#wirsindmehr – We are more than that

I believe this story made its way all around the world but for anyone who might have not heard about it: A few weeks ago a man was killed in a city called Chemnitz, which is located in Germany’s east. The accused men are from Iran and Syria, so they are refugees. This case started a whole crazy movement with Nazis and other right-winged people who started protests against refugees and any type of foreigners for that matter.

This is something that makes me embarrassed for my country again. It reminds me of our history, of events we should have learnt from rather than them nourishing hate against foreigners. But there will always be people who don’t know better. People who grew up with families, who supported Hitler all the way and still don’t want to admit that what happened was extreme bullshit. And wrong. And that’s probably the worst part. None of the people on the streets – the ones that say Germany needs to be German again and all the foreigners should be kicked out – are FORCED to say that. Our grandparents were on the other hand. They didn’t know better. And even if they did, at one point, they didn’t have a chance anymore. But we do. And we should use that chance.

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“Nazis are more annoying than wasps”, found here.

That’s why it  makes me extremely proud to see the movement that started as an “Anti-movement” to the Nazis. Thousands of people who go to the streets and protest – for a more “colourful” Germany, for a more accepting, understanding and forward Germany. On Monday, there was a concert with some really big names of the German music scene. Kraftklub, Marteria, Casper, Beatsteaks, Die Toten Hosen – they all came together to protest in the best way possible: with music. With people coming together, celebrating together, no matter what race, colour or religion they have. 65.000 souls that just felt the music as a union. And that’s what we should continue to do. Celebrate, live, mourn as a union not as two groups fighting each other (verbally, physically, in any way).

And I hope that the rest of the world can see, that Germany is more than those stupid, uneducated people on the streets. That the majority of Germans want a united and safe Germany, for everyone who lives here. For those who were born here, those who chose to live here and those who are forced to come here.

P.S.: A little fun fact about the murder that started all this bullshit in Chemnitz: The man who was killed was half Cuban. And his friends say, that while he was still alive it was those people, the Nazis that are triggered by that murder, who they had to fight against and were hurt by. This shows once again, how stupid and not reflecting the Nazis really are.

Cover photo found here.

#metoo – Where does it start and where does it end?

I might have a few enemies after this post or at least I know I have a few people disagreeing with me on this. But I like speaking my mind so I’ll just do it.

You’ve all heard about the #metoo-discussion that’s all over Social Media, online magazines but also in print already (one of the last editions of the german GRAZIA wrote an article about it, for example). And yes, I posted a photo in my Instastory as well. Because yes, I’ve been sexually harrassed by a guy.

I was 14 and on holidays in Croatia with two friends. It was a youth-holiday kinda thing, so we were never really alone but always watched over by people. One night we all went to a club and while me and my two friends were dancing, this guy creeped towards me from behind and grabed my ass – with both hands. I was 14 and VERY confused and overwhelmed by what just happened and I actually didn’t even turn around properly. My friend told the group leader and the guy was thrown out of the club. I never really saw this as sexual harrassement since back then I probably didn’t even know what sexual harrassment really was. But it happened. And today I know it wasn’t right.

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Photo via Victoria Siemer (@witchoria)

But also, I don’t know where sexual harrassement starts and where it ends. For me, it’s not that bad if someone walks up to me on the street and tries to talk to me. Or when someone whistles from across the street. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a compliment but I also wouldn’t complain. It happens and I ignore it. Because, really, do you think those guys from across the street would ever come up to you and actually do something? Or do you think that the guys who ask for your name and tell you you’re pretty actually plan on doing anything else to you than just talking? (Clearly, if they do, kick them in the balls, but if they don’t…)

Call me naive, but I truly believe that some of those guys just mean nothing else by it. They might actually be very shy and because they were blown away by a girl’s beauty they just needed to say something. And it might be in a very awkward way and they might not understand the very first no but cut guys some slack. Because on the other hand, I know from a lot of people that they wish guys were more open and came up to them more often. Because the idea of meeting someone in real life is still a romantic notion in girls’ heads. But how will a guy ever come up to us again when they see, that literally EVERY girl out there posted #metoo-s on their social media platforms?
At least I think if it was the other way around and guys started posting things like that I would never EVER dare to go up to a guy anymore.

I’m not saying that the stories that are out there aren’t bad. The stories about rape. The stories about men feeling girls/women up for their own pleasure even though they’ve been told No (probably more that once). But I’ve heard a saying the other day: “Don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset about something that won’t matter anymore in 5 years”. And in a way that’s what this should come down to: If a guy whistles at you from across the street or if a guy slides into your Instagram DMs with a creepy message, will you really care about it in 5 years? No? Okay, then let’s forget about it and just think to yourself that guys are dicks.

I hope you know that I still stand with all the women out there who went through horrific days and nights with guys that didn’t understand where the line was. Because I am a women too and I hope nothing like that will ever happen to me or my loved ones. Because it’s immature, awful and can change women in a very negative way. 

The importance of friendships.

I’ve recently read an article in this German magazine called Flow (if you are German and haven’t heard about it / read it, you should definitely go for it!) where they were basically saying, that people nowadays are spending less time with their friends but more time on the internet and Netflix.

Really? Like, really?

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I mean, I know Netflix’s great and binge watching is even better and the internet is full of websites to get lost on (ever been online shopping? or ever started watching one You Tube video and ended up still doing it 5 hours later?), but should we really spend less time with friends because of that?

In German, we call the time after work “Feierabend”, which basically means celebration evening. A time, we should celebrate, because we are off work and able to do whatever we want to. And yes, there are days where all you want to do is go home and watch TV all night long and that’s fair enough.

But aren’t the people around us what makes life as great as it is? Going out for dinner, cooking at home, having a glass of wine, going for a walk, going for coffee… Most of those things are made even better when doing it with a friend. And no virtual person (or virtual animal for that matter) is an adequate substitute for that.

I think when you are traveling alone, that’s one thing you realise. Nothing beats those days where you wake up and you know the only person you have to please today is you. You can stay in bed if you feel like it, you can walk 10 hours around town, you can go lay on the beach with your favourite book… There are no limits when you have no other person with you who has their own ideas about the day. But you also realise how hard it can be. How important friends are. You crave nights with your best friend, sitting in the kitchen having wine, cheese, talks and lots of laughter. Or you just want to have a night full of dancing with people you’ve know for ages.

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So if you are home at the moment and not chasing waterfalls, hiking mountains or lying on beaches around the world: Go out, enjoy every single day you have, because life is short and friends and family are very important!

 

The essence of traveling

Have you ever heard of that question “If you weren’t able share it on Social Media or take any pictures, would you still plan your trip the same way?”?

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Me in the Blue Mountains, Australia

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I haven’t been as active on my Instagram as I used to be, which is obviously also due to the fact that I have a job now and work 9-6 every day. But it’s also because I enjoy my time off my phone. I enjoy not thinking about taking the perfect Instagram photo. Because that’s not what life should be about.

I remember last year (around one year after I started my blog) I went to Chile to go to a friend’s wedding and travel around with a few of my friends and it was one of the nicest trips I’ve had. But I caught myself thinking every once in a while “Oh shit, what will I write about on my blog? I need more photos! We need to do more exciting things I can write about!” and right when those thoughts popped into my mind, I had to stop and appreciate the place I was in right now. I was in Chile, with some great friends that I barely get to see anymore since they live in Hamburg. And I shouldn’t have to worry about something like that.
I started this blog when I started my MA in Journalism and PR because I knew it would be good practice and because I always wanted to do it. But I soon realised that no matter how fun it was, I didn’t want it to become a huge thing and a full-time job. Because I travel mainly to see a country, to meet people, to have a time out from reality. And you can’t get that time out when reality and traveling melt into each other.

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Lord Howe Island, Australia

I get very jealous of people who live the dream: their office is wherever they choose it to be, no matter if it’s the beach, a café in a vibrant city or the hostel reception. Of people, that get paid to travel, because they write about it or take photos of their trips. But then I have to remind myself how bad I get at taking pictures when I’m enjoying a situation. How I love to just be one with the nature or the people I’m with and not constantly capture the situation in photographs or written words.

And this – by no means – is meant to downgrade all the people who chose that lifestyle, because, like already mentioned above, I envy you. I just know that I wouldn’t be good at it. I wouldn’t appreciate it enough and I would feel under too much pressure to succeed and to publish good content.

So maybe sometimes, we should just leave our phone, camera, gopro or whatever at home when we go off the wander the streets of the place we just landed in. Just for a day. To really feel the energy of the place. To really capture wonderful moments, not with a camera but with our minds.

Because we should plan our trips regardless of things we can post on Social Media. Because the essence of traveling is to dive into new worlds, to step out of your comfort zone and to enjoy life to the fullest.

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some situations are just too surreal not to photograph though (Lord Howe Island, Australia)

#stopbullying and #noslutshaming: How bad Social Media can be and what we can do about it

I just finished a book called Asking for it. And the hashtag #notaskingforit was just trending in Germany a few months ago, after a celebrity was at court over a video of her having sex with two men appeared online  – and clearly showed her saying “no” multiple times. (If you are German or know any german, you should read this article by one of my favourite bloggers.) And then there’s the Netflix documentary Audrie and Daisy about young girls that are being sexually abused. And obviously there’s , a new Netflix show I’ve only watched a few episodes of, but I already kind of know where this is heading.
But what I want to talk about today isn’t only the fact that society tries to tell girls that sexual assault is their fault if they choose to wear short skirts and show a bit of cleavage (which is bullshit by the way).But it’s the victim blaming itself that often follows after attacks. The bullying that makes the mental impact of the attack even worse. (Watch the new Netflix show 13 Reasons Why, which deals with that topic and the consequences, if you haven’t already.)

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LION: A movie about hope and never giving up

Since today’s Oscar day, I decided to write my Thoughts post about a movie that is nominated for six Oscars and that I’ve just watched on Friday. It’s a movie called Lion about a little boy that gets lost in India, adopted by a couple in Australia and then decides, 20 years later, to find the family he lost again. Sounds simple, sounds like something you can watch on (at least German) trash TV every week. But it’s more than that. It’s a story that made me cry more than once.

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2016 you’ve been wonderful: A review

Okay, my headline just talks about my life. Not about everything that’s going on in the world. Because if I was talking about that, wonderful wouldn’t exactly be the word that came to my mind first. But let’s not think about it for now.  This time of the year is about being grateful and happy and peaceful anyways.

Here are my highlights of 2016.

A rainy wintertrip to London and Edinburgh

In January, before the madness of my second semester started, I visited friends in both London and Edinburgh and had a blast!
Read about my Edinburgh tips here.

My first St Patricks Day in Dublin!

Ever since I found out about St Patricks Day I wanted to spend it in Ireland. Little did I know back then, that one day I’d live there and actually had the opportunity to do so!
I went and watched the parade (which is worth it if you go for a visit but be prepared to wait around for a very long time in order to see something) and then I went to a “The Corrs”- Sing-along and sang along with songs I didn’t even know were Irish!

A real New Orleans Wedding

When my mum was 17 her parents let an American guy, aged 19, “couchsurf” at their house. Ever since, they stayed in touch and our family now has a great friendship with this family over in Texas. One of the kids, she’s 25, just got married in May, and what’s a better excuse to visit friends you haven’t seen in a while than a wedding?

I wedding was absolutely beautiful and I totally fell in love with New Orleans.
Read about my New Orleans tips here.

I became an aunt and a surviver of Southside 2016 🙂

…and both events happened on the same weekend! On June 24th I drank on my newborn nephew, Lukas, on the hottest Southside Day I’ve experienced since I started going in 2010. But this heat also lead to the shortest Southside ever. Read about the whole story in my blogpost here.

I finally went back to OZ!

When I first went to Australia in 2010, I fell in love and knew I had to go back to this beautiful country every once in a while. So far, i was very successful in going back every three years – 2013 and now, in 2016.
I visited a friend, who lives in Bondi and felt like I just lived the typical Bondi life. Walks on the beach in the morning, yoga, BBQs and best of all: no stress at all.

Ticked something off the bucket list: Vietnam

On my around the world trip I didn’t find time to go to Vietnam, especially because I didn’t want to rush through it. Ever since, the country has been on top of my to-see list and I decided to stop and explore there on my way home from Australia. And it didn’t disappoint me!
Read about what I did over there here and here, get some tips here and see all the beautiful faces I met there (and in the rest of Asia) here.

I finally graduated as an MA in Journalism and Public Relations!

Yesss I did it! After a year of studying, a few breakdowns and a lot of fun, I graduated from Griffith College in Dublin! And I got to wear one of those hats. Let’s not talk about their meaning of a capped education for women, though. Let’s just enjoy that I got to wear (and throw) a hat 😀

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A girls trip to Chile!

And finally one of my highlights of 2016 just ended a few days ago: Chile with a group of friends.
A friend of ours from Hamburg fell in love with a guy from Chile 3 years ago and on December 17th, they got married in the little town Olmué, between Vina del Mar and Santiago. And because Chile is too far away to just go for a weekend, me and 4 friends decided to make a trip out of it, rented a car and drove around this breathtaking country. A blogpost about it will come up soon and you can find a video of the trip here.
But now, a few highlight photos you can also find on my Instagram.

And 2017? 

I don’t really know. I am currently looking for a job, so that’s my main focus. Depending on where I’ll end up, I will obviously still try to travel as much as possible. Since my flight anxiety got worse in 2016, I promised myself not to take too many flights in 2017. We’ll see how that’ll work out.

Things in 2017 I’m looking forward to already:

February 5th: Bon Iver Concert, Hamburg
February 8th: The XX Concert, Stockholm
April 1st: Tory Lanez Concert, Dublin
June 24th: Southside Festival 2017

Enjoy the final days of 2016 and have a wonderful start into 2017!

Decisions: One big trip or one country at a time?

I guess this question doesn’t apply to everyone. The working individual obviously doesn’t have time to take one big 3-6 months trip around Asia. I, for example, probably won’t find the time for it anymore.

So I know this might not be something that is interesting for everyone but when traveling Vietnam and meeting so many people who did one big trip all around Asia it reminded me of my big trip in 2013/2014 and it made me wonder: What way is the better way to travel?

Spoiler: There is no better way. Both ways have their ups and downs. But let’s talk about them.

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