Florida fever

September 2013 – another trip due to the USA, this time: Florida. Cheaper flights than to California and going to the same part of such a huge country for the 3rd time seems a bit … limited. So yay let’s go for a tropical climate this time. Just without mosquitos.

So let’s start with a few absolute cliché pictures about Miami and what you see when you drive around in your over-sized SUV.

 

Driving north of Miami, first stop was Cocoa Beach. Oh and if you visit in September, make sure to be prepared for the tropical afternoon rain (not comparable to anything you can experience in Europe!! Umbrella not needed as no use…)

Made our way to Cape Caneveral to see the space shuttle, rockets of all kinds and to get into the spacy stuff which was way more interesting than I expected tbh. American history 😉

Next stop in line were Springfield and Hogwards / Hogsmeade in Universal Studios / Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Though the absolut tourist-magnet, I strongly recommend it, especially if you are the European traveller. What the US guys are capable of when it comes to those kinds of leisure park, is beyond compare to any European standards. Do go to Europapark (in Germany) definitly before coming here!!

Off to west coast next – beautiful beaches, whiter sand than at the Atlantic coast and much warmer water. Looks a bit like the Baltic Sea cost in my opionion (see my Germany posts).

Next: Crocodile farm. These lovely guys came to be fed. As far as I could see, the conditions they’re kept in are okay. All that they do for entertainment is to feed a few times a day with giant dead rats.

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We made all our way down to Key West after this. I can so much recommend going there, the drive is really extraordinary (make sure you like lots, lots of water). And welcome the little visitors that join you at the pool ❤

Also of course we took the opportunity to get this photo before emerging in the lovely orchid gardens. At night, Key West old quarter is pretty. If you look for the right place, insert Hard Rock Café Key West in your navi and it will take you to the street you were probably looking for.

Overall: Florida is a really nice place if you look for some vibrant cities (Miami), nice beaches (Cocoa beach and west coast), one or two days pure touristy fun (Universal Studios Orlando), a funny animal encounter (Alligator farm near Tamiami trail) and a smooth chilly athmosphere (Key West). This is why I like the US very much for vacation as you can get to enjoy so many different things.

 

Gratitude / Dankbarkeit

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„Gratitude

… is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.“

It’s so fascinating how this wise say by Marcus Tullius Cicero is still valid after so many years passing by. Especially when it comes to travelling, I’m trying to remember this from time to time. To be able to travel at all I consider myself very fortunate. Yes, I could tell myself that I work very hard to make this happen: I work a lot (fortunately I love my job but still it takes a lot of my waking hours), I did take on the challenge of studying and I am really trying to be a good human being everyday. So I could be of the opinion that I just deserve this.

But I don’t think that this is true at all. In fact, I was just lucky.

Lucky to have all the abilities that I do so I was able to find a job I love and to earn reasonable money with it which I can spend on my travels. Lucky to be mostly healthy and in fact to be alive until now. This world certainly does not play fair so all one achieves is – in my opionion – mostly based on luck. So by my age of 27, I haven’t really made it to the whole world, I am not engaged or (beware!) married and I’m not the beauty out of the beauty and the beast. Also I am not a billionaire and never will be. So, no real achievements, huh?

Still, I am thankful and full of gratitude.

I am utterly amazed by the life I can live. Yes, I do have my challenges, had them in my past and have them everyday. Surely enough, they’re waiting for me in future as well.

But by my age of 27 I established a life that I love. I love waking up and going to work. I love all the precious moments that I share with the magnificent people I am lucky enough to be sourrounded by. I enjoy very much the company of just myself equally. I follow my dreams to live my passion to travel and to have great relationships who are supporting me and who make me a better human being. Also I finally managed to get rid of toxic relationships that brought me down for so long. I manage to see the beauty of life in little moments. I can go to wherever I want on my own because I’m not scared anymore. I learned to deal with my own mortality and if I died tonight, I would not regret much.

Yes, I am thankful.

So – when was the last time you were thankful?

 

 

 

„Dankbarkeit

… ist nicht nur die größte aller Tugenden, sondern auch die Mutter aller.“

Es ist so faszinierend, wie dieses Zitat von Marcus Tullius Cicero nach so vielen Jahren immer noch gilt. Insbesondere wenn es um das Reisen geht, versuche ich mich daran zu erinnern. In der Lage sein, überhaupt auf Reisen zu gehen, ist etwas, für das ich mich sehr glücklich schätze. Ich könnte mir auch sagen, dass ich hart dafür arbeite, mir das selbst zu ermöglichen: Ich arbeite viel (glücklicherweise liebe ich meinen Job, der allerdings viel meiner wachen Zeit in Anspruch nimmt), ich habe die Herausforderung angenommen nebenbei zu studieren und ich versuche wirklich, jeden Tag ein guter Mensch zu sein. Also könnte ich denken, dass ich das einfach verdiene.

Aber das glaube ich eben nicht. Ehrlicherweise hatte ich bloß Glück.

Glück, dass ich alle die Fähigkeiten habe, sodass ich einen Job gefunden habe, den ich liebe und damit vernünftiges Geld zu verdienen, was ich wiederum für meine Reisen nutzen kann. Glück, dass ich größtenteils gesund bin und bis heute überlebt habe. Diese Welt ist sicherlich alles andere als fair, deshalb ist alles, was man erreicht – jedenfalls meiner Meinung nach – Glückssache. Mit 27 habe ich noch nicht die ganze Welt gesehen, ich bin nicht verlobt oder gar verheiratet und ich sehe nicht aus wie eine Disney-Prinzessin. Außerdem bin ich kein Millionär und werde es auch nie sein. Also, eigentlich nicht wirklich etwas erreicht, oder?

Trotzdem bin ich voller Dankbarkeit.

Ich bin unglaublich erstaunt über das Leben, was ich leben kann. Natürlich habe ich meine Herausforderungen, in der Vergangenheit und jeden Tag und sie warten bestimmt auch in der Zukunft auf mich.

Aber mit 27 habe ich mir ein Leben aufgebaut, was ich liebe. Ich liebe es, morgens aufzuwachen und zur Arbeit zu gehen. Ich liebe all die kleinen wertvollen Momente die ich mit den wunderbaren Menschen um mich herum teilen darf. Ich genieße es auch sehr, alleine zu sein. Ich folge meinem Traum, zu Reisen und gesunde Beziehungen zu haben, die mich zu einem besseren Menschen machen. Und endlich habe ich es geschafft, schädliche Beziehungen zu beenden, die mich so lange fertiggemacht haben. Ich bin der Lage, die Schönheit des Lebens in den kleinen Momenten zu sehen. Ich kann überall alleine hingehen, wo ich will, weil ich keine Angst mehr habe. Ich habe gelernt, mit meiner eigenen Sterblichkeit umzugehen und wenn ich heute Nacht sterben würde, wäre da nicht so viel, was ich bereue.

Ja, ich bin dankbar.

Und wann warst du zum letzten Mal dankbar?

 

Summertime Sydney

When I write this now, I still cannot believe that I did it: I HAVE BEEN TO AUSTRALIA!! I know lots of people have been but in my mind, this country was so so so far away and almost impossible to ever go there. I made it and if I get enough time from the universe, I will surely enough go there again. So this time, it was just a quick city trip to Sydney.

And yes, the opera does really exists. I was fortunate enough to see a great performance of „La Bohème“ in this crazy building. Enjoying life to the fullest.

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I can really recommend to take the ferry and to go to Manly Beach. Such a sweet area with lovely white sand (pics: beach and ferry to it).

Without getting too political: Je suis Charlie – toujours.

Opera at night with full moon – I know I should work on my photo quality but this is in process. Until then I enjoy the blurry moon picture, the overview over the fantastic city and parrots in parks.

Highlights NZ Tour

Back from 2015.

Amazing what…? Yes, Aotearoa. This is Maori and means „country of the long white cloud.“ As you probably have figured, this is New Zealand. Quick background: For reasons I do not understand myself, this has been my ultimative travel goal for years. I imagined this country as sort of paradise which it turned out to be! but a bit different from what a naive German girl expected.

Hence, I totally fell in love. And yes, in Dec 2017 I will travel there again because you cannot see all this astonishing beauty in only 3 weeks time. For my next trip, I planned 6 weeks and even that is actually much too few time. But yeah make the best of it. So here you see a few impressions that was able to gain from a 3 weeks fast travel.

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Okay I see it – partly it is still middle earth and will always be. Don’t skip this touri thing, it’s so much more than you see in this picture.

A few clichée pictures for this country. Yes, it is all true. And then you have to stop the car because sheeps rule the streets, not humans. Love it!

Cathedral cove / coromandel. I wasn’t aware that such beauty exists. Now I am and I cannot wait to go back and see it again.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing and sourroundings. Astonishing as long as you bring good shoes (it’s not called Alpine because they recommend to walk in flipflops.)

This country is destined for horseback riding! This pretty stallion is called Rio and he is fantastic, especially without using a saddle.

Abel Tasman National Park. The 3 days we spent there were beyond compare and captured on these photos is only a tiny part of the colorful beaches.

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Also don’t skip the helicopter glacier hike (either Franz Josef or Fox – this was on Fox glacier).

And then… there was Milford Sound. Where the traveller realizes his own tiny small place and meaning in the great logic of all the universe. Even when I remember this after 3 years, I feel tears in my eyes. Take a overnight boat trip for an amazing sunset and sunrise.

The lakes on South Island – lake Pukaki and Tekapo. Will return definitly soon.

Last but not least – crazy intelligent ad & Sarah in Cadbury-paradise.

Please realize this is only a very very small part of this great country. This trip was truely life-changing to me. Just one word: GO!

Hong Kong rocks!

My first glimpse of Asia in December 2014. Whereas I was told multiple times that this is not the real Asia, just a „light“ version.

Well yeah no matter what, this city was really stunning in so many ways! A fairly new dimension for the European traveller and fascinating to see!

Recommendations:

1. Victoria Peak for sure – even with a taxi or bus instead of the crowded train

2. Go into a local restaurant BUT make sure you get your meat without bones (I was told to do that for whole Asia except of when you order Beijing Duck or dumplings).

3. Lights on the other side – look from Kowloon to HK island – or via the ferry in 4:

4. Take the ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong island or vice versa. Impressive views and really easy to do.

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5. Plan some time to spend in one of the parks – as a former British colony they are really good in gardening! If you have time, consider going to Chi Lin Nunnery (close to a tram stop) and to Nan Lian Garden right next to it. Amazing views!

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As I am writing this 3 years later, let me focus primarily on pictures instead of text.

The good camera pt. 1 – top 10

In October, I finally convinced myself to get a decent camera instead of carrying out everything with my iPhone. So I am a proud owner of a Nikon D3300 just to see if this works out regarding handling, joy in fotography and resulting pics.

I hope you enjoy taking a look like I enjoyed taking those pics.

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#1 – Gate at Rosenhöhe, Darmstadt, October 2016

 

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#2: -Cute pineapples for sale at Colombia Flower Market, London, UK, November 2016

 

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#3: Dawn of a day in the Odenwald, Germany, October 2016

 

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#4: Fountain at Trafalgar Square at night, London, UK, November 2016

 

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#5: Boats at Oberwaldhaus, Darmstadt, Germany, October 2016

 

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#6: Street Art near Brick Lane / Shoreditch, London, UK, November 2016

 

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#7: Glimpse of sun in Black Forest, Germany, December 2016

 

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#8: Houses of Parliament and the sun, London, UK in November 2016

 

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#9: Light in the Odenwald, Germany, October 2016

 

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#10: Flowers enlighted at Soho Square, London, UK, November 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just pizza. And so much more.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. Who obviously loves pizza. But what is not that obvious on the picture is something else. She wandered around in her hometown for weeks, wondering over and over again if she could dare and how she would feel if she was able to finally do it.

It took her quite a while to convince herself, to pick a restaurant that would suit and would not be that hard to do what she intended to. Fearing weird looks or to get lost a bit in loneliness, she postponed that day on and on, somehow caught in a fight with herself. But one day, the time was right.

So she just left work on one evening, jumped onto the tram to the city center and entered the restaurant. Picked up this going-to-be-delicious pizza, took a photo of it (there we are, obvious again), sat down and ate it up even without being in a hurry.

She noted that it took her 26 years of her life to not only dare herself to do that, but – and this was far more important to her – to have that wish to be able to. This experience she gained in March 2016 was so great that she consequently repeated it whenever she fancied.

And yes, she earned weird looks, sometimes puzzled staff as well as other people just coming by and picking up their food in order to avoid what she finally managed to accomplish: To experience the huge difference between loneliness and solitude which lead to do what she did –

To just go and enjoy dinner in a restaurant all by herself.

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Travels in 2017

I’m a big fan of travel planning. Some friends even are of the opinion that I enjoy planning my trips much more than actually doing them BUT this is not the case I can say. Still, they do have a point because I am usually spending significantly more time on planning than on executing my trips. In fact, there is rarely a day I do not think of where to go, what to do there, how to even improve my itinerary, to go for an upgrade somewhere or even to updating my couchsurfing page a bit.

Yeah. Right. I’m definitly addicted and this is why I’ve already planned out my whole 2017 (aaaaand as the true addict, also 2018. Haha, just kidding. Would be ridicolous to plan such a long time ahead as I even don’t know if I am still alive in 2018…so yeah just kidding.)

So this is my itinerary for 2017 (90% fixed; you will find blog posts hopefully right after the trip on here. Good motivation!)

January – London, UK (second addiction right after travelling in general) with my Dad

February – Taipei, Taiwan (off to work until May) going solo

February – Seoul, Korea (work as well but including a great weekend there with a friend of mine – local people rock!)

March – Shanghai, China (work again and much more work even as I am still executing the visa.. will use couchsurfing.com for my weekend there)

March / April – Tokyo, Japan (let’s guess.. yes, work but a very nice colleague of mine plans to introduce me to cherry blossom season…)

April – Taiwan road trip (looks amazing on the pics) again with my Dad

May – SEA trip starting in Singapore (infinity pool here I come!!) going to Bangkok, Angkor Wat to Vietnam ending in Hanoi (vacation this time, solo again)

June – London, UK (as crazy solo traveller who bought a theatre fangirl ticket)

July – Landgraaf, the Netherlands (spending a few nights in one of the most bloomy hotels I’ve ever been to ) with dear friends

November until January 2018 – New Zealand tour (6 weeks of pure bliss to return to this country which is so much more than just middle earth – with me, myself & I).

 

Sounds like a plan? Still thinking to squeeze in some more adventures like a quick trip to Kota Kinabalu or Cebu when in Taiwan .. just cannot get enough. Never ever.

 

 

Willkommen. Welcome. Nĭ hăo.

Welcome to kleinsarahunterwegs – sarahsmallontour!

Sarah is a 20-something-years old traveller who is taking the challenge of a full time job, Master studies and travelling in parallel.

She loves exploring new places no matter where on earth and she is confident that in every situation, beauty and kindness is inherent. Finally, she tries to make every minute of this precious life count.

Follow her on instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sari_unterwegs/