Phone stories: Indian summer hikes, Bangkok nights & Nordic sunsets

Hurray, it’s summer! Berlin feels like it’s skipped spring and went straight to shorts-and-sunscreen-weather. And what a difference that vitamin D makes! The sun got me itching to change everything! Which would explain why my apartment is an absolute mess of stuff I want to get rid of and new wooden bits that are waiting to be built. Yes, in proper DIY style…

Anyhow, time is long overdue for a travel and life update. It’s funny how it always takes me to write a Phone stories post to realise how has happened in the last few months. And yet I’m ever accompanied of that feeling of never writing or doing enough.

USA & Canada

In October last year, my main man and I made a dream come true: road tripping the East Coast of the US and Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Québec (Canada). This trip was definitely one the more chaotic ones, not that our other trips aren’t, but we reached the point of “How much more insane can it get?” at least once a day… All my practical advice is written down here, but let’s just say that when you have a huge itinerary ahead of you, planning and structuring your days and your routes is mandatory. I always used to think that being too prepared isn’t sexy and maybe it isn’t, but realizing halfway down the trip that you’re spending most of the time driving because you underestimated the distances really isn’t all too sexy either. But don’t get me wrong, it was a blast! And once we returned to Boston, we had a big laugh over a very civilized and boozy Mexican dinner. Memories…

Christmas in Berlin

Christmas – which was just around the corner when we landed in Berlin – was spent in the city which I’ve really come to enjoy in the last two years. (Feels so weird writing about Christmas when the sun is tickling my nose.) Anyway, my sister had just moved to Berlin around that time and needed a host for her dog, Luna. Of course I jumped at the chance! And although spending hours cleaning the hair, it was a beautiful ritual to take her out in the morning and evening. Definitely spent more time outside than I would have otherwise!

Rügen island in January

We did a quick weekend trip to Rügen island in January where we took long walks, spent as much time in the sauna as possible and spent our nights drinking red wine while watching German documentaries and talk shows…

Barcelona

A few weeks later I took advantage of the fact that I can work from anywhere and flew over to Barcelona. Unfortunately, the weather there was almost as rainy and grey as in Berlin, so my summer clothes were rather inappropriate. The highlight of my trip – next to great coffee! – was meeting my good friend Silvia again after several years. She has given birth to a beautiful boy in the meantime and I couldn’t have been happier and prouder of her and of the food venture Caravan Made she’s been working on so tirelessly.

Dresden

At the beginning of this year I vowed to travel around Germany a bit more and explore some of the hidden gems outside of Berlin for Travelettes. One of my first trips brought me to Villa Sorgenfrei near Dresden which is an absolute dream of a guesthouse and revealed a completely new side to Dresden to me. I’ve had one of the best dinners of my entire life at the Atelier Sanssouci, loved getting to know Dresden’s intense history a bit better and dive into the local arts scene. Here’s the guide.

Bangkok

And then there was Bangkok. The five-day press trip there went by in a haze, all I remember are the colours, the scents, the excitement I felt when strolling through the markets. It was a crazy intense experience, I felt so stressed out and excited all at once and will definitely come back to Thailand and stay for longer.

 

Budapest

In April, we hit up Budapest for five days of lounging around the thermal baths, eating good food and just having no plan at all. We ended up getting involved in a lot political discussions though and couldn’t help but feel not just a little disillusioned and angry about the kind of country that Viktor Orban is trying to build here.

Glücksburg & Hamburg

And then I found my personal happy place in Glücksburg, a small German town close to Denmark that aptly translates into “happy castle”. I’ve seen so many hotels over the last few years but Smucke Steed was unlike any of them. I felt a sense of home and comfort the second I stepped in. Of course, the fact that it’s a family-run guesthouse makes a huge difference. It’s a quiet, small house with a Skandic interior, looking out onto the ocean. I mean, hello!? Need I say more? When we left, I already booked a weekend there for autumn. That was also a first.

Life in general …

Right now, it’s all about planning what the next few weeks and months will look like. Where I’ll go, what I’ll do, what I won’t do. Oh, and what colour I’m going to paint my apartment in. While the big joy of freelancing is that you do have great flexibility and can take a lot of spontaneous trips like those above, it also means that now and again you have to refocus and force yourself to get out of a routine that maybe doesn’t feel so right anymore… So watch out, things will remain exciting.

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