Adam Groffman, a Nomadic Hipster in Berlin

By , July 13, 2012 9:51 am

Some people fantasize about leaving their jobs and traveling the world. Other people take a vacation…Adam Groffman left his job in Boston, traveled the world, and now inspires others to do the same via his blog, Travels of Adam. Funsherpa shares Adam’s story, unique perspective on travel and thoughts on living in a foreign city below.

In your blog, you talk about how hitting Iceland changed your life. Can you tell our readers a bit more about that?
Well, in 2009 I visited Reykjavik with a friend but just for a 3-day weekend trip from America. We were both working full-time jobs in the US and because we didn’t have much vacation time, but we had a strong desire to travel to Europe, the only place we could feasibly visit on such a short trip was Iceland. That trip changed my life in a few different ways, but the biggest was my realization how sad it was that I could only afford such little time for travel. On my plane ride home I vowed to find a way to travel more. And eight months later I was gone on the longest travel of my life! You can read even more here.

How do hipsters around the world differ from each other? What do you notice as being the same across hipsters around the world?
One thing that I think remains the same with hipsters around the world is a desire to do something. Not always little vain things like changing hair color or getting tattoos, but a desire to make a difference or have their voice heard. It’s universal across so many people, but many hipsters I’ve found tend to try harder to make a difference and do something about it.

Can you tell us some of your more surprising discoveries while traveling the world?

The biggest discoveries came from within me and about my life, but the most important thing I discovered while traveling around the world was how important and interesting people can be. There are so many amazing people and often they’re hidden right under our noses. I learned so much about life (and even myself) just from a million different happenstance meetings with strangers.

“Ich bin ein Berliner!” Can you tell us what living in Berlin is like? How does it compare to Boston?

Haha! Berlin is incredible! The city has such an amazing atmosphere and an incredible amount of passion and energy. It shows in just about everything happening in this city whether it’s a photography exhibit or just an afternoon of grilling barbecue in a public park. People here are so full of life and so eager to do so much!

Any advice for people who want to follow your footsteps, quit their jobs and explore?
This was the best possible decision I ever made in my life, but everyone’s situation is different. My advice is that people should take the time to follow their dreams and their passions. And to occasionally take risk and step outside your boundaries. Freeing yourself of a sense of “normalcy” can be exciting and scary.

Can you share with us 5 travel tips that you wish you knew when you started this journey?
1. Be flexible! I tried to keep to a rigid travel schedule at first, but quickly learned it’s impossible to do and it’s often way more fun to just be flexible.
2. Talk to strangers. They’re often not very scary.
3. Bring an iPhone. I avoided using a smartphone for a long-time, but once I got one, I quickly became addicted! They’re so useful!
4. Bring more t-shirts than underwear. Underwear washes easier and quicker. And you can sometimes go without it, whereas shirts get smellier faster and it’s a lot more noticeable when they’re dirty.
5. Don’t bring everything! Anything you think you need to bring, you probably don’t. You can buy it while traveling (often cheaper, even!)

What’s in your bucket list and which ones are you going to cross off soon?
Soon I’m going to visit Brussels and as a fan of beer, I’m pretty excited! (Yes, I know I live in the country of beer here in Germany, but there’s nothing quite like a Belgian beer!) There are several cities in Europe I’ve yet to visit that I hope to get to soon: Lisbon, Amsterdam, Athens and Istanbul.

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