Photo Essay: The Best of March 2015

March somehow went by so quickly that I can barely believe it’s been four weeks since wrote my February round-up. But busy months always pass quickly, and March definitely was a busy month: From work obligations, to networking at the world’s biggest travel trade fair, to photo shoots, to a trip to Italy with my mom, most of March felt like I was running around with barely enough time to catch my breath.

Flying with Air France March evening skies over Germany

Travel

I spent so much of my time in transit this month, traveling back an forth in-between German states for family birthdays, social events, and other obligations. Combined with the ITB travel trade fair in Berlin and the trip to Florence, I barely slept in my own bed this month. Instead, I slept everywhere from a bunk bed in a hostel dorm to a window seat on the plane to a stylish hotel during my first ever wedding photographer gig (more below!).

While in transit, I love taking photos I call “the travel stills” — photos that depict those on-the-road-moments and that tell the little travel stories, but that rarely make it into any proper blog posts. These are my favorite travel stills from March 2015:

Flying with Air France
Stylish reading on the plane on the way to Florence 

Coffee in Kassel, Germany
Breakfast in Germany before catching yet another train

Train travel in Germany
Train travel scene on the way back from Berlin

Hotel in Kassel, Germany
Sunday morning hotel still life in Kassel, Germany 

Layover in CDG, Paris
A layover in Paris calls for a pain au chocolat picnic on the suitcase 

Writing

I didn’t manage to publish many blog posts this month, but I actually started writing my thoughts down on paper for the first time in forever again. I have a little notebook that I carried with me all over Europe for more than a year now, but I barely ever got around to actually writing something in it.

Writing on the plane to Paris
Writing down everything on the way to Florence 

This month though, I used my countless hours on all those trains to organize my thoughts and outline future blogs posts. And realized that it makes such a difference to see my handwriting in another context than grocery shopping lists and library signatures again: I feel more inspired and even a little more like a writer now.

Blogging

Since I started off March with attending a travel trade fair and met so many of my blogger friends from all around the world in Berlin, being somewhat reflective about blogging was unavoidable this month. I finally realized that I don’t want to give up everything I built for myself, but still, I do want to be a real travel blogger — just not the digital nomad kind.

Blogger party food in Berlin, Germany
In case you ever wanted to know what the veggie food at a blogger party in a Berlin hipster greenhouse/club venue looked like

I enjoy blogging and writing and photography more than ever, and even if I’m not hitting the biggest traffic numbers — people still seem to appreciate what I’m doing and this makes it all so worth it. Every single reader share and comment are so, so precious to me!

And when I then receive an email of a tourism board inviting me to their country and a media company like Condé Nast Traveler shares on of my Instagram photos on their account, it proves that I’m doing something right here — even though I’m not your typical travel blogger.

Julika's photo on Condé Nast Traveler's Instagram
I love how my photo looks accompanied by 1,800+ likes

Coffee

March was a fabulous month for coffee: I visited the city with the most striving third wave coffee scene on the European continent, and Italy! In Berlin, I tried two new coffee shops and revisited an old favorite to spoil myself with latte art and tasty flat whites, in Italy I sipped morning cappuccini in sunny piazzas and heavenly strong late night espressi. I’m slightly afraid the next months won’t be able to keep up with this.

Flat white in Berlin, Germany
Flat white at The Barn, Berlin 

Flat white in Berlin, Germany Flat white at Westberlin media store in Berlin

Coffee in Florence, Italy
Sightseeing break with cappuccino and pastry in Florence

Art History

I’ve been wanting to visit Florence for years now. Decades, actually. I don’t know what took me so long. There were churches and frescos and paintings I had been studying ever since I was 16 years old — and to finally see them up close was definitely a travel dream come true.

I’ll write more about in the future, but I couldn’t wait to share a few of the gems I encountered while visiting Florence’s most important art museums and galleries on my museum tour with Walks of Italy. You’d maybe think that art historians wouldn’t exactly need a guided tour in two museums with so much world-famous art, but I was honestly surprised how many things I didn’t know!

Close-up of Botticelli's Venus in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
Isn’t Botticelli’s Venus the prettiest woman ever?

Inside the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
So much art in the Uffizi Galleries!

Close-up of Michelangelo's famous David in Florence, Italy
Close-up on Michelangelo’s most gorgeous statue

Paradise Door by Ghiberti in Florence, Italy Ghiberti’s famous paradise door en detail 

Photography

Practice makes better, and in March 2015 I had many reasons to practice both my travel and my portrait photography. I experimented with wide angle shots and long-exporures in Florence, but I ultimately realized that this is not the style of photography I’m going for: I like the close-ups, the emotions, the intimacy, and the fleeting moments that I can preferably capture with my prime lenses. That’s what I aim for in my portrait photography, and I’m more and more trying to make it work in my travel photography as well.

Wedding photography in Kassel, Germany
Bridals details on my first ever wedding shoot

However, my biggest achievement in March was surviving “my first wedding”. I was really flattered that someone actually trusted me to photograph their wedding without really knowing if I was actually able to do it. The job was way harder then I imagined and even though I practiced a lot before, there were a couple of situations that I wasn’t prepared for good enough. It was a great experience though, and I can now more then ever imagine to build a little back-up career out of this.

Wedding photography in Kassel, Germany Capturing candid little moments like this might just be my favorite thing about wedding photography  

On Instagram

It’s really no surprise that this photo got over a hundred likes on Instagram in March — what could possibly compete with this stunning view over Florence on such a flawless spring day? What a gorgeous city!

Florence via Instagram

Coming up in April 

I’m going on a big, big trip next week! More will be announced tomorrow, but I can give away this much: I actually had to apply for a real passport for this trip! I’m so excited and I can’t wait to share my big news with you!

What did you do in March?
What were your highlights this month?