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  • Donnell W.

Jumping Borders


This past weekend two of my close friends from college came to visit Germany. One is an up-and-coming R&B/Soul artist. You can listen to one of his songs here. My other friend was recently accepted into his dream grad school program. To say that I am proud of the two of them and what they’re doing is a complete understatement. They’re out here getting to the goals!


Living in Germany for the past 7 months presented a number of different obstacles. I’m not one to easily become homesick. Still, there are some elements of home that I miss. Not being able to regularly spend time with family and friends was the most difficult adjustment. At that moment I realized that it's not so much the place that I miss, but the people.

Both of my friends flew in to Berlin. I took a train from Munich to meet them there. Berlin is my favourite deutsche Stadt (German city). I was super hyped about sharing the culture and experience with close friends. Everywhere you turn, from the architectural brilliance to the artistic graffiti, Berlin awakens the inner creative in anyone that comes in contact with its poise.


We made a few moves. We tried reliving those college Spring Break days tucked deep away in our past. We checked out cultural centers like YAAMs (Young African Artist Movement, highly suggested) and Postdamer Platz. A few different historical sites and places that captured the heart of Berlin.


Linking back up with members of the crew was a bit nostalgic. You can shoot the breeze talking about the good ol’ days while creating new memories simultaneously.

I’m always thankful for the opportunity to study in Germany for a year. The experience has taught me a lot academically and has given me a new hunger for visiting new cultures and countries.


Adjusting to another culture has its perks. One of my favorite pastimes is people watching. But, when I am not doing that, diving head first into another culture's language, history, politics and art adds a new definition to living abroad.


So to share this experience with my friends instead of getting lost, alone, in a city that I love made this trip memorable. Showing them some of my favorite “must-see” places I visit every time that I am in Berlin made those places even more meaningful.


Those experiences moved from being mine to being ours. Fast forward to the future, the way each of us goes about measuring this experiences along with our own personal journeys and future travel experiences will make our shared experience stronger.

Black men occupying foreign spaces without feeling the American walls of contempt closing in on us. Literally taking the bull by the horns. Exploring a world that our ancestors have given so much to but were unable to enjoy.


D’s Takeaway: 3…2…1…Take off!

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© 2020-2021 by Donnell A. Williamson, Jr.