As many of you may know, later this summer I am moving my life away from Belfast, a place where I have lived all 25 years of my life thus far, and on to Berlin, a city I have visited three times in the last four years, and every time I never wanted to leave. This time I won’t be leaving. Or at least that’s the plan! A one way flight from London awaits me on August 16th, and 2 weeks in a hostel is all I have planned.
I’d be lying if I said it was a tough decision, because it was rather easy to be honest. Everything just came into alignment, and it seemed right that I move on sooner rather than later. My contract at my day job was ending later this summer, and the option for renewal wasn’t what I truly wanted. In terms of personal relationships, I was close to settling down 2 years ago. That all changed and turned my life upside down. And when it comes to chasing my dream job of working in professional hockey analytics, I have worked with 3 great coaches and won every title up for grabs in the Elite League over the past 7 years with the Giants. And after last season I felt like the team is going in a different direction and I am no longer wanted. So its time for a new challenge…
Which brings me to Berlin. Why Berlin? Many people have asked me this, and I have had the same answer for them all. I love that city. Its what I dream Belfast will become. A city torn apart, and brought back together by its own people. But with the small minority of people annually dragging Belfast back into turmoil, combined with the backwards politics of Stormont, leaves us as a troubled city and country that will take a lot longer to fix.
Last year when I was in the German Capital, I met a load of people. I met two beautiful Scottish gals (who I’ve kept in touch with, and even visited at Christmas), a Canadian lass (who was travelling the world for what seemed like an eternity), a Canadian guy who is a hockey fan and sends me many front row snapchats from Sens games (for which I will forever despise him for!), an Australian couple and even a Finnish student who admitted she didn’t speak any German. Its a city which is surprisingly bi-lingual, which isn’t to say I’m not going to (attempt) to learn German, but it will help me get started!
Everyone talks about writing new chapters in ‘the book of life’. But I felt like I was approaching the end of my book, nowhere else to go in the storyline, the penultimate chapter if you will. So I thought to myself what I could do, and then it dawned on me. Wrap up this book, and get started on the sequel!