Interview with Lukas: “Crazy, thank God I did it!”

The apple never falls far from the tree

For this interview, we met Lukas outside his house in Amsterdam Oud Zuid. We walked through his neighborhood and talked about his roots, his personality and his life choices. “The interview turned out better than expected”, he says after reading it back. We like it a lot as well, so have a good read.

Lukas, what are your first thoughts

The first thing that comes to my mind is my mother, because my mother and I are very similar to each other, so in that sense the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

What do you mean by similar?

We have similar behaviors. Our characters I mean. If for example you met her, you’d notice quite soon that we act quite similarly. Quiet and somehow unagitated. Of course I can get excited but generally I’d consider myself a naturally calm person.

So your first thoughts refer to your personality?

Exactly. We definitely have very similar characters. And what’s interesting about that is that because of it, we often have conflicts. Being so similar, we often have, how shall I say, points that cause friction.

Would you say that it is generally important to know what your tree is?

I definitely think that you should always have in mind where you come from, be it the family or the context that you grew up in. Because it has a big impact on your character and the experiences that you made and therefore shapes you. So why should I say that it was all shit or something, because after all it shaped me somehow. No matter if it was for the good or for the bad.

lukas in front of blue wall
(See more of Lukas on his Instagram)

Have you never perceived it as a burden, your tree? 

Ehm…no, generally not. I’d never say that I regret anything as far as my tree or my origin is concerned. I find that everything is good the way that it happened. Whether it was positive or negative. 

Do you also see big differences between you and your tree? Parts of which you say “Ok, I don’t know where I got this from!”

Yes, there is a difference somehow. I have the feeling that I am more open for the world in general. I feel like where I come from people are very focussed on themselves in their village and are happy to stay there for their entire life. I have the feeling that I am somehow someone who wants to break free from that and is therefore now here in Amsterdam and didn’t study in Germany for example.

Is this your nature or do you feel like it was a conscious decision at one point? Wanting to be different.

I guess everybody knows  this moment when you suddenly have this good feeling and think that something feels right or this is what you want to do. It had a very big impact that I got out of that German context and entered a more international one. And then I definitely noticed,  I like this and then this is how things went.

Do you think that the experiences that you make here will influence you in the long term? 

Definitely. The more experience you gather, especially the bad experiences, make you grow a lot. For example the fact that since I live in Amsterdam, being gone from home for the first time ever, I had to move houses three times. This is a crazy experience for someone that before has lived in a protected home for 20 years. Looking back, I am not sad about it. I think that it really helped me. Also for my future life, so I’ll be able to deal with such situations.

You said that you look for new experiences. Can you be more specific?

I meant getting out of the comfort zone, I guess. For example, what I did in Amsterdam once: Nobody was free to meet, so I went to party on my own. If you don’t know people, sometimes you have to jump in at the deep end. And afterwards it was the best decision ever because that way, I met dozens of new people. Those are the things that beforehand you think “Ok, that’s a bit weird or uncertain” and afterwards you think “Crazy, thank God I did it!”. Of course it could turn out to be bad, but….what’s the odds! 

Do you think that your decisions around making new experiences depend on our zeitgeist?

I think so. Also because we have different opportunities compared to the ones that my parents had. Back in the days, there was even a difference between Eastern and Western Germany. It was not so easy to just quickly cross a border. So I think it’s definitely a big advantage that there’s a united Europe, because you can travel very easily. By now everybody travels everywhere. In the past that wasn’t possible. Even just financially speaking. And there was no internet where you could have seen “Ok, that’s nice, I could go there”. You had to buy books to know that.

Do you think that the core of your curiosity was passed on to you?

The core of my curiosity…I don’t think that it was passed on to me by my parents. I think that it simply took shape in me through this zeitgeist. But I think it might have developed in a similar fashion in my parents so they might have acted similarly.

Thank you, Lukas!

lukas sunset
(Credits to Niclas van den Bos & Lukas)

About Lukas

Place of Birth: Viersen, Germany
Parents: Mother Heike (self-employed in day care for children under age 3), father Bernd (dental technician)
Siblings: Brother Johannes (20), besides usual conflicts they get along well
Profession: Currently studying BA International business and management in Venlo, NL. Now living in Amsterdam for an internship.
Age: 23
Nationality: German
Relationship status: Single 
Romantic or realistic? Realistic
How many Facebook friends do you have? Around 700, spoke to most of them at least once (some party stuff, of course)
Adventure or Stability? Used to be in favor of stability, became more adventurous
Coffee or Tea? Coffee, mostly black, sometimes milky
My favorite spot in Amsterdam: None (yet)
If I were a bitterballen I’d be filled with… peanut butter

lukas pier

Lukas went on a 6 months exchange semester in Medellìn, Colombia after this interview. Here some impressions. Credits to Niclas van den Bos & Lukas