„Good morning, dear passengers!“, from the speakers above my head the captain announces that we will approach Frankfurt soon. Even though I have been on the go for what feels like an eternity, I still cannot wrap my head around the fact, that my feet will touch german ground soon.
Only 24 hours ago I booked the flight, after finally realizing, that it doesn't make any sense to stay in Argentina and wait until Corona is under control and I am able to cycle again, to catch my flight from Sao Paulo to Europa in three months. The borders have been closed, wildcampers are being forced to leave by the police, hostels are not letting in any more foreigners and it is only a matter of time, until they are being closed.
Even though Corona has been on the daily news for weeks, the wide and far away landscaped of Tierra Del Fuego made it impossible to imagine the dimension of the crisis in Europe. As I am standing in the deserted foyer of Frankfurt airport, on a friday afternoon, I finally realize, how serious the situation is.
I can tell how relieved my parents are, only by looking at their faces, when they hug me. It's been seven months since I last saw them. To me, that's normal, sometimes it took me seven months to visit them, when I lived in Berlin.
Driving on the strangely empty Autobahn makes me feel like I am just in a dream. My body is present, but my mind is still stuck, somewhere between Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.
It's as if my life has been controlled by outside powers, these past two weeks. A truck driver, who made decisions upon my body, a bus company, taking my bike, a virus that sent me home from one day to the other. My head is simply not able to follow.
After one and a half hours we arrive in Bad Laasphe, a place I know so well, where I spend the first 18 years of my life, a place that at the same time is so foreign to me. We drive by the supermarket parking lot, where I would have arrived at, by bike, in four months. My mind wanders off to my bike, which is stuck in a box, somewhere south of Buenos Aires. The next days I wake up every single night, thinking, where I locked my bike, where my bags are at and why I am not in my tent, until I realize, that I am at my parent's.
I feel incredibly lucky to have my family. No job, no apartment, no health insurance, one solution - my family. Yet again I realize, how important this safety net is. I check the donation website - almost 9..500€. It makes me happy, thinking about all these kids, who we helped to build this safety net in their lives.
Every day my head is days behind, while a virus is paralyzing the entire planet in no time at all. But I start to understand, that these change of plans are actually better for me. The hope, that I will be able to leave after my brother's wedding in august, without having this important occasion in Germany, as a timeframe for my trip, is growing and growing. I get back to work, to create "Wheels Of Fortune 2.0", a new fundraiser, new energy, new ideas. Complete reset to zero, well, except the kilometers on my bike computer.