Well, I’ve most definitely run out of good first blog post sentences to excuse my terrible habit of barely keeping up with the blog after almost-not-blogging for two years now.
But as I explained in my last “life snippets” post: I still have so many photos lying around and it’s just sad to not at least edit my favorite ones and present them somewhere.
Thus another diary-style blog post with a collection of my top photos from the second half of 2017.
Yes, we’re four months into the new year. Yes, I’m fully aware that probably no one cares about me finding a proper flat white in the German state of Lower Saxony.
But! taking photos helps me to appreciate the little things in my everyday life so much: I don’t always bring my big camera these days, but when I take it, I make sure to take a photo of something that makes me smile. This way I can freeze a memory — and whenever I get caught in an anxious millennial FOMO-situation, these memories help me to assure that, yes, this is a good life I’m living and I don’t need to envy those who travel more, live in cooler places, have more exciting jobs, or a better wardrobe.
To be honest, blog posts like this one are way more for myself than for any other audience, but I still hope they provide at least a little (visual) pleasure and inspire you to put some random places on your travel radar (because I still travel from time to time).
What would be an even better achievement though: Maybe you get inspired to find a way to appreciate the little, beautiful things life that make your own life special through this post.
So here we go: I ended my last life snippets post with updates from July 2017. And the rest of the summer was pretty much completely dominated by our trip to Iceland: The first two weeks of August, Steffen and I spent planning our itinerary and ordering last minute equipment — and the other half of the month we were road-tripping Iceland’s famous Ring Road.
Before we headed to Iceland, we were invited to a wedding in Idstein in Southern Hesse (weddings are usually the kind of events I bring my camera to, I’m never “Uncle-Bob-ing” though!).
Idstein is actually super famous for its old city center full of half-timbered houses and although we didn’t have too much time to explore the town, we enjoyed our mini-getaway a lot.
Not only was is summery enough to walk back to the hotel in the middle of the night without a jacket (which doesn’t happen too often in central Germany), we also had a fancy Mercedes AMG rental car for the wedding weekend. I’m really not into cars (and haven’t driven one in seven years), but it was fun not be dependent on train schedules for a change.
Pretending to be proper grown-ups in a fancy grown-up car, Steffen and I did the only grown-up thing: We detoured all the way to Frankfurt on our way home to eat Chipotle. And we also took a little time to soak in the prettiness of Germany’s only proper skyline.
A new find on this trip to Frankfurt: The view from Skyline Plaza
We returned to Frankfurt two weeks later to fly to Reykjavík. I have written about Iceland already — I’m quite proud of this post, since it’s actually helpful and I feel like I’ve been a good travel blogger for once — but I thought I’d share a few other photos from the trip here, because Iceland was so crazy beautiful and I took way too many images.
The bay of Húsavík going all “Pirates of the Caribbean” on us
Europe’s most powerful waterfall: Dettifoss!
I swear we were not matching on purpose!
The name “Iceland’s Grand Canyon” doesn’t seem too far-fetched here!
September was rough. Right on the first Monday back at work after two weeks of travel, I received news that basically had me thinking I screwed up my career for good. I had made a mistake and it backfired terribly in a way I hadn’t seen coming at all — I was seriously crushed.
The whole thing has been a good life lesson though: I have to learn to be more careful with my words and actions — and I need to keep in mind that I can’t blame others for my mistakes.
My friend Ashley‘s visit was a very welcome distraction from all these work issues however: I love showing people around my little adopted home town Göttingen and it’s especially exciting when a friend, who I have traveled with so many times, comes to visit.
Ashley was actually the first travel blogger I ever met (all the way back in 2012!) and we’ve since hung out in Strasbourg, Colmar, Paris, Madrid, and Jordan among other places. We had so much fun chatting about travel, laughing about old inside jokes — and drinking prosecco in the afternoon.
We also tried to be good Instagrammers and did a little fall time photo shoot in Göttingen’s old Botanical Garden
The kind of German breakfast I force upon all my guests
In the fall of 2017, I (finally) understood that I really had to up my game at work and decided that if I really wanted to reach my goals, I needed to reorganize my priorities. I accepted that I had to cut back on travel (planning) and random weekend trips to focus on the next big thing for now.
Nonetheless, an October trip to Lower Saxony’s capitol Hannover has become an annual tradition for Steffen and me, so we hopped on the train to soak in some glorious fall sunshine and all of the foliage.
An actual delicious flat white in Lower Saxony! If you ever end up in Hannover, I can highly recommend V17.
And I actually managed to leave the country one more time before the year ended. After spending most of the year in Australia, my baby sister Anneke had just moved to Lucerne for a four month stint and I was thrilled to visit her in Switzerland for the weekend.
Anneke and I lucked out with downright amazing weather on Saturday which perfect as we had a huge hike planned. There was already snow on the ground as we came closer to the summit of mount Pilatus, but it was certainly the most gorgeous November day I have experienced yet — especially since Switzerland is so insanely stunning!
Seriously, how beautiful is Lucerne?!
FYI, this is the world’s steepest cogwheel railway. We hiked up the SAME mountain.
Half way there (my calves were trembling so much already here!)
In late November, Steffen and I also decided to be a proper lame old married couple and take Christmas card photos. Personalized Christmas cards are quite unusual in Germany, but we decided to give it try and added a little twist with ridiculous shirts — our friends and family really liked them and we’re already thinking about what to do for our cards in 2018.
My sloth totally won that Christmas card, amirite?
The time from early November to Christmas market season came in no time then. I wasn’t too excited for the festivities, but I still got to experience a city with Christmas lights for the first time: Berlin!
I visited my friend Kathi and we did everything I love doing in Berlin: Eating all of the things, drinking all of the coffee, and exploring new neighborhoods by foot. We actually barely did any Christmassy stuff (went to a yoga class instead), but we did drink a mulled wine at a parking-lot-roof-turned-into-a-hipster-Christmas-markt. Classic Berlin.
The usual Berlin quest: How much Vietnamese food can I eat in 48 hours?
I also met up with my art history major girlfriends in the small town where I did my undergrad — catching up over brunch on the prettiest snow day was definitely worth spending a little more time on the train in December.
And to stay true to our December traditions, Steffen and I did our annual Christmas market day trip to Goslar, a little UNESCO world heritage town near Harz National Park.
To be honest, I was quite over all these scenes of obscene overindulgence, but a few boozy hot drinks cured my aversion towards drunk, chewing crowds temporarily. And Goslar is really pretty!
And this was it — of course, there was more to my 2017 than these few snippets, but these were some of the memorable (yet mostly random) moments I happened to have my camera with me.
I know I’m not being a good blogger (or any blogger actually) by barely creating any in-depth content these days, but this is as good as it gets for now. Who knows, maybe I’ll write and photograph more again one day.
Have you found a good way to appreciate the beauty in your everyday life?