Things were happening so quickly that it hadn’t settled that I was actually leaving for Germany in a few hours. I spent quite some time pacing in my room trying to figure out if I needed to take anything else. After a point, I felt a bit too anxious, maybe overwhelmed by how things were progressing and I decided to take a step back and just breathe. Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself to stop and experience what you’re experiencing.
I did one last check and confirmed that I had everything I needed. It was around 21:30 when I received an email from Carola who is one of my POC in Germany. It was a detailed email about the residency and welcoming me to Germany.
This was one email that I really wanted my mother to read. Being an artist doing what I do in India, it is often misunderstood or not understood at all. It’s natural in an industry that is dominated by Bollywood movies, music, and actors. I could see the excitement and smile on her face, I think she felt a special sense of pride reading all the things that were planned for her son, Riatsu as part of this residency program. It was at this moment that it finally hit me. Holy shit! I was leaving for Germany in a few hours!!
The flight was at 06:25 so I had to be at the airport around 03:30. I slept for around 3 hours and woke up around 01:00. Gave my excited mother a hug and left for the airport. Considering the amount of gear I was carrying, the airport journey from check-in to immigration was a breeze. The first flight to Istanbul was on time and the journey was super smooth.
I had only 1 hour between the connecting flights so I knew that I had to make a run for it to make sure I don’t miss the flight to Cologne. Fortunately, I found the gate to my connecting flight fairly quickly. Not easy when you have a backpack full of gear on you but let’s just say that I was brisk walking.
The 3-hour flight felt longer than the flight to Istanbul. I am sure it was the excitement. I had finally made it, the last few days before the travel were quite stressful and sometimes overwhelming. Sometimes the uncertainty of it all, sometimes it was just me overthinking. The immigration check at Cologne airport was super short. They asked me what I had come to the city for, checked the invitation letter that I was sent, and welcomed me.
And there I was in Cologne, Germany, ready to experience anything and everything. A bit nervous, a bit excited but always a heart full of gratitude.