1. Tell us about yourself and where we can find more about your travelling.
Hello, my name is Anna. I’m 24 years old and I come from Germany. My passion is to travel and take pictures. Two years ago I started writing a small travel blog. There you can find many stories of my previous trips (though in German only), as well as a selection of my travel pictures.
2. How many countries have you visited and where would like to settle down at some point (I know you fall in love in so many places, but choose one and tell us why)?
Until now I have visited 27 countries. You can have a look at my travel map to find out where all I have been.
It is really hard to say where I would like to settle down. Many places were really interesting, but I am not sure if I would like to live there. You know I like to live in a safe country where there are no earthquakes, toxic animals, hurricanes or extreme heat. Besides this I appreciate having a health insurance and so on. New Zealand has a great nature and it feels like a very relaxed country. That’s all nice, but it is so incredibly far away from all my friends and family and there is a high risk of earthquakes. Norway is also a beautiful country (I have been there 15 times) and it would be perfect to get the high salary (then travelling to any other country would be cheaper than staying at home). However they have really long and cold winters which I don’t enjoy too much. Moreover I could not just start to work there, because of the language barrier.
To put it all into a nutshell, I love to travel around the world, but it is not too bad to live where I live right now, so why should I leave my home country?
3. What do you miss most, aside from your family, from home?
After a certain time I usually miss the crusty German bread and a good shower (whereas I guess this problem could be solved by staying in more expensive hotels).
4. What is the most common misconception that people have about you during your traveling?
People might think that travelling is relaxing. However when I travel, I make my plans and have concrete ideas what I want to see and where and when I want to take pictures of different sites or landscapes. So it is not relaxing at all, actually it is hard work (cope with jet lag, quickly get along in a different environment and carry my heavy camera equipment around all day). For me it was a successful and fulfilling travel day when my feet hurt in the evening and I fall asleep just a moment after I went to bed 😉
5. Is there any place which you wouldn’t visit again and why?
I would not like to visit Las Vegas again. Before I was there I expected a brightly illuminated desert city which should be good for night shots. However when I was walking along the crowded streets at night all alone, I realised that everybody else besides me was there for drinking, gambling and a big never ending party. I could not take my pictures the way I wanted because of all the crossovers with glassed railings and I saw way too many drunk people and others with hangovers from the day before. Thus I was more than glad when I reached the airport and left sin city.
6. Where did you meet the friendliest people and how did you feel about being around them?
That’s a good question… for this year the answer is Morocco. I also met many annoying people there, but some were really friendly. For example I went to a market one evening and bought some spices. The next day I crossed the same stall again and the vendor remembered me. He invited me and my company to have a cup of royal tea with him. We agreed and had a nice talk with him. Afterwards we wanted to help him, because he invited us without any conditions and bought some more tea.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing travel moment?
My most embarrassing travel moment occurred in Queenstown, New Zealand. My friend and me came back from an exhausting day trip and just wanted to have a quick snack for dinner. We bought garlic bread and put it in the oven of the communal kitchen. The small kitchen was overcrowded. Therefore we went upstairs to our room until the baking time was over. When we came down the stairs, it smelled quite smoky: our bread was more than ready and set off the fire alarm. This was so embarrassing and I will never leave anything unattended in an oven I don’t know. Oh and on top of this our dinner was ruined, too.
8. What has been the most under-rated country/place you have been to and why? Most overrated country/place?
Let’s begin with the most underrated country I have been to: Morocco. I mainly wanted to go to Morocco because of Sahara desert. I had never been to the desert before and I imagined that it would be a photographer’s paradise there with all the huge sand dunes and changing shadows. And it was awesome! Only sand as far as you could see. But also the rest of Morocco was worth visiting. I started my round trip in Marrakesh. It was my first visit in Africa, therefore I expected a chaotic traffic. Anyway the traffic was reasonable. Only some of the streets were not in a good condition (e.g. one bridge had collapsed and we had to cross the river by bus). Still we always made our way to the next destination.
I was really surprised by the variety of different landscapes which were so close to each other. On the east side there is the big desert. Going west, you’ll cross many oases with lots of beautiful green palms and ancient loam houses. Closer to Marrakesh there are the Atlas mountains and another three hours later you are by the sea-side (Atlantic Ocean).
Morocco is a very colorful country with good food (the best fresh oranges I have ever had in my life) and friendly people who even invite you for a cup of sweet mint tea when you don’t know them or just enter a shop.
For me the most overrated place is Las Vegas. I experienced it as a sin city where people go to when they want to get drunk and spend huge amounts of money on silly things. It does not have any charm and at night many cockroaches appear on the streets – even in front of expensive hotels.
9. Tell us about a favourite dish from the world and one from your country that everybody should try .
There are many dishes from several countries that I really like. One of my favourites is “butter chicken”. It is an Indian dish and consists of chicken in a creamy tomato-butter sauce, served with rice and not too spicy.
Something from my country (Germany) that I like a lot are hash browns with apple sauce. You should also try something else when you are in Germany. It is not a real dish – we rather have it as a small meal – but I have not heard of any other country where you can get it: German minced pork meat (not cooked) along with onion on a bread roll.
10. What is your favourite author and what did you like about his style?
At the moment I just read random books about travelling or different cultures. Sometimes I also like to read some novels, but they don’t mean anything to me. The last book series I really liked was Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling. I could hardly wait for the next book to be written and published, because the story was so exciting.
11. What is your favourite music?
Usually I just listen to the radio. This one represents my taste best: YouFM– you can listen to the livestream if you like.
12. What song from your country everybody should know?
A difficult question, as I prefer English songs from other countries. Most German songs are spoilt, because I have to think about the lyrics. Anyway this one here is quite okay.
13. Give us one of your favorite phrases in your mother tong and explain what it means.
There are many German phrases that sound extremely weird as soon as you start thinking about them. Here is a nice collection. I can add one more that I sometimes say: “voll leer” – which means “full empty” if you translate it word by word. However you can use this expression when something is extremely or surprisingly empty.
14. Best foreign curse you know?
To be honest, I don’t know many foreign curses. I don’t even know how to spell it correctly: “skruteparve” is Norwegian and means “braggart”.
15. What is your favourite website (apart from social media platforms)?
16. One thing you don’t like about other travelers or traveling?
I don’t like the fact that I only have six weeks time (out of one year) for travelling, because I belong to the working population now. It would be soooo great to have the opportunity to travel more often!
17. What has been your most valuable lesson learned from travel?
Last year I went on my longest trip so far: 53 days. I travelled with 16 kg of luggage and did not miss anything from home. So I started wondering about many things and why we own so many objects. After I came back home, I began to sort some of my things out. Moreover I started to travel lighter… by now I have reduced my luggage weight to something between 10-12 kg. My aim is to fly with hand luggage only – one day.
Furthermore I got more courageous, especially after travelling alone I got more (self)confident and now I know that I can achieve things on my own, cope with negative situations and believe in myself.
I agree here, traveling light is so much better!