2017 has been a year so crazy and full that it’s incredibly difficult to summarise it in a few words or sentences. It wasn’t one coherent story, it was more like hundred wild stories without any structure or logic. It has been a loud, overwhelming whirlwind of so many feelings, ups and downs, tears, kisses and personal growth. It was by no means an easy year but why should it. Looking back now, it feels a little as if I’ve constantly been on a journey, never quite sure what I was actually searching for and then slowly realising that there is no quick fix for the big questions. So I guess that means I’ll be carrying those over into 2018.
My two dear friends Kristin and Filip got married in Stavanger, Norway earlier this spring and I had the privilege of capturing them saying yes and celebrating the day with their friends and family. I was pretty much the only non-Norwegian speaking person there so I didn’t understand much of the words but actions are often louder than words (duh), so this time round I got the idea by just observing people. My camera gave me the perfect excuse to do just that.
It’ll be like this: You’ll sit in a hot tub under the starry sky that night and talk about the months and years and dreams to come before cuddling up in that wooden room in the attic. That night someone will wake you up just before midnight and say, “Err, Northern Lights!” two hours before you leave for the airport, and you’ll throw a scarf and jacket over your pyjamas, clumsily walk down the stairs and maybe swear a little.
I’m travelling to Curacao and Japan this month (eeeeek!) and also find myself (and about five different notebooks) in the middle of two very exciting and intense projects, so my mind has already forgotten about anything that happened between August and September. Luckily dat ol’ iPhone’s photo roll hasn’t. Here are a couple of snaps from Austria (Alps), Bavaria, Austria again (Carinthia), England and mild summer days in Berlin. Also, I’d actually like to show you extracts from David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water” which has inspired me in so many ways recently. Here is the full piece.
Freiburg smells like hand-picked strawberries from the garden, champagne for breakfast and my favourite books. At 15, I spent a week there exploring the city that I could see myself study in. Politics, if you’re curious. That didn’t work out so well (luckily) but my love for the little southern town remained. My best friend took me there again for my birthday in July and boom, the city was just as golden as in my memories. That rarely happens.
Because I keep getting emails, tweets or comments on here with questions on how to do Berlin like a local (and not like your parents), I compiled some of my favourite places where you’re very likely to find me on weekends. I use Google Maps to “star” places as that makes it easy to rediscover places you love and to see when you’re in the area. Highly recommend that method also when you’re travelling!
My friend Anne is a mind-blowingly beautiful human being, inside and out. We’ve grown up just 20 miles from each other in western Germany but somehow only really started hanging out in Berlin. Unbelievable, I know. She’s an actress and I’ve been trying to convince her to maybe, perhaps, pretty please, think about modelling too because her eyes tell so many stories. Her mouth also says very wise things about life that always either inspire or calm me down. Thanks for that, girl. Anyway, Anne and I finally got up to that long-awaited shoot on a hazy Berlin Saturday in what still feels like winter – and here’s the result.
For a great New Year’s Eve party, take snow, mountains, sparklers and good people. I had the loveliest and most laid-back start to 2016 in the middle of the Norwegian nowhere. We (one of my best friends and her old high-school gang, that is) cooked, walked, read, drank and talked in a little hut near Bergen. Back in Berlin, that little bubble of countryside idyll of course burst pretty quickly – but that’s life. I was on the phone to my friend yesterday, ranting on about the burst of several bubbles, when she told me about this new habit she got into: Writing down three things she’s grateful for per day.
Last year has probably been the most exciting one in terms of the stories I got to cover and the people I got to speak to. Here’s a list of 15 English and German pieces on love and sex and age and Berlin and trauma and refugees and so much more. Would love to hear your thoughts below. Happy reading!
Berlin is one rainy, gloomy and caffeinated place at the moment and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. If the days weren’t so madly packed, I’d finally have the perfect excuse to wile away in cafés and get lost in a book or two. The truth is though that since coming back from Interrailing, the only pages my eyes glanced over were the morning newspaper’s or a couple of magazines. So this is a bit of a subtle reminder for myself to make some more time for literary lovelies before bedtime. Here’s a list of books I’ve read while Serbian or Macedonian countryside rushed past, of audio books that helped me fall asleep (clearly not the purpose of an audio book, is it?), or heavier reads that I started six months ago and somehow struggle to finish. Nearly half of that stack is in German, so this will be a bilingual post (the first, I think?). Läuft bei euch.