Friday, July 24, 2015

Leaving a Trail

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Last week, I was so reluctant to leave Germany. I felt at home in Berlin. I had grown accustomed to my setting and even had favorite running routes, favorite restaurants, and daily rituals. Taking this into account, I realized that perhaps this might be the best time for me to leave Germany and, once again, change my setting.

Over the past ten weeks, I attempted to lead my life following this motto. I came to Berlin because I wanted adventure. I wanted an experience that I would never forget, an experience that I could refer back to for the rest of my life. I believed I achieved what I was looking for.

I met some of the most memorable people at the hostels I stayed at, ranging from the Mormon man who lost his luggage containing his temple garments to the Australian girl who was stranded in Albania after maxing out her credit card. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the laid-back lakeside parties along the Plotzensee Lake or the most amazing bratwurst and beers at the Am Neuen See Biergarten.

In addition, to these unforgettable memories, I gained invaluable lab and life experience. I am incredibly grateful to Emory University and the DAAD RISE program for funding my trip. Without their support, I would have been never been able to work on projects, which include searching for reservoirs of anthrax in mammalian populations and assessing biodiversity using fly DNA, nor be included in a publication. Above all, this trip has given me a new sense of self and confidence.

Robert Koch Institut

Plotsenzee Lake

Museum Island

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