#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.

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#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 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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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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Follow to Unfollow? Stop that bullsh**

Today I want to rant about something that’s been on my mind for a little while now and is now, that I had to start all over again on Instagram, annoying me even more: The whole follow to unfollow trend.

There’s so much that annoys me about this that I don’t even know where to start.

But mainly it’s the simple question: why? Sure, you wanna be all insta-famous, because isn’t that what we are all striving for these days (hint: sarcasm), but have you not heard of apps à la Followers that can easily show Instagram users which of their followers are there “for the right reasons”? (I’ve been watching too much Bachelor in Paradise, hence this expression haha)

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This app helps to track unfollowers

I know from experience how it feels like when you follow someone and you just don’t get a follow back. Maybe you think for a second that it’s not fair and that person doesn’t deserve your follow. But this is not what Instagram is about.

Instagram is an app that should inspire you. You are supposed to follow accounts that you get inspiration from – in fashion, travel or life in general. People whose photos you look at and think “wow, I’d love to have that one hanging in my apartment”. And this is sincere admiration for people’s work. Therefore, for me, unfollowing is a way of saying “your photos only matter to me as long as mine matter to you”. And, to take that to a bit of an intense level that shouldn’t be taken too seriously and literally: Would you do that to Monet, Andy Warhol or Karl Lagerfeld? Only loving their art when they love yours? (I know Monet air Warhol are dead. But I’m sure you get my point.)

 

I guess what I’m trying to say and what I’m also trying to follow as well: follow accounts you like because you like their content. And it’s wonderful if you get a follow back, because that means that that person is inspired by your photos as much as you are by theirs. But even if not: it’s only Instagram. If you don’t have the highest amount of followers, your life will still go on. Inspired by great accounts with amazing photo content.

Minimalism beyond traveling

When you go traveling, you just pack a small amount of things. A backpack full. A few t-shirts, a few shorts, a few sweaters, one or maybe two pairs of shoes, toiletries, your camera, a book and maybe a few other things. Everything else is seen as “luxury pieces” you don’t really need.

I’ve heard of so many people who went traveling for a year. Or longer. And they only lived with what they had and they were all so happy with it and told everyone how that’s all they need and that’s how they’ll continue to live once they are back. Every day as it comes, only a few things in their closet, no materialism anymore. And I always envy those people for being like that.

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This year, I’ll give up chocolate

Lent. It’s the time of the year, where all the Catholic’s give up on certain things they just eat/drink/do too much and they want to stay away from for six weeks preceding Easter to commemorate Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

I, for my part, did give up sweet things for Lent this year. And a lot of times I get asked: Why? I do believe in God, and I do it partly because of this believe but this is not what I want to talk about today because I think religion is everyone’s own choice and if you don’t want to believe in God or anything at all, that’s fine by me. But I also do it, and this is what I want to talk about, because I believe that staying abstinent from something for a while makes us appreciate things more.

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