It started in Thailand, on a beach on the secluded island of Koh Jum. That’s where I met Jo and Martina from Würzburg, Germany. Jo talked about his year long solo trip in the past, his adventures in Indonesia and how “it changed everything”. “You must do it”, he had told me.
So the seed was planted. And it didn’t take long before it grew into a real plan for a six month trip to Europe and South America.
So it was fitting that on my first day into the trip, as I arrived in Germany, I took the train from Frankfurt to Würzburg to meet up with Jo and Martina.
Jo and Martina actually live just outside of Würzburg, in a place called Seligenstadt. I say a “place”, because it is not a town or a village, it is simply a tiny little train station. That’s right, they live in the Bahnhof, the little station building built in 1907 that Jo bought a few years ago from Deutch Bahn and is now renovating.
I see Jo and Martina doing some yard work as soon as I step out of the little regional train. The whole scene is hard to believe. We walk up to their apartment and as I look out the window, on one side I see the deserted train platform of the tiny station, complete with a giant clock and on the other side, endless rolling hills covered in vineyards. There are no people or any other sign of civilization.
The apartment is funky and quirky in a very inviting way, as are Jo and Martina. Martina works for an alternative energy non-profit in Würzburg. Jo is a drummer with a passion for the 70s funkadelic groove. He plays in a band and has a part-time DJ gig called “Free your mind and your ass will follow”.
After allowing me a short nap, they drive me out to a lovely restaurant overlooking the vineyards, the meandering horseshoe bend of the Main river and cute little Bavarian villages.
We drink a wonderful white wine called Silvaner, the star of the local wine region of Lower Franconia. It is super delicious, paired perfectly with Blaue Zipfel, a local sausage specialty that was recommended by someone I met on the train.
Is that the sound of the shackles of my mind loosening that I hear? As far as my jet-lagged ass, al it wants to follow right now is a beeline to the bed.