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.
I’m sitting outside a bar in Stavanger, Norway right now, the sun is shining on my face and on the pink, blue and orange houses across the street. A delicious craft beer is fuelling my creativity (such a cliché travel blogger moment) and boy, apparently it has been three months since I last said hi on here. Wait, what? Yeah, and I absolutely can’t promise it won’t happen again. Somebody evidently took a bit of a break from blogging and tried to get out of their Berlin media bubble. I stayed offline whenever work allowed me to (thanks work!), went on tons of crazy adventures that could and perhaps will one day fill entire books. Of course I never stayed off Instagram for that long. So, here’s a long overdue selection of snaps from November until April.
2016 is currently getting a hard time and guess what, I’m also very relieved it’s over soon! But while looking through photos of this year as I always do in December, I was surprised by how many happy memories there were. It’s easy to join in with everybody’s 2016-bashing but a lot in life is what you make of it (even if you don’t feel like it), so I’m very determined to use that little change of seasons for planning a few long-overdue, new beginnings.
I’m currently sitting in the garden of Clärchens Ballhaus, an old Berlin restaurant and dance hall. The birds are chirping, some mosquitos are up for a battle (guess who’s winning). I’m trying out Snapchat filters, answering some questions for da Travelettes gang, texting with my sister (it’s her first long-haul flight to the US in a few hours and she’s all by herself. Crazy stuff. You can do this grrrrl ♥), there a glass of white wine next to me (day-drinking much) and it’s the last day of July. It’s been a great last three months because for the first time in a while, I somehow managed to shift down a gear or two.
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.
Aaand cut, that’s it. 2015 has been one absolutely crazy year, I’m tellin’ ya. I’ve traveled to more countries than ever before, worked, thought, felt and doubted more than ever before. 2015 has been a huge work in progress and a constant search for the right thing – whatever that means.
2015, you have been one crazy, crazy year. And you still are, in fact. I feel like I only manage to get hold of very few of the colourful balloons that swirling over my head and over Berlin… Here are some of the faces, flowers and city lights from summer that made a lasting impression on my phone.
Vor drei Wochen wurde es in meiner Wohnung auf einmal ein bisschen lebendiger. Gardinenstangen, Spiegel und Bilderrahmen brachten sich von selbst an und auf einmal gabs statt Tiefkühlpizza richtiges Essen (meistens Suppe mit irgendetwas undefinierbarem, voll dekadent). Vor drei Wochen sind Emin und Nouri bei mir eingezogen. Ich wachte eines Morgens auf (die großen Erkenntnisse kommen meistens um Punkt 7 und fordern sofortiges Handeln) und es erschien mir grundfalsch und grundabsurd und grundbeschissen, dass diese doch ziemlich große Wohnung den halben, aber meistens den ganzen Tag leersteht, während Menschen in meinem Alter vor dem LaGeSo auf Bürgersteigen und in Parks schlafen. Das darf nicht sein.
What’s the perfect summer day? It could be white sandy beaches, huge palm trees, turquoise waves… just like that ancient Windows desktop background image. Or maybe perfect is something you can’t plan, something a little absurd, something so unexpected and out of the ordinary that you struggle to believe it really happened the morning after. And maybe sometimes perfect is the most ordinary of all things. Anyway. Perfect is this, perfect are these guys and perfect are the waves we jumped into a few weeks ago.
Somewhere between 2014 and 2015, I decided to go freelance overnight. In other words, I decided to make a living by putting some letters together and taking the camera everywhere I go. My own business. At 22. You know how sometimes people say they’ve had this big thing on their heart and were patiently waiting for the right time to make it happen? Well, I’ve never had that. The opportunity just presented itself because the most amazing team I’ve ever worked with (I love you guys!) offered me some regular work, then another magazine job came up and I suddenly knew being serious about this was the only logical thing to do. I didn’t have the slightest idea of what I would get myself into (and I still don’t have), and it’s both shittier and greater than I imagined. That by the way is the kind of thing I hope to say about life one day! So here’s some random advice in case you’re in a similar situation, in case you’re bored with your day job, finished uni or just feel like making a big change.