather be safe?” with us…
What you often forget with all this pondering: Us humans are such creatures of habits … My life (in Munich) before, during and after the 1-year Sabbatical actually shows that very well.
When I came back from my long break, I knew that Munich would be bore me again, even more than before, after the frenetic life in Sao Paulo and Los Angeles.
On the one hand, this beautiful, clean, Bavarian city is much too “comfortable” to be exciting (enough for me). The inhabitants of “Minga” are just doing too well to be full with great creativity. And the “just to good” is so relaxing on the other hand, when everything is so easy in a city. Munich makes life comfortable for most people, and it enables more stability.
As long as one doesn’t emerge from this comfortable place and doesn’t look at other circumstances, one is not aware of the easiness.
So when I came back, I felt my little 1.5 BR apartment as decadent – big and functional – that for a while I thought about moving into a flat share! I was amazed that I had apparently let go of my beloved apartment, and at the same time I was glad, too. During the one year that I lived in Brazil in flatshares, sometimes in uncharming breaks, sometimes in more generous apartments with roof terraces and amazing views of the city. When traveling I always chose the medium to cheap accommodations and was satisfied with very little comfort. My main goal was saving money, having a bed and a roof above my head.
(Note by the way: my colleagues and acquaintances, who do not know me so well, still consider me a spoiled brat… but I do not believe they would have done what I did.)
But slowly, I got used to Munich’s comfort. So much space only for me, in an antique building, with high ceilings, parquet flooring, big windows, a modern kitchen, in a very popular area and still affordable! That happened relatively quickly. Within a month I was able to appreciate my gorgeous place again.
My social life, however, had reduced to the most necessary social contact… Since the nightlife and cultural offers are not quite my taste (i.e. not exciting enough), I didn’t mind staying at home for the weekends. Netflix and sometimes inviting friends over, were my favorite distractions. As a single woman, getting to know men in Munich wasn’t very attractive either… The few interesting and really cool men (of my age) are already taken. The rest is, unfortunately, a bit too (sorry!) provincial. No, even on Tinder there was no cool tattooed artist or other differently sexy guys in MUC. Only chickens. Only little boys, no real men.
Same thing at work … Unfortunately, there was only painful boredom.
This had to change. So this back and forth pondering started again. This time it was harder to take a decision, because I appreciated the comfort in Munich after my travels so much more. This way I knew exactly what I would give up when I leave.
Now I’m in New York City on limited time. With the help of my dear friends, the dearest and most helpful in the world, I was able to stay with them for the first 3 weeks (2 weeks with a friend, 1 week with another friend) and was supported by them in so many ways additionally.
Since yesterday I am in a flat share in the Lower East Side. However, only for 3 weeks. After that I have to look again, or go back to my friends temporarily. It keeps being a back-and-forth, you see? No real “lean back”-situation, as it is used to be done at home after a long working day or a hard week. Considering this, ask again: Me and spoiled?
In my new room I have a window. This is something very special! However, I still don’t get any sunlight, because it shows out on a kind of shaft. The window seems to be broken a little as it doesn’t close. Because of this a bit of cold comes in easily. Luckily right now NYC is still quite untypically mild for the season! The living room is very charmingly furnished with vintage furniture. But there, too, the window is not quite shut… The kitchen is quite large for New York. Apart from the broken door-locks on the cabinets, everything seems to be good. With the stowing of things you have to improvise a bit. Attention! This is the first opportunity for creativity!
The garbage cans are easy to find – in the middle of the stairways of the house, you can even smell them as they are open. A true treat. My friends here say I’m really lucky!
Personally, I find my happiness with the roof, from where you have a wonderful view of the city and the really stunning sunsets of New York.
I pay $1,440 for the 3 weeks here. A real bargain, New Yorkers say.
Sometimes I wonder if I’d be better off in Munich. While everything seems to be expensive and hard here in NYC, everything in Munich definitely is so easy… And my really nice apartment costs only EUR 840, – a month!
But to have Zac Efron sitting in the same cinema, or to see Amber Valletta and Julianne Moore in a bookstore, and Jeff Bridges pass you by, to see Sarah Jessica Parker talk about business or to be a day on the set with the American Vanity Fair, to get to know new and above all interesting people every single day, – this is New York, and this is simply priceless.
Once you know what you want and what is important to you, you also have to know whether you are willing to pay the price for it. Sometimes you can really have everything. Sometimes it takes some time until you have worked so hard in order to be able to do anything one day.
Until then you have to be “unspoiled” and adjust your habits, maybe turn everything upside down. This is going to be rewarded. I am firmly convinced of this.