finding paradise and hoping to return one day

February 2020 – Rather by chance than by choice I found my favourite place on this planet. Guadeloupe is one of the most beautiful places I have seen and it offers so many different things to see, explore, experience, that one year would not be enough to do it all. From hiking La Soufriere to diving in the Cousteau Reserve, from bathing in secluded grottos in the rain forest to soaking up the sun on the most stunning beaches, from eating fresh local cuisine to drinking Ti Punch – this place will exceed your wildest dreams of paradise.

 

winter in the Baltic countries

December 2019 to January 2020 – I was finally able to do the road trip through the Baltic countries, which was on my mind for such a long time. And yes, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are a great travel destination in winter, too – just embrace the cold and you’ll be rewarded with empty streets and amazing sunsets.

Tallinn surprised me a lot and has probably become my second favourite city – it has a perfect mixture of old and new architecture, an amazing food scene, great urban art spots and a hip, vibrant, cool vibe. The city has an astonishing memorial for the ‘victims of communism’, which has become my first recommendation to visit when in Tallinn. Tartu is still on my to-see-list, and I am eager to go to this student gem on my next trip to Estonia, surely with a day or two in Tallinn to be spent.

Riga instead is like a time warp with its beautiful architecture and parks, with lots of odd little things to stumble upon on a day’s walk. Great restaurants are plentiful in the old city center and it is hard to choose, where to eat. A perfect weekend getaway when you enjoy local cuisine.

Vilnius is full of churches, and every single one of them is built with absolute beauty. But since I am not so much of a church enthusiast, I spent my time in museums and walking around the city center, which was just as rewarding as a heavenly blessing. The city is built in a grand style and I enjoyed the flair. Crossing the Vilnele river, you find yourself in the free republic of Uzupis, a mecca for quirky art installations and life outside-the-box. On every corner, there is something extraordinary to be explored and it’s the simple yet genius ideas that make this place so heartwarming.

Patagonia – a dream comes true

October to November 2019 – Patagonia was on my travel list for a very long time and I fell in love with this beautiful place from the first moments on. I admit, some parts of the hike were challenging and I wish, the weather would have been slightly better. But I am absolutely ecstatic about every minute I spent there, not only in the National Parks Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares, but the charming towns of Punta Arenas, Puerto Natales, El Chalten and El Calafate as well.

Hiking and driving through Patagonia has left me with such appreciation for nature and nurtured my mind and soul to an extend I did not expect or experienced on any of my other trips. This is a truly unique place and this trip has made me longing for even more travel adventures.

cities that will haunt you until you return

October to November 2019 – My first trip to the South American continent was filled with an abundance of the most diverse experiences imaginable – from teargas filled streets to breathtaking street art in Santiago de Chile, followed by incredible views from Valparaisos historic quarters after jumping over burning barricades and more tear gas, before being dazzled by street performers in beautiful Buenos Aires and its mind-blowing colours and finally arriving in laid-back Montevideo, which has the best cocktail bars – hands down. I am still lying awake at night processing all the quirky moments and unique memories this 3 week trip has given me.

And I cannot wait to come back and travel the northern part of this astonishing continent. 

 

my long wait for Cabo Verde

May 2019 – … was rewarded with amazing five days on the island of Sal. After almost a decade of longing to go, I finally made it to this beautiful African country, that has so much more to offer than just miles of golden, sandy beaches and warm, turquoise water. With Sal being the most touristic island of Cape Verde, it has a great variety of restaurants, nightlife and sportive adventures waiting to be discovered. Though, what I will remember above all are the kind people I met here and who made this a truly special week.

But there is more to Cape Verde and I cannot wait to discover the islands of Santiago and Fogo. I hope it’s not going to be another decade before I return.

 

finding yourself on Minorca

April 2019 – Minorca’s breathtaking landscapes make this Balearic island my favourite of them all. It definitely took me too long to go there. In early spring, you will hardly meet any people. You can soak up the beautiful views of forests, beaches, farmland and architecture in solitude. Your body will get a great workout on the hiking trails around the island, your mind will find restfulness while staring into the lush greens or the many shades of blue of the ocean, and your taste buds will be treated to stunning meals and amazing wines from local vineyards. The perfect little place to take care of yourself for once.  

street photography in Lisbon – from the archives

June 2014 – Lisbon is a calm, relaxed city with beautiful people and it was hard for me to take my eye away from the view finder. On this trip, I realised how much I love to photograph real people. Being a rookie back then, I lost my camera on this trip and most of the photos I took. The lesson I learned? Always save your photos at the end of the day. Because you cannot replace these moments. Here is a selection of what I was able to retrieve.

living the moment in Sardegna

August 2018 – The South-East coast of Sardinia with its beautiful sandy beaches and incredible turquoise waters, rocky white cliffs and radiant green flora leaves you with an unknown gratitude of Nature’s beauty. In the last week of summer’s break, you can find spots buzzing with people, but even more places of solitude on the coastline or in the countryside. Be prepared to enjoy amazing homemade dishes with local produce in small family run restaurants, get reservations at one of the local ‘Agriturismo’ farms, that serve a majestic six course dinner with endless carafes of wine – you will feel like a Roman Emperor after a victorious battle.

 

 

 

defending free and independent communities

April 2018 – The Z.A.D. near Notre Dame des Landes in France is a self-sufficient, antiauthoritarian community for sustainable farming, off the grid living and a safe heaven for people from all over the world. Z.A.D. means ‘Zone à défendre’, a place to defend, which thousands of residents and supporters have been doing since the 1960s, when the French government planned to expropriate farms to build just another airport. The community has successfully resisted several violent attempts by police forces and built an example of society and solidarity. In February 2018, the government dropped the plan for the airport, but ecological and social activists are still fighting for their right to stay in their homes, which they have built and been living in since 2009, where they have created an equal, free spirited community beyond governmental control and limitations. During the latest eviction, the French police deployed a horrific amount of tear gas, stun grenades and other military weaponry with questionable, longterm effects on nature, farmlands and wildlife. Personally, this community has really inspired me and I am thankful for having the chance to meet people like these through my job.

buzzing metropole and quiet country life – that’s Toronto

May 2018 – I have done a lot of walking and driving through Toronto and its countryside during my one week stay but still I have just seen a glimpse of this picturesque country. I gotta say – the stereotype that Canadians are always friendly and helpful is true. I didn’t come across a moose or beaver, so I guess I have to come back for a longer road trip.