Friday, July 22, 2016
As you may have been able to tell by all the ultra-saturated pictures that have been popping up on my Instagram feed lately, I went on a little pre-birthday trip to South Germany a few weeks ago and left with a whole new appreciation for my home country. When I was first bitten by the travel bug as a teenager dreaming of becoming a travel writer, I never really thought of Germany as an interesting travel destination. Germany seemed too familiar to excite the same travel fantasies in me that volcanoes in Iceland, busy streets in Japan, rugged mountains in Chile or lonely islands in the Pacific managed to evoke and so I never really bothered to make an effort to see more of the country.
Monday, July 18, 2016
For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then chances are that you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.
– Andy Rooney
I found this quote on The Littlest Things last week and it really struck a chord with me. As a travel lover I tend to put a lot of emphasis on the importance of travel for my personal happiness, but I have begun to realize more and more that the everyday moments that make up the bulk of our life can be just as powerful, if not more so, than the exciting times that we spend hopping around the globe.
As I’m trying to get back into the swing of things when it comes to blogging, I have learned that one of the biggest reasons why I blog is simply to hold on to all the moments that have made my life what it is, no matter how small or mundane they might be. In light of all the things that seem to go wrong in the world these days, I find that savoring the presence and appreciating the little things is exactly what we need to do to not give in to fear, hate and negativity. And so on that note, I wanted to share a little list of things that have made me happy lately.
1. The weekend before last, I met up with a few of my friends from studying abroad in Norway. While most of us actually live in Heidelberg, we don’t manage to get together as often as we want to in between studying for exams, travel and writing theses and so it was great to enjoy a sunny afternoon and evening together. We pretty much just spend the day eating and chatting, before we watched the fireworks of the Heidelberg Castle Illumination and that's exactly how every weekend should go!
2. I picked up a beautiful striped top at COS a few weeks ago and it’s all I have been wanting to wear. I have been crazy for stripes lately!
3. I have just started reading Down Under by Bill Bryson and it’s been making for the most enjoyable summertime read. Bryson writes in a very humorous, yet informative way and therefore not only leaves you with a serious case of wanderlust, but also quite a few interesting random anecdotes for future dinner parties. Did you know that Australian prime minister Harold Hold just suddenly disappeared in 1967?
4. Speaking of books: I’ve picked up a few new cookbooks recently that have really made me excited to get back into the kitchen! I picked up a copy of Rick Stein’s India as a little birthday treat and it simply has the most vibrant food and travel pictures that you could imagine and since I love Indian food, but have almost no idea how to prepare it, I’m looking forward to giving a few of his recipes a go soon. I’ve also just gotten a copy of A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones and her easy, down-to-earth approach to seasonal cooking and eating makes me excited to incorporate more vegetables into my diet again!
5. I bought some pre-made pizza dough at the grocery store last Saturday because I really couldn’t be bothered to make my own and it was a revelation. I usually prefer to make my pizza dough with either spelt or wholemeal flour and so I don’t think I will give up making pizza dough myself yet, but it’s a great option for a quick weeknight meal if you’re in a pinch. As long as you top the pizza with a lot of fresh veggies and go light on the cheese, it isn’t even the most unhealthy thing you could eat – and it’s certainly better than any frozen dinner!
6. And while we’re at the topic of food: My favorite way to prepare veggies at the moment is to roast a bunch of onions, zucchinis and whatever other vegetables I have around with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, balsamic vinegar and honey. It’s divine with pasta or as a pizza topping!
7. My boyfriend and me went on a little hiking trip to the Palatinate Forest yesterday (where the pictures in this post were taken!) and it was great to head out into nature again. More pictures next week!
8. One thing that you may not know about me is that there was a time during my teenage years when I was really into Manga and Anime. It has been a long time since last watched any Anime, but for some reason I have started watching Fullmetal Alchemist on Netflix last week and now I'm utterly obsessed. I’m not sure what I’m going to do once I have watched all 51 episodes, so if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know!
9. Whether it’s at home, at Starbucks or at my favorite local coffee shop, I’m all about Iced lattes at the moment - especially if they come served in cute mason jars!
10. In terms of blogging BTS, I’m really happy to be somewhat on top of picture-editing at the moment. It used to take me so long to edit pictures for posts, but I’m trying to be less perfectionist about it and have been much more strict with myself when it comes to wiggling down the amount of pictures in my posts. And it feels good to not constantly stress out about editing!
Friday, July 15, 2016
I was going to publish this post Friday three weeks ago, but then the Brexit happened and I was feeling all the feels and writing a lighthearted post about my trip to Wales just didn’t feel right. I have always wanted to live in the UK for at least a few years and so I naturally worry what the Brexit will mean for both my future and the future of Europe as a whole. Not that I get to complain – my plight is nothing in comparison to the uncertainty that those that have already built a life in the UK must be feeling. But while I’m not pessimistic enough to believe that the Brexit is going to lead Britain to its ultimate doom and hope that the country will not become some sort of of closed-off enclave that will allow zero immigration in the future, I think no one can deny that many things are uncertain right now.
One thing I don’t feel uncertain about, though, is that the British countryside is still one of the most beautiful places on earth – and so I wanted to share yet another Welsh adventure with you all!
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes – you guys really are the sweetest!
A few weeks ago, my parents and me spent a lovely weekend in Amsterdam and it was the perfect little early summer escape. Since my first visit was in the middle of winter when a harsh wind was blowing through the streets the entire time, I was excited to not only return to a city that I had found so easy to love the first time, but especially to do so in summer. Because Germany had experienced an uncharacteristically cool spring this year, I was a little worried that we wouldn’t get to see the sun in the Netherlands either, but thankfully we got lucky and had a few gloriously sunny hours during our visit.
Monday, July 4, 2016
Happy 4th of July to all my American readers (have some BBQ for me, please?) and happy 24th Birthday to me! Is it okay to wish yourself a happy birthday or is that a sign of losing touch with reality? In any case, I hope you’re all off to a wonderful July!
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