Traveling the world!
How many of us have not dreamt about doing this special travel to an exotic country but hesitates as we are a bit scared of the unknown? Or perhaps we even want to move to another country to experience something new or develop as persons. But then again, it is so much easier in theory than reality, so we find excuses to stay where we are or make the changes less big. Not all are like that though and some sees the opportunities and not the obstacles. This week's lady has been exploring the world for four decades and still is. Join her journey in life.
Name: Annmarie Goldmann
Family: Separated, one child
Lives: Near Hamburg, Germany
You are a real globetrotter and have even been living abroad for many years until you went back to Germany. Which countries have you been traveling to?
I've seen a lot of the world and been to more than 20 states in the USA, but also traveled to Italy, Austria, France, Venezuela, Bermuda and Japan. I've even done volunteer-work in Kenya in Africa. Tanzania is one of the places I will go next.
How did the curiosity for the world begin?
In short, I had to choose between tradition or my own future and life. Perhaps some of your readers grew up in the 1970s, like I did. It was the "Zeitgeist", this German word which made it into the English language. In those years it meant that everything previous, traditional and the way your parents live, was in question and if in doubt, you choose the opposite from your elders. (That was typical for the 68-generation. But since I was out in the country, that spirit may have reached me with delay. So with my experience as a 15 year old, perhaps your readers aging 60 to 70 associate more.) Anyway, for me that was my world at the time.
The trade mark of teenage life is to find yourself, you identify and search for direction. My conflict was perhaps a bit greater than average. Overpowered by my four brothers, who were hard on me, it was a daily challenge. Whereas on the outside, with relatives and in the village, I was viewed as the "Princess". Home it was however different.
Over the years, I had to fight for my place, my real, the deserving place. When I was over 20, tired of endless competition, I realized that there can't be a solution, not here at home! At the age of 23 - 24, the pressure mounted in an arranged marriage, with no feelings for the "chosen one". By that time, I felt tough enough for whatever is out there, and I grabbed the opportunity to a contact in Chicago. So I was leaving at night, into a frosty January morning, flying to Chicago, Illinois.
After the arrival, when standing there between Lake Michigan and the Skyscrapers, from the first moment on, I felt that this is the gate to the world. I thought that If I can survive here, if I can fit in and let this experience become my identity, nothing and no country is off limit anymore!
I had managed to escape! With all my courage combined, shaky knees, tons of doubt and rough calls with my parents. That was the price I had to pay. And it paid off! That jump across the ocean into the un-known, has somehow changed my DNA (that's how it feels). Once the rope that tied me down was cut and I managed my own life, I realized that the world out there is no scary place.
It's the people you meet, the ones you depend on, that you have to trust. That includes for example the airline pilot and the rickshaw man in the middle of the night in Kuala Lumpur. One has to trust others. It's very much about your level of judgment of people and locations, and how secure you feel about yourself, that's the key to the world!
Back to your question, Katharina: It was out of necessity that I left, and that one jump grew into a lifelong love for discovering people and countries around the globe. I liked the USA and except for living in Illinois many years I also stayed in Florida for six months.
Would you say that it is easier to travel when getting older? Perhaps the body is a bit slower, on the other hand one has more experience and confidence.
In deed I do think so! The physical part, well, of course you have to take care of that. I was thinking ahead. For example when I started to think about Africa it was about 2007. Then I started to spend one hour a day exercising, in the noon-hours, to train myself to hot temperatures. I have kept up this routine all the way "to Africa" in 2016 (and still do today).
Aside from the physical part, it's the emotional side: one benefit is that as a "women of age" your dealings with the opposite sex is much more relaxed and focused on subject matters. You know yourself and you are aware of your appearance. With kindness and the way you carry yourself, you know when to use a little extra-charm to get needed information and extra-help.
That pretty much is the whole secret to gather nice, good people around yourself when in foreign places.
Now you are living in Germany again, in the country where you were born. Will you stay put here or will the curiosity for the world make you move somewhere else again?
I do consider Germany as my base. It was the place I wanted to raise my child, so he would gain the same identity as I have. That was so for the past 26 years. But now he is on a very good road to shape his own life and my husband has liberated me when he asked 2016 for a separation.
Since then, 2016, I am free again to explore and "leave the house". The base will remain, like the house, the good relationship that I still have with my husband and no formal divorce. My son Maximilian (26) is very happy that I re-charge and go out in the world again. So then after the separation I did my first trip to Africa for three month. That was a very special and interesting trip of course. So yes, my curiosity remain but Germany is always my home.