Christmas in Germany is nothing short of magical, especially to someone whose Decembers have always been hot and sunny. I never quite understood the whole “festive Christmas spirit” until I visited a real Christmas market for the first time, wrapped up in a huge calf-length winter jacket, thermal hat and gloves, and a cup of Glühwein in hand. I actually got excited, whereas back home our plastic Christmas tree, carols about snowmen, and steaming hot Christmas meals simply made no sense in the 30° C beach weather. I still adore summer Christmases back home, with chilled rosé wine, family, and a lekker fish braai by the pool, but European Christmases are extra-special to me due to their novelty.
Motion sickness is a bitch, especially if you love travelling. It’s actually a miracle that I can travel at all, considering my comorbid conditions – motion sickness, anxiety, and emetophobia (pathological fear of vomiting) – so I thought I’d share some of my own tips and coping mechanisms with my fellow travellers.
Having travelled a fair amount, and also being a passionate amateur photographer, I have learned a lot about taking great travel pictures. I learned mainly by trial and error, and everything I know I want to share with you, so you can make your own travel photos more creative and capture amazing moments without camera catastrophes.
Hannover was the first city I called home in Germany, and it remains one of my favourite cities in the country. Situated in Northern Germany, about 1.5 hours away from Hamburg by car or high-speed train, Hannover is a small and laid-back city that is often overlooked by travellers. Known as the “City of Gardens” in Germany, Hannover is full of beautiful green spaces – public parks, the grand and breathtaking Herrenhauser Royal Gardens, plenty of wide, tree-lined avenues, the Maschsee Lake, and countless beautiful gardens both public and private.
Considering the current state of my coffee obsession, you may be surprised to learn that I only started drinking coffee at 21 years old, when I met my husband. It all started with an espresso on our first date, hah. Since then, I have learned so much about the world of coffee, and most recently, about the Third Wave coffee movement. On my recent trip to Berlin, I made a point of visiting two of the best artisanal coffee places in the city. One of these is Bonanza Coffee, a small coffee shop located in Oderbergerstrasse, Berlin Mitte. I fell so deeply in love with this place that I had to dedicate a blog post to it!
Over the years, I’ve changed my daily habits and become mindful of my lifestyle choices to better suit my belief in eco-friendly, ethical living – and this includes the choices I make when travelling. You’d be surprised at how small, mindful changes can make a huge difference to the environment and to communities you come into contact with during your travels. These are some of the ones I’ve discovered – feel free to tell me about your own tips and tricks!
Marco and I got married in Denmark on the 9th of January 2015. Besides the expected wedding excitement, I was also thrilled to be visiting Scandinavia at long last, even if it was only for a long weekend in the middle of winter. I had always dreamed of travelling far north, beyond the German border and into the beautiful Nordic countries.
Over the years, I’ve built up a collection of weird and wonderful things seen on my travels and at home. Public transport in Cape Town was my main inspiration, as you can see below. Many of these made me giggle, or think, “Only in South Africa!”. If you enjoy these pictures, be sure to check out my German collection here.
I feel compelled to write about motivations for travel and “obligatory sightseeing” after coming across several scathing TripAdvisor reviews of the statue of Den Lille Havfrue (The Little Mermaid) in Copenhagen. The majority of reviews expressed disappointment, and some even anger, at their expectations not being met by such a “famous” sight.
I arrived in Germany a year ago, in the middle of winter. Having come from summer in South Africa, I was wholly unprepared for the mind numbing freezing-ness of January. As the plane descended, I caught a glimpse of an expansive white and brown landscape – beautiful, and utterly foreign. I got off the plane and literally gasped at the sheer impact of the cold as I walked briskly to the transit bus. My boyfriend (now husband!) was waiting for me at arrivals, and we shared an excited embrace after being apart for almost 4 months. Our trying long distance relationship was almost instantly a distant memory as I went outside to see snow up close for the very first time.