Spending time abroad has woken me up to what the world is becoming. With the development of the internet and technology people are spreading out more and more. The world has become much more open in many ways. There is room to grow where we never saw opportunity before. Companies are reaching people on the other side of the globe, friends are connecting from thousands of miles away, artists are able to collaborate with like minded individuals with only an internet connection. It’s become a strange new place. Fifteen years ago even, the connection that I make overseas would be worth a lot less, but now because of how closely everyone is connected, we can keep and grow our networks abroad into something substantial.
As a rapper who has spent the better part of seven years making my bones in Chicago, I have noticed that there might be more opportunity for myself if I start connecting with people out in Europe. So I took a year to save my money, and eventually with the help of a somewhat nefarious side job, I was able to come up with enough funds to get my ass out to Berlin.
I went abroad not knowing anyone, but because of the internet I was able to book myself a couple of gigs prior to getting to Berlin and make a couple of contacts with people plugged into the music scene in Berlin. The rest was really up to my wit and charm to make deeper contacts and grow the ones I already made.
Airbnb was honestly a huge help with this also. I made it a point to choose where I would stay wisely. Airbnb hosts all have profiles and I came across one of a host that seemed cool and I wasn’t let down. From that one booking, I made several very close friends, work partners, and future musical collaborators. That’s how it works. You have to put yourself out in the world for things to happen. I’m not one who is crazy about change, but I respect what it is capable of. In this instance I gained lifelong friends that have shown me an entire different side of Berlin, and honestly made the city feel more like home than a visiting destination.