sateless suitcase
An Art Historian, a Journey, and a Suitcase

I’m Julika, a 29-year-old German art historian, doctoral student, and medievalist. And by that I mean: I’m the mad scientist version of culture nerd — I talk to myself a lot, I always lose my glasses, and I’m chronically high on caffeine.

I’m absolutely not independent, self-conscious, or ballsy. I’m rather afraid of basically everything that’s alive. And escalators.

But: I do love (medieval) art and architecture with all my heart. And looking at it in books only satisfies me to a certain extent — thus I have dreamed of traveling all my life.

Julika in Berlin, Germany
Rooftop summers in Berlin in 2014

When I had just turned 18, I boarded a transatlantic flight to the United States and spent a life-changing summer in the glorious South by myself. I realized that the world might not be such a scary place after all, and understood that looking at photos of cities like Savannah or Charleston can never compare to actually seeing it with you own eyes.

Ever since this trip, I wanted to get to know this beautiful world a little better and no longer just dream about traveling.

Julika in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Spring days in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, in 2013 

After road-tripping and weekend-getwaying in Europe in my late teens and early twenties, I decided it was time for a new kind of adventure in 2011: I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, to study abroad. During my semester abroad I fell in love with the Portuguese architecture, the beaches, the food, the people, the coffee and most importantly — with the idea of traveling long-term and being an expat.

Julika in Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon, Portugal, in 2011 — a game changer for me

And even though I’m a (only) a part-time traveler today as I spend a bigger part of my life with my nose in medieval manuscripts, I want to truly experience our world’s amazing art, architecture and history with my own eyes. I honestly believe that art, history, and culture can only be fully understood through traveling.

Why “Sateless Suitcase”?

I chose to name this blog Sateless Suitcase, because it combines what I comprehend as the acme of traveling: Whereas “suitcase” is an obvious, intercultural symbol for a journey, “sateless” is an (extremely) old-fashioned word for insatiable  — a word, which is barely used nowadays. However, this is exactly what I liked about the word “sateless”. In my definition, its age relates to writing down travel memories as one of the oldest kinds of literature and thus it can be seen as an embodiment of my personal understanding of the humanities and my own role as a cultural historian: Written words about the way one sees and experiences the world help persevering history and culture for the next generations.

Art deco coffee house, Bratislava, Slovakia
An art deco coffee house in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2014

By composing a blog on my personal travel adventures and musings on being a twenty-something middle ages geek, I hope I will be able to contribute a few ideas on how to perceive the world and share them with others, so curiosity and inspiration keep enriching our lives.

Coffee in Göttingen, Germany
In Göttingen, Germany, where I work as a professional medievalist 

And why did I start blogging in the first place?

I’m not exactly in the most ideal position to write a blog on traveling the world. I haven’t even been to Africa, yet. Or South East Asia. Or Australia. So, obviously, I can’t really give any profound travel advice. I always hurt myself without even doing anything adventurous and I always forget something crucial. It’s no secret that I honestly don’t have a clue when it comes to RTW planning, or packing, or Malaria pills.

Julika at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park in beautiful Croatia in 2012

However, during my semester abroad in Portugal I did write a blog about being a foreign exchange student. That little tumblr blog was primarily targeted at my German friends and family, who wanted to know about my everyday adventures in Lisbon. While writing an online diary about my experiences abroad though, I was constantly doing extra research on the places I visited and cultural rituals I took part in — and thus soon realized that I really enjoy putting my thoughts into written words on such a regular basis. For me, it’s of avail to remember names and places, but at the same time a blog is a great platform to share stories and tips with the people who care.

Julika in Paris, France
Paris in 2013, an all-time favorite city 

As I came back from Portugal in February 2012, I actually started missing my little diary blog. So, I came up with the idea of writing a longer lasting travel blog with a strong focus on art and culture where I could share my love for medieval Europe and traveling. A few months later I launched Sateless Suitcase officially.

Of course, Sateless Suitcase is not at all going to be a medium to brag about all the exciting countries I go to (there honestly isn’t anything to really brag about just yet), but I rather wish it to be a platform for conveying my stories and photos — and a place to get in touch with other cultural travelers from around the world.

Julika in Rome, Italy
Evening light in Rome in 2014

Sateless Suitcase is a blog about places I see, the art and beauty I encounter — and everything else I face in my life as a twenty-something art historian in Central Europe.

I´d love to hear your thoughts


  • Harvard Gringo

    At first I thought you said you WERE one of those “super-ballsy people.” And I thought, “How arrogant.” 🙂
    Glad you are not under the spell of hubris! Where do you head in 2013?

    • JulikaSarah

      Haha, no, I’m definitely NOT super-ballsy 🙂
      I’m not sure where I’m headed in 2013 yet, as I’m currently writing my Master’s thesis, and have only 30 €uro left on my account. I’ll hopefully graduate in May – then I just need a little money and I’m off again! It’ll be quite the unpredictable year for me 🙂

      • http://ohheyworld.com/ Drew Meyers

        I’m sure everything will work out!

  • TammyOnTheMove

    Nice blog! Where are you headed to next? Ich bin uebrigens auch deutsch! 🙂

    • JulikaSarah

      Thanks Tammy! As I will have to finish my degree first, I’m not exactly sure where I’m headed next… But there will definitely be a few trips around Europe, and maybe one bigger trip towards the end of the year 🙂

  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.le.terrible Martin Adam Roger-Jobert

    This is definitely one of the most well-written blog I’ve seen around there. Light, enthusiastic, and incredibly clear with accuracy. I bow to your clear hindsight on things that a 25-yo encounters.
    I reckon you should go to Bordeaux ( I may or may not be rooting for the city I live in, ahah ), there are exceptional middle-age architecture pieces… Keep it up anyway !

    • JulikaSarah

      Martin, thank you so much for this amazing compliment! This means so much to me – especially since I’m not a native speaker of English!
      I heard great things about Bordeaux and I’ve never been to the French Atlantic coast – consider me wanting to go there soon! France is one of the most interesting countries when comes to medieval art and architecture so there’s a really good chance it won’t take me long 🙂

  • http://twitter.com/flaviolongato Flavio Longato

    Hi Julika,

    just wanted to say “Thank you” for sharing your travel experience. My job at HolidayCheck requires me to constantly monitor travel blogs and I have to say that yours is one of the most well structured and well designed ones i’ve seen so far.

    Keep up the great work!!!

    Best regards,

    Flavio

  • Erica

    Hi Julika!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I saw you had one as well and had to come check it out. I’m off to read your post about Lisbon since I’m headed there this fall!

    Please stay in touch 🙂
    Erica of Kizzling Around

  • Jenny

    Hi Julika,

    Just wanted to say thanks for the opportunity to read your blog. I’m a 22-year-old Australian who is halfway through a Music Education Masters (I get you with the whole “useless degree” thing!) and I’ve just come back from my first trip to Europe and have completely fallen in love with the continent and the idea of travel or study abroad.

    It’s been inspiring to see your stories about the places you’ve traveled on a budget and the experiences you’ve had, and I want to try and do the same with my life.

    What are some of the top places you’d recommend to visit? Oh, and if you ever manage it, you should come check out the Aussie beaches.

  • Niña KristinaLlaneta

    Nice Portugal posts you have!!! If you are planning to visit Asia, go to Philippines. We have the nicest sunset and beaches. I can you give you some tips, contact me (nknllaneta@gmail.com) ! 🙂 Have a good day!

  • http://www.thriftygypsytravels.blogspot.com Katrina Elisabet

    I just found you through Curiosity Travels and am excited to start following your blog! You have a great introduction here (it makes me feel like I need to go back and rewrite mine! :)!

  • Philip Moreira

    Hey Julika, absolutely loved your write up on Portugal and especially naming Lisbon as maybe your favorite city in Europe! Do you have and Instagram to follow per chance?