During the course of my internship, a lot of friends asked me one question in particular: “Do you miss Marburg?” Well, the honest answer is “Not as much as I thought”. Although I know Marburg longer and better than Hamburg, it astonished me how quickly I got familiar to my new surroundings and how confident I felt when walking or traveling through the city, not yet knowing how and where I would end up if not at my desired destination. I heard a lot of bad things about big cities: Everything is hectic, it is hard to get around and find your way, a lot of criminals, etc.
As for Hamburg though, I mostly felt safe, which – I would say never the less – doesn’t make me less careful.
Furthermore, I really enjoyed my 4-months internship with my colleagues and new friends I found on different occasions; in other words, I felt home very quickly. Was it because of the fact that I actually grew up in this region? Well, I think it definitely played a role, but it is not the most natural thing on earth that you get settled in another city that easily – especially in a big city such as Hamburg – putting the fact aside that Hamburg is much closer to Stade, my primary location.
In fact, before my internship in Hamburg, I mostly visited and explored the city with at least one companion and/or made sure that someone would pick me up from the train station and I never thought about trying to find a certain place on my own.
However, I believe that a couple of random events which made it impossible for my friends to pick me up on the spot eventually gave me enough confidents to – in worst case – find and explore unknown places myself, not to mention the trips I’ve done with blind and partially sighted friends only.
Nevertheless, it is – of course – not the most natural thing on earth that blind folks – or handicapped folks in general – would start exploring unknown territory and try to get around by themselves, and I admire everybody who does it! After all, it can be a long step-by-step learning process…