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.
Oh 2017, what a crazy one you’ve been. I’ve just come back from a three-week road trip through Canada and the US and finally find the time to go through some of the photos I took in the last few months. I feel like I may have been in a creative hole for a while but I think that was mainly due to the fact that I left little to no time for breaks in between… things. That is now changing, I have an incredibly quiet December ahead of me and couldn’t be happier to finally be able to reflect a little on the past year and on everything that’s ahead. You’ll definitely hear from me before the year ends, there are so many cool photo series and little snippets that deserve to be shared! But first up, here’s an Insta round-up of the last few months…
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 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.
Summer’s still not over in Berlin but as the days get shorter and everyone’s agendas and lists are filling up, now feels like a good time to reflect on those happy days spent in Brandenburg. Days that smelled like hot waffles, freshly cut grass and no plans for the near future. This is a collection of photos I took between July and September and up until now, I didn’t actually realise how much time I spent out in the countryside. I rediscovered the fun of trampolines with my cousins, had long conversations about love and age and how both affect each other with my wise great aunt and uncle and then cycled to the closest lake which had the perfect temperature (in September). I spent a weekend with friends near Werbellinsee, dipped my feet into Liepnitzsee while having a sunset beer or two, barbequed in a hidden spot by Wannsee and cuddled with a lot of dogs. Looking back, I didn’t need spectacular mountains or white beaches this summer, friends, waves and overgrown bike paths were enough.
My friend Klaudia’s style is effortless and uber-cool and I don’t just mean her looks. She has that certain air of laid-back Berlin chill that I wish would rub off on me. Klaudia grew up between Poland and Germany and lived in Warsaw for three years before making the move to big B. She’s been studying history here for four years and I’m one lucky girl having bumped into her this summer and getting to know her a bit better.
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.
Less photos, more meaning. That’s the pledge I made at the beginning of this month, hoping for a slow and beautiful summer. I want it to be less about big numbers, lots of photos or full diaries and more about real adventures, sleepless nights and books that take my breath away. In fact, I cannot wait for weekends of camping by the lake, crossing the Alps and cycling through the county of Brandenburg because more often than not, good things (strawberries) are so close.
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!