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What I’ve learned from six months of freelancing

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.

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My phone tells stories: Where the wild things are

Something very weird is going on right now. And my eyes are a little watery whilst writing this, but I feel like I’ve come home. Whoosh. That may be down to the fact that I’ve moved into my own flat, but most probably it’s for all the people around me who are just there in all the highs and lows, and I’m endlessly grateful (soppy post to follow!) for that. Home. So that’s a little weird. My heart starts beating when I open the lock and enter, somehow settling down (well, at least for a year or two) feels oh so radical. My passport will still always be at the ready though… and it has been over the last three months. Here’s what I got up to.

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Brighton skies: Life’s a beach

Hands down, Brighton is the epitome of cool. Back when I lived in London, I always used to come here on Saturdays whenever there was no uni or work (very rare) because I just felt there was that air of clarity and distance that the big smoke never had. I was back again recently for a conference and had a couple of hours to sit by the beach, close my eyes, inhale the fresh seaside air and just let my thoughts wander. And oh how they wandered. I hope the photos do have that same feel to them, somehow even looking at them has a super relaxed effect on me now. Thank you Brighton for always making things a little lighter! 

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Writing poems on the back of your shoulder

These two beautiful lovebirds are my friends Greta and Robin from London (and Germany and the Netherlands). We spent a stunning Sunday morning shooting on Primrose Hill, marveled at the washed out looking skyline, sipped coffee in Kentish Town and generally had a good laugh in between all of that. I think they got a little stressed when I kept yelling things like “C’mon, do that kiss again! No! The other one!”, “Guys! Stop! Where’s the passion?” but really there was a lot of passion. Love is one picturesque thing.

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Antalya vibes

When I hit Antalya, Turkey earlier this year, I expected a lot (think sandy beach, sun, palm trees), but the vibrant street life caught me off guard completely – in the best possible way.

It’s the kinda place where people go for all-inclusive beach holidays and end up not seeing anything but the hotel bar and maybe the pool, but oh my, there’s so much more to Antalya. Like the historic centre Kaleiçi with its stunning Ottoman houses, ancient ruins and the old harbour waiting at the end of it.

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My phone tells stories: Between snowflakes and palm trees

Here’s what my phone says about the last couple of months: It’s been a mild winter but I probably say that because I expected the worst (thunderstorms and darkness for three months) when coming to Berlin and listening to people’s winter tales. If there was snow, it was crisp and refreshing. If there was sun, it made for some beautiful sunsets at Bornholmer Straße (home).

I woke up on New Year’s Eve to a beautiful washed-out blue sky (is that a colour?), with no hangover and a huge breakfast waiting. That pretty much set the tone for 2015.

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We rode our bikes into the sky

Before spring came to town this week, some lovely friends helped me find Teufelsberg Field Station in Berlin. I had been to Grunewald forest a couple of times before but due to a severe lack of any sense of direction (and phone reception) my camera and I never actually made it up there. As per usual.

Teufelsberg hill is built on a load of rubbish from World War II which only makes it that bit creepier. There’s a beautiful panorama view over Berlin, well, there would be if not for the building cranes and construction works. But that’s Berlin for ya. ♥

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On high highs and low lows, and why we need both (kinda)

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of ‘feeling alive’ recently, and how we tend to not do that enough. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not necessarily about looking back onto all those (hopefully) decades at the end of our lives, thinking ‘Oh la la, I’ve had quite the easy ride and now bring on the pink rainbows and fluffy ponies’. I think what we long for is depth and growth and sometimes these things can only be found when, well, going through some serious crap. So then I thought about all the times where my head and heart really were more like an explosion of feelings and thoughts, not all of them pink and fluffy, and I realised that these were some of the moments I felt painfully, truly and purely alive. It’s an incredible privilege to be able to feel – and we should feel more in a society that’s so busy curating its way towards fulfilment online, creating bloody to-do guides on how to #startyourdayright or getting our ridiculously clever phones to tell us how to improve our sleep patterns (if you find a way that actually works, please let me know though!).

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#beachbabies in Portugal

Back in November I was hanging out at the Martinhal Resort in Sagres, Portugal. I had no idea the Algarve would be so stunning in winter. The sensation of taking beach walks a couple of weeks before Christmas and spotting the occasional ray of sunlight probably never wears off – at least for Europeans. Katja, her adorable baby boy Atlas and I checked it out for a story for Travelettes and oh dear, did these five days charge our empty batteries.