Girl Playing Guitar

This Week’s Wandering Soul: Julia Petersen, 31, Hamburg

Julia and I travelled almost a month together adventuring from Buenos Aires, to Uruguay (where we had a hard time dragging ourselves away from the beach) before suffering a type of post traumatic stress disorder after waiting in line at Iguazú falls for 4.5 hours alongside half the Argentinians and Brazilians in existance.  An optician by trade, this Hamburger is also a talented musician whose music is able to bring even the most brash Argentinians to their knees.  She came to South America to scratch a travelling itch which had been bothering her for some time, and fully ready to embrace what the continent wanted to throw at her.  It sounds like she got her wish for change and challenge – as and last I heard, she had taken up with a Chilean in the lovely Valparaíso.

Julia Playing Guitar
Julia made even the cockiest of porteño boys shut up when she played guitar…

How has being German left its mark on you?

Oh shit that’s such a huge topic! I think I feel that I’m German because I question a lot. Also that I let my “alternative lifestyle” be visible from the outside as often happens in Germany. Your politics are always “visible” from the outside.

Being a little bit shy is also quite German, I think. I often wonder how people would “fit me in the German drawer,” but then I find ways.  In being efficient and having an honest way of communicating.  Not using too many words.  Especially in the north of German, we say you should only speak if you have something to say.

What would your 13-year-old self think about you if they met you?

I think she’d be impressed.

If you could meet your 13-year-old self, what would you say to her?

Oh that’s really a time I have to recall…I’d tell her that in the end, everything will be fine and if it’s not fine, it’s not the end.

How do you make decisions?

I find someone who’s good at deciding (laughs).  With small things like shopping, I read the choices- like yesterday, 20 sorts of ice cream, I find one that’s really attractive and don’t even read the rest.  Or, I go to supermarkets with much less choice.

Do you think you’re on the right path?  How do you know?

I think so.  Because at the moment, I’m completely following my heart:  Simple but true.  At the same time, I’m doing now what I had to do and am super grateful that I am.  I’m on the right path but I can’t always be – for the moment I am, but I accept that in another moment maybe I won’t be.

How do you feel when you think about your future?

Shyly curious.

What fascinates you about Germany?

That it is honest and always ready for self criticism.

About humanity?

Voices – there is nothing like the voice.  Modesty fascinates me too, because it’s easier to be pretentious and egotistic.  I’m fascinated by people who are interesting in very different kinds of conversations and can find something to talk about with almost everybody.  Also, people who can appreciate different kinds of people.

About yourself?

That I am finally doing what I dreamed of, that some people have told me that I influenced them.

What scares you about Germany?

Maybe it’s also what fascinates me:  The directness.  Hmmm, the size of the people!  (laughs)  There’s always a lot of them.

About humanity?

It scares me when people seem not to need any support, when they are moving too much that that I have the feeling that they are always disappearing.

About yourself?

My pickiness about people and my difficulty to communicate with “normal” people (laughs).

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