New city, new park, new experience
I think I can comfortably say that I’ve visited a fair few cities over the last year. As a solo traveler, it’s really bizarre arriving at a new destination. No one is telling you where to go or what to do. You could maybe check into a hotel or a hostel, or see some sights with your backpack and belongings in tow. But the first thing I do in a new city is to go a park. And nap.
Here is my experience in Berlin
I arrived in Berlin a few days ago. I had an idea of staying with a friend or finding a hostel, something along those lines. While I wait to hear from her, I lug all of my belongings onto the train heading to what is hopefully the city center. I walk around a bit, look at some things, and wait to get in contact with my friend. I’ve done this process often enough now that it’s not as difficult or daunting as it once was. There are plenty of hours in the day for me to grab a coffee, get some Wi-Fi, take a nap, and find some cheap lunch and then sort out somewhere to sleep that night. I arrive at one of Berlin’s many central train stations, check my map for the closest local park and walk for about 20 minutes through the dense industrialized concrete landscape to eventually arrive at a location that offers the only thing I want – a comfortable place to relax.
A park is the epicenter of the city
Local parks are often the social hub of many cultures. There are all sorts of things happening, from people having picnics and watching their kids play to others added to the experience with live music and even delicious food stalls. If you’re on the road, and you just want to relax and step out of the tourist shell for a few hours;
if you want to feel at home just like everyone else around you, go to a local park, put your bags down, make yourself a pillow and put some headphones in (or listen to the sounds around you). Just watch the people laughing, playing and socializing, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to nod off for a few hours. You’ll feel fresh and relaxed enough to tackle the next few days.
Park – The reflection of the city
I find that a park is a perfect representation of the city and the people that live in it. If you find that the park is nearly deserted and there is a lot of trash around then, you won’t have a good time there.
A park that is bustling with people represents a town whose people will be friendly, and you will be able to relax in it. Another great thing about parks like this is that you can learn a lot about the city itself, including the history, urban legends and the best places where you can rest and eat. You can also meet people and become friends with them, gaining valuable connections all around the world.