I’m bitten by the travel bug again. It happened last weekend when I was driving with my mom southwards Germany to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin in Worms. Yes there is a German city called Worms – funny, isn’t it 😀
The trip reminded me of a road trip through the French island of Corsica that I did in 2014 together with my friend Elena. I wrote about it on my old travel blog (still need to transfer all the articles on this blog – but unfortunately most of them are written in German so I have to translate them first).
So last weekend I had to think a lot about traveling, about the places I’ve visited so far and about the places I still want to see on this beautiful world. 🙂 And there are a lot of places that I want to see! This is why I decided to create the map below.
The blue markers represent the places I’ve already seen and the yellow stars are the places that I want to visit in the future. And I set myself a goal: Before turning 40 I want to set foot on every continent! 🙂
Besides America, Oceania and Africa there are also still a lot of places in Europe left, that I haven’t seen yet. For example I would love to make a journey along the route of Goethe’s Italy trip – walking through the beautiful landscape of Tuscany and visiting Rome and Naples 🙂
In June I could tick of another item of my travel bucket list: Athens. 🙂 I spent 6 days with my darling in the Greek metropolis and it was so much worth the trip! Athens is an amazing city! Super-friendly people, great atmosphere between historically loaded sites (like the Acropolis of course) and colourful rebellious quarters like Exarchia with a lot of street art. I’m still working on several blog posts about the trip.
Time flies! Spring brings along a lot of changes. There is an growth on different levels of my life. The design agency I work for (Philipp Seine Helden– click to see our new website designed by me! ;)) is growing – not only the team is getting bigger but we’re also gaining two (!) more floors and our own photo studio! 🙂
Furthermore I’m extending my personal space and will move into a bigger apartment (same house, one floor higher – what an easy move this will be! 😀).
And finally after a little (unfamiliar) kind of travel-depression (maybe caused by a travel-overdose aka my big Asia trip last year) I have new travel plans for this year! 🙂 I’ll spend one week in Finland’s capital Helsinki early in September to visit Helsinki Design Week. And I’m also having in mind to visit the documenta in Athens (this year for the first time Kassel has a sideshow in the Greek capital!).
When I woke up the first morning in Kuala Lumpur there was a heavy thunderstorm passing by and I could hear an alarm bell from the inside of the hostel. I quickly jumped into my pants and opened the door of our female dorm. The hostel’s courtyard, a wonderful open-air common area, was flooded and the staff was trying to keep the water from entering the kitchen. I went back into my room to take a look out of the window – the streets were flooded too and the cars were driving through brown masses of water. Welcome to Asia, I thought, this is what monsoon season looks like.
Downstairs in the kitchen area I met Rodrigo – a Brazilian photo- and videographer with fascinating blue-green eyes. It was just after I left KL that I realised what a talented man I had met. Equipped with different cameras and even a drone he creates stunning pictures and videos from around the globe. 🙂 For example this one:
“Created with footage shot in 8 countries in South and Southeast Asia, SOULSEARCH offers a panoramic view of the spiritual practices, rituals, traditions and ancient religious/pilgrimage sites in the region.”
In September when I was just back from my Asia trip my head was so full of thoughts about this world, about the differences of culture and religion and the general way of life. The journey had deeply impressed me. In the first weeks after the trip I talked with a lot of friends about what I had experienced and I was absolutely willing to write down all these thoughts also on this blog. Ideally to create a dialogue with others.
But it was like there were just too many impressions and I had no idea where to start. It might have been consequentially to just write about the different places I had visited chronologically but somehow it felt wrong to start with Singapore. Because looking back on the journey as a whole Singapore was not the city that stirred me up. In Singapore I felt very safe and sheltered – not just because I had good friends arround but also because of the city itself which was probably the most “Western” city on my trip.
The real adventure began when I crossed the Malaysian border… And I’m still willing to let you become part of this adventure – here on this blog! 🙂 But there is life – the here and now. There is my full-time job at my beloved little design agency (BTW I’m celebrating my 5th anniversary this month! For 5 years now I’m part of Philipp Seine Helden) and there are friends and my new love… So let’s see when I get around to write all these posts about Asia that are still on my list. 😉
The air was still full of haze when the bus to Malacca entered the Malaysian state. I had never heard the word “haze” before and when I experienced it for the first time it kind of shocked me. It’s an air pollution affecting several countries in Southeast Asia caused by forest fires resulting from illegal slash-and-burn practices, principally on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Kalimantan, which then spread quickly in the dry season (source). Depending on the wind direction Singapore and Malaysia are affected very badly. And this was what I experienced on my last day in Singapore and on the first days in Malaysia. It showed me how strongly connected everything is – when stupid people in Indonesia burn wood illegally so many other people have to suffer from this (not to mention the nature itself!).
Haze in Singapore
Next stop: Malaysia
But back to my journey. After staying in Singapore for one week I took the bus to Malacca – the oldest Malaysian city in the Straits of Malacca. All times the seaport has played an important role in trade because of its advantageous position at the sea route from India to China. The city evolved into a thriving trade port where Arabs, Indians and Chinese bartered their goods. Later Malacca was colonized by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. This is why you can still find architectural influences of these colonial powers in the city.
When summer showed its warmest and most friendly side in Germany I was far far away… in South East Asia. For four weeks I traveled from Singapore along the west coast of Malaysia (Melacca, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi) to Bangkok. For me it was the first time that I left the European Continent and yes it was a kind of culture shock. 😉
I never experienced such a warm and humid weather before and I didn’t expected Malaysia to be such a strange place for a woman traveling alone (Georgetown was the big exception!). But I met a lot of wonderful souls on my way along the Strait of Melacca – especially a lot of other brave female solo travelers… as if we had to accomplish the mission to defy the male-dominated world of Malaysia! 🙂
Back in Germany my head is still full of impressions and my camera is full of wonderful pictures and videos and I will try to transform the thoughts and images into a lot of inspiring blog posts within the next days and weeks. So stay tuned!
(English text below) Der Geruch von verbranntem Holz liegt in der Luft und erinnert mich an die Eifel, an den Holzofen meiner Großmutter, der im Winter immer noch zum Heizen der Küche benutzt wird und als zweiter Herd dient. Ich kann förmlich das Knacken der glühenden Holzscheite hören. Mit dem Rad fahre ich durch die Hartwichstraße, vorbei an einem kleinen Spielplatz und an mehreren urig aussehenden Kölschen Kneipen. Es fühlt sich an, Read More
It was a bit quiet here for a while. Sorry for that! It’s like my blog was hibernating while I was extremely busy doing nice graphic design stuff at work 😉 Since I have a fulltime job as a Graphic Designer it’s sometimes not so easy to keep on writing my blog on a regular basis.
Moreover, spring has reached Cologne, the days are getting longer and there were even some sunny and warm days in the last month so I prefered to spend my free time outdoor and not in front of the computer. But still I want to show you some “Heimat”-impressions as promised!
This second part of Reykjavik’s impressive architecture is about Hallgrimskirkja – one of the most interesting churches I’ve seen so far. Its expressionistic appearance was designed following forms of Icelands nature: The thin concrete piles symbolise vulcanic columnar basalt and its white colour reminds of glacier ice. Read More
After finishing the last posts about Reykjavik I want to use the silent winter time to take you on a journey through my hometown Cologne as well as through other parts of Germany that play an important role in my life.
“Heimat” is German and means home(land). It’s pronounced “high-mat”. 😉 I will show you my favourite street art works in Cologne and other German cities as well as introduce you to the most lovely, exciting and unique neighbourhoods, museums, cafés and other places.
Since my family lives on the countryside I will probably also take you on a tour into the nature. So let’s embrace winter!