Sandy Toes and Sunkissed Nose

From the end of July to the beginning of August I spend two very sunny/sweaty weeks in Mallorca. It must have been one of the most relaxing and luxurious trips I have ever take. Due to the heat wave that arrive the same day we did, there wasn't much we could do but stay by the pool and sunbath. Not that I'm complaining!

The first week we stayed in a house located in a very small village that I couldn't even remember the name of a week after we left. The village was unspectacular but the house was marvellous! I shit you not... when I saw this house I was flabbergasted (fun fact: thats the first time I've ever been able to use that word). The architecture was just so different from anything that I had seen before. It was a very modern house with wooden beams and window frames but stone flours. That doesn't sound so special but to add to the modern look the house was also build very majestically into a hill. It had almost no standard 'walls' and instead it was very pointy, with lots of huge windows that gave us the feeling of being free! Cheesy description I know but I can't help it. I would put pictures below but there are none. I really tried, I promise... but to no success. Therefore, you'll just have to use your imagination. Along with having this beautiful interior the house also had a huge outside area with countless sitting and sunbathing spots. We had our own private pool with a view of cute Mallorca houses and the Palma skyline. I think the only downside to the house was the AC, or should I say the lack of AC. I think we could have managed without it, if we hadn't been stuck in a 40°C heat wave. But because of the heat wave there was a lot of suffering, especially at night! For some that may not sound so hot but for us weak 'nordic' Germans it was light being cooked in an oven.

In the beginning of the trip, Tilman and I tried to go along with the others to sight see, but after just one day of being stuck in the midday sun we realised that we would rather stay at home by the pool. Instead of joining the others for their midday 'walk through fire', Tilman and I only came along for the evening trips and the dinner outings. This is pretty much how the whole two weeks went:

  • Get up at 10 am
  • Have breakfast till 11-12pm
  • Lounge by the pool till around 4pm
  • Go out to a small village at around 5pm
  • Have dinner at around 9pm
  • Go to bed at 1am

The only change from our routine was in what house we were staying because after one week of staying in the village that I can't remember the name of, we moved to a new house in Genova, which is 15 minutes from Palma de Mallorca. The new house was even better than the first. I mean... the architecture of the first house was more impressive but the new house had a really strong greek feeling to it, with white walls everywhere and turquoise coloured pool water. Also, all the rooms in the new house had air conditioning, which meant that there was overall less suffering. In that house we mostly chilled by the impressive pool and read our books. I read the first part of the Millenium Trilogie called "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson. I then also started and have about 100 pages left of the world famous novel "1984" by George Orwell.

One difference to our daily routine was that we went out twice. The first time we went out was to a small little town by the ocean. There we went into different bars to drink, smoke shisha and play billiard. Sadly the town was filled mostly with Spanish speaking locals, which meant that it was really hard for us to meet nice people to hang out with. It was still a nice night but not compared to the second night when we went out was to Palma de Mallorca. Here we spend the entire night in only one pub and met so many english speaking tourists to play billiard with. We met people from all across the world: Italy, New Zealand, Austria, South Africa. It was a really great night, which is proven by the fact that we only went home at 6am that night.

All in all it was a really nice trip. It gave Tilman and me a lot of time to relax before the next couple of months where we will be traveling non-stop. The trip also gave me a lot of time to focus on what I wanted to achieve in this gap year and the rest of my life! But I won't bore you with all that teenage philosophy because I've already annoyed my diary with that enough.

A great start to my adventurous next year!

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Mallorca

When: 29th of July to the 12th of August (2017)

This is the last big trip that I didn't plan myself for this gap year and therefore, I won't be writing a lot about it here. However after each trip, including this one, I will either do a lengthy or short update about what I did and how it was. The general gist of this trip is that it will be a relaxing family summer holiday. There are no big adventurous plans and I most of the trip will be spend in the hot summer air by the beach or pool. In a way this will be the last trip for me to really relax and enjoy my new found freedom before my adventurous gap year officially begins!

Tenerife

When: 22nd of August to the 5th of October (2017)

The next big trip (one of the biggest that I have planned so far) begins only ten days after I come back from Mallorca. Due to the fact that this is the first real gap year trip, I am extremely excited about it! How it will work is that me and Tilman will fly out to Teneriffa with a 18 hour layover in Madrid. Once we finally make it to Teneriffa though we will have 6 glorious days to discover the beautiful island. Our apartment, which we booked off airBnB is located between the capital, Santa Cruz and the university city, La Laguna. This is a really good location because it will take us only 10 minutes to get into either one of those cities. The first week there me and Tilman will spend familiarising ourselves with our surroundings. I really want to try and find cute local food markets where we can get the cheap, most delicious fruits and vegetables.

Some general goals and plans that we've made are listed below:

  • Meet nice people
  • Hiking in Teide National Park
  • Walk up Teide (largest mountain in Spain)
  • Rent a car so we can discover the whole island
  • Slacklining
  • Spanish course for 3 weeks (private classes)
  • Make Spanish friends who will teach me more Spanish
  • Maybe even find someone who wants to do a language exchange with me
  • Yoga
  • Working out
  • Cooking (lots of it!) - I want to try to eat very regional food and try out lots of healthy recipes
  • Swimming
  • Climbing
  • Hiking
  • Snorkling
Scotland/Ireland/England

When: 6th of October to the 9th of November (2017)

My layover back home in Germany after Tenerife is only one day long! After that one short day, which will be filled with many stressful moments me and my sister will be flying to Scotland together! We decided to do this because I didn't have the opportunity to travel with my sister throughout her entire summer holidays and therefore, we decided to squeeze this trip in right before her Uni starts again.

Sadly I will only be spending one week with Lilli before she flies back to Germany. However, for that week we will be discovering beautiful Scottish cities and towns together and hopefully we will also head down to Belfast together! After Lilli leaves I am going to be all alone in Great Britain, which I am alright with because I have a plan! I will be staying in England for one whole month to be a nanny for one of my moms friends. My mums friend has 3 little children that I will help take care of. Hopefully while I'm there my mum will be able to join so that she and her friend can do some work on their art projects together! This one month of nannying will also be the first opportunity I get to earn some money!

Germany

After being gone from home for more than 2 months I though I should plan in some time at home. I am a big home dweller and I can already predict that I will become quite homesick over those months away... but I know that in the long run I will have so much fun and won't regret planning in so many trips! Also I think it is healthy to throw yourself into situations where you may be a little uncomfortable, so that you expand your comfort zone more!

I will be at home from around 9th of November to February. That is not completely true because I will actually be going on small one week (or less) trips during this time. For example, I will be taking a trip to the Netherlands and one to Austria.

Anyway, during this extensive at home I will be working (earning money to repay the debt from traveling and saving up for the other trips), doing sport, cooking, spending time with the family, taking an anniversary trip with Tilman, taking a small trip with my sister, gardening, continuing to learn Spanish, taking singing lessons and moving into my new room! It will be a busy couple of months but like I said I love being at home and I am really excited for this part of my gap year too!

Netherlands

When: Unknown - probably in December for one week (2017)

I haven't planned this trip at all but I know that I really want to find a time to fit this in because this will be the first trip that I take purely on my own. This will be extremely challenging for me because I am a very clingy person who hates being alone! That is exactly why I think it is important for me to take this trip! I want to be able to see how well I can take care of myself and see if traveling alone is actually all that it's hyped up to be. I am excited to be able to make all of my own choices without having the fear of disappointing anyone! I chose the Netherlands (specifically Amsterdam) for this trip because it is not so far away from home and I will not feel completely scared and stupid for traveling there alone.

Austria

When: 29th of December to 6th of January (2017/2018)

All I need to say about this trip is that it will be a ski trip with a lot of mine and Tilmans friends. While we are there we will be celebrating new years eve and Tilmans birthday!

Australia

When: February/March (specific dates have not been set but we will be staying around 3 weeks) (2018)

For my first trip to Australia I will be accompanied by my lovely family. My mum, my sister and me will be flying ahead of my father and spending a week alone in Australia together. During this time we will probably discover Melbourne and look around the state of Victoria. Later on my father will join us and we will all together embark on our road trip from Melbourne up to Brisbane. On the way we will of course be stopping in many places and taking trips into national parks (etc.). The whole trip has not been mapped out yet but I have already put many hours into research to kickstart the vocational planning!

Iceland

When: 6th of April to the 16th of April (2018)

My oma, my mum, my sister and me will all be traveling together to discover the mystical land of fire and ice. Together we will fly to Reykjavik (the capital) and then renting a car to take a road trip around the famous ring road that circles around the country. On the way we will hopefully be staying in lovely bed and breakfasts in the countryside. It will be a great trip to take with the women of my close-nit family because we all get along very well and all have similar interests in what we want to see and discover! One thing that we all hope to see is the Aurora Borealis (the northern lights) and therefore, a large part of our journey will be in the countryside where the city lights of Reykjavik won't disturb the beautiful night sky.

Madrid

When: 1st of May to the 30th of June (2018)

This part of my trip is a necessity. Before beginning to map out my gap year I knew that I needed to find long period of time where I can go to Madrid. The reason I needed to fit this in is because I want to dive into the Spanish culture so that I can really learn Spanish. Learning Spanish is one of my top priorities for this gap year and also a life long dream of mine! So I will be going to Madrid for a couple of months and hopefully will be able to work at a bar there and learn Spanish through immersion. I'm going to try to meet some nice Spanish people who I can hang out with and talk to. Maybe I will also find someone who will do a language exchange with me. If it is necessary I will also book another Spanish course!

Thailand or Australia

When: August and September (2018)

I am not sure where I will be going for these two months because it all depends on where Tilman will do his semester abroad. He will be applying to both Thailand and Australia. For either one I will be joining him for two months and doing my own stuff while he studies. If he goes to Australia I hope to get an internship in some journalism company or in another place. If he goes to Thailand I will try and join a NGO where I can volunteer to maybe teach children or adults english. We will see how it all unfolds.

After those two months my gap year will be coming to an end and in October 2018 I will be starting university! I am excited for all the trips that I have planned and can't wait to see how my life and personality will change due to this gap year. However, I am also extremely excited to go to university!

Small Europe Sidetrips that I want to take alone or with others
  • Denmark - Kopenhagen (and more)
  • Finnland - Oslo (and more)
  • Hungary - Budapest
  • Germany - Dresden, Freiburg, Munich, Sauerland
  • Austria - Salzburg
  • Singapore

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Why and Where?

I mean this really has been a long time coming! But lucky for you... I can remember the trip vividly.

Alright so after being done with graduation it was finally time to really let go. In order to do this, me and five other girl decided to head out to Barcelona. Why Barcelona? Well the city is of course famous for its legendary parties but it also offered us nice sightseeing opportunities and the beach. It was the perfect choice because it gave everyone the opportunity to have exactly what one wanted (whether it be clubbing, relaxing, culture, shopping or food) and in the long run, this allowed all the girls to get along really well and make this trip one to remember.

The trip

Right from the beginning we decided not to make this trip only about partying. We also wanted to also see lots of the city and spend nice days, and not just nights together.

So when we arrived the first day (Monday the 5th of June) we walked around the area that we were staying in (Exemplar). Exemplar was an amazing location and we were really lucky with our apartment. The only downside about the apartment was that we had to walk up 5 flours, which meant that our legs were killing us!

Day two was a little bit cloudy and so we decided not to go to the beach and instead we went sightseeing a little more. We walked from our apartment down into the Gothic sector. We looked at the cute little streets and visited the Barcelona Cathedral (not Gaudi's famous Sagrada familia to our surprise). We then kept walking to the beach where we went into a very cute surf cafe (which we then returned to almost every single day). Then in the evening after taking naps and having dinner at home, we went out to a great pub that we found online, Belushis! It was a great university pub with lots of games and a english speaking community. We also met to australian girls at that pub one night and went clubbing with them.

The day after clubbing, we decided to have a nice day at the beach together. We woke up at around 10 and then headed straight out. Two Australian girls that we had met the night before also decided to join us. We spend the whole day at the beach and I shit you not... we did not have five minutes to ourselves. First of all there were lots of people selling mojitos, blankets, cerveza and agua. But to make things worse... there were also club promoters who came by every five minutes to try and sell you their "best pubcrawl in Europe". Even though it was a little annoying we could not help feel a little bit flattered and we ended up made the best of the day.

Instead of going on and describing every single day I thought I would just sum up the last couple of days in bullet points

  • We continued to relax at the beach and found that it was way nicer to be there from around 5 a clock onwards because we did not get bothered as much!
  • The girls (not me) went on the pub crawl and went clubbing at Pashas.
  • We watched the sunrise on Saturday! This was one of the greatest experiences because we all just sat on the beach chatting and laughing. We watching drunk people walk out of the closing clubs and enjoyed the beautiful view of the orange sunrise.
  • We also took a 3 hour free bike tour. This was a great idea because we really learned a lot about Barcelona and saw way more of its history than we could have by foot.
  • Finally on our last day (Sunday) we went to Park Güell and had a lovely goodbye dinner on the rooftop of a mall!


Barcelona was a dream come true! A perfect trip!

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Easy, delicious and healthy!

Disclaimer: I did not come up with recipe myself but I have tried them and I can honestly say that these are the best cookies I have ever baked!

Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ cup of oats
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp muskatnuss (ground up)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla string
  • ½ honey
  • 2 carrots shredded
Instructions
  • Mix oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, muskatnuss and salt together
  • Mix eggs, honey, vanilla with a blender
  • Mix the dry and liquid mixtures together using the blender
  • Add shredded carrots to mixtures
  • Preheat oven for 180 degrees celcius
  • Put final mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes
  • Take mixture out and make 10-12 balls on two baking dishes
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let them cool down
  • Enjoy!

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Spirit Week

It has been 12 years now since I started school and all of a sudden its done. My first year was not so glorious. I started in a German public school and sadly I was not placed in a class with my friends. Instead I was surrounded by strangers who were all already friends. To make things worse, my teacher was a witch. But the year ended fairly quickly and instead of continuing my studies there, my family ended up moving to Dubai. Great... I had just gotten used to school and the people and then I move to a strange new country where I don't even speak the language. It's actually quite funny, when my dad first told me that we were moving (in a cinema while I was eating ice cream) I thought that I would have to learn the language 'Dubaian', luckily I only had to learn english. As you may have guessed... I did learn english.

For the next five years I lived happily in Dubai. Actually thats a lie... the first year (second grade) was horrible. I still remember how all the other kids in my class would sit together in a circle at lunch and I would sit alone. However, things soon started looking up and some of my favourite memories come from my time in Dubai. Actually now when I think of it, Dubai feels like a dream... a different life. I met my best friends there (Patri and Rebe) and still today, even though we haven't lived in the same country for 6 years now, we are as close as it gets.

Nonetheless, all good things must come to an end and after five glorious years in Dubai we moved back to Germany. Let me just say one thing... culture shock! I mean I went from sunny, hot, luxurious Dubai, to cold, rainy, stressful Germany. It took me 3 years to get used to this different life. During those years I hated school. I mean there were great moments and I made great friends but I never looked forward to going to school like I did in Dubai. But then came grade 10 and things started looking up. I felt more settled and happy in school and life. Thats when I really noticed how different I am and even though it sounds cheesy... I found myself.

The last two years were actually fairly enjoyable even though I was enrolled in one of the worst high school programs called the IB. While doing the IB it felt like it would never end, but looking back now it actually feels like it flew past in a heart beat (not that I'm complaining). As the last week rolled around I couldn't help but feel a little nostalgic. Spirit week (a beloved tradition, which our school is actually now trying to stop) was a great way to end our school career. Day one: Gansta day (or what our school wanted to call Bling Bling Day because they though "Gansta" was too offensive). Day two: Decade day (I went as a hippie). Day three: PJ day. Day four: Character day (I went as Pipi Longstocking). Day Five: Beach day (this is always the last day because we have a water fight). It was a great way to round up the 12 years and really let of some steam after having finished the mile long list of essays/presentations/orals that the IB had forced us through.

Prom

After spirit week we had around 3 weeks to study and prepare for the dreaded exams. For the first week I decided to visit my sister at university so that I could get her help with biology. I completely overworked myself that week (my speciality). When I got home I spend at least two days crying with exhaustion. Let me just tell you this... crying does not help with studying. But I managed to calm myself down and keep studying and this time I made sure not to over-do-it.

After three weeks it was finally time. IB exams! Since 6th grade I have been told how horrible and hard these exams will be. Let me tell you, I was terrified. That also doesn't help by the way. And honestly, F*** school for always making the IB sound like a monster. One thing that I actually learned from those exams was that the IB is only human... they don't just put the hardest things in the exams. After noticing that, I began to feel more neutral and prepared for exams. Every morning my mom would make me breakfast so that i could calm myself down and she would drive me to school. We really bonded. After 8 crazy days I had finished 14 exams! 10 exams in one school week! That was tiring but at least I am done now! A real accomplishment.

I had a week off between finishing exams and prom. This was perfect because it allowed me to buy everything that I needed. It also allowed me to regenerate my strength after the hell that I went through with exams. When prom day rolled around I was hyped. I got ready with my best friends and together we headed off to prom. Now I've been to prom 3 times and I must say that this time was the best because it truly felt like a celebration. Being surrounded by your entire class, who are all as relieved as you to be done was magical. We danced, sang, ate, drank, took photos and went out after to dance some more. That pretty much sums that up.

Graduation

Finally.... Graduation. I graduated high school with my friends and family watching on the 3rd of June 2017. CLASS OF 2017! To be completely honest it all rushed by and felt a little bit like a dream. Even now I cant really wrap my head around the fact that my class of around 120 people will never do anything together again. I mean maybe we will see each other in like 25 years for a reunion but who knows how many people will show up. I wont lie... I didn't like them all but somehow when we all got together it was always funny. We were a weird year. Very relaxed about deadlines and exams but we still managed to stir up a lot of drama. But hey I guess thats what high school is always about. But as cheesy as this may sound... the time has come to let go of this part of my life and move on. I now have a wonderful year a head of me where my life is truly in my own hands. No one will be there to make desicions for me. No guidelines, no deadlines, no rules. And as scary as that may sound (because that really does give me a hell of a lot of responsibility) I am so goddamn excited. Instead of dwelling on all the goodbyes and the routine that I have grown accustomed to, I want to finally let go and really discover what I want!

Cheers to that!

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What is it?

I've decided to go dairy free for one week. If all goes well then I may decide to extend this to one month or even longer. I've decided to start my miniproject series with this one because I know that this won't be extremely difficult for me to finish because I already consume a very minimal amount of dairy... this project will give me a chance to train my self-discipline before attempting more difficult projects.

Why am I doing this?

There are a couple of reasons, which are:

  • I have a very sensitive stomach and am often plagued by stomach aches (not sever ones but still annoying). It is my goal to find out what is causing these stomach aches so that I can finally be free. Therefore, I will be trying out various diet related changes over the next couple of months. I decided to start with dairy because I already know that I am lactose intolerant so... it seemed fairly plausible that this is the causer of my suffering 😂
  • To help my skin. I don't have extremely problematic skin but its not perfect. I don't need perfect skin... but I want it.
What happened?

It was good that I chose this as my first mini project because I already have very little dairy in my diet. I already don't eat cheese and I always have my coffee with a milk supplement like almond, rice or oat milk. Nonetheless, I still faced some challenges... especially because during the week that I conduced this challenge it suddenly got very hot in Germany, which meant that I had to seriously restrain myself from eating ice cream. But even this challenge was overcome when I took a trip to my local organic grocery shop and luckily I was able to find vegan mango ice cream (which by the way tastes amazing).

Another challenge that I am still struggling with now is the fact that I can't eat milk chocolate anymore. I've been looking around for some good alternatives but they are all so god damn expensive and lets be honest some vegan chocolate tastes like shit. But... I have found some that are very good and with the price i'll just have to learn to restrain myself more.

Conclusion

In the end... I will be continuing this diet because I have noticed that I have fewer stomach aches. Until now unfortunately I've seen no true improvements in my skin. Hopefully that will come if I continue onwards with this.

However, I continue to love ice cream and will of course also have a couple of cheat days for my beloved ice cream.

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What is this?
The answer to that question is simple. It's my personal platform to reflect on and share my experiences. There won't be just one way that I will do this. Below I have set up a small set of bullet points of the various things that I want to achieve and do with this blog
  • Mini projects (weekly/monthly)
  • Journaling (not everyday)
  • Creative writing
  • Rants/Comments (about events, not people #thisisnotahatepage)
  • Life lessons

As you can see this blog has many layers. Personally I have no intention to make the blog balanced within the various categories and instead I plan to go where the heart takes me.

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