BERLINlyfe / by Stephen Bontly

A little over a month ago....

I remember getting off the plane and wondering how my life was about to change. I wasn't sure what to expect....

Was it going to be like those romantic experiences where you find yourself taken on a wild ride, unable to decide if you should slow down or not? Or would you end up busking on the sidewalks, hoping to make the next dollar for your next meal?

These ideas are not far from the truth. Many performers, painters, coders, musicians, architects, fabricators, actors, and designers move to Germany's capital in search of what I dream of. The answer to life. The question to be answered lies in whether Germany's hopes and dreams..... include you in them.

Since the late 80's, Berlin has been working to rebuild its city into greatness.

A place once ruled by the empirical, has formed into a place unified in their belief that greatness can be achieved through self expression.

The arts give opportunity to manifest creativity, and collectively it delivers a sense of hope to the people of Berlin. It is a constant cycle of people helping people. Things getting done to get done. A thriving community, determined to make their mark. 

I can admit it is a little overwhelming to enter into such a world. Coming from a place that I know like the back of my hand, and then moving on the opposite side of the world puts you into a trance. It's as if I have been put into a movie and I am trying to decipher what reality is and is not.

Every corner I turn, shop I pier into, room I enter, alley I turn down, I am involuntarily exposed to more art and design... more... self expression.

As much as it can be overwhelming, I have been given a gift. A playground of inspiration to draw from. A place where you do have the option to see something you have never seen before. Do something you have never done.... So I find myself buying a Berliner from the local market and stepping out into this world. Everyday taking in what a city of creative people have to offer.

At the end of the day, when I lock my bike up after a night in Kreuzburg, the one thing I think as I climb the steps to my apartment, is that I am now home. A place where creativity breathes as the sun rises and sets, a place where Berlin hustles harder.

Stay tuned World.