One word photo challenge: drought

desert

In this week’s one word photo challenge ‘drought’ I would like to share a photo of the Nazca lines in the Peruvian desert.

Nazca lines are a series of ancient geoglyphs in the Nazca desert. You can find a range of different figures like the hummingbird, spider, monkey, fish, shark, orcas, lizards, tree and others. Archeologist have studied the Nazca culture to find out what the purpose of the lines are. It is still a mystery but stories exist.

If you are in Peru, it is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are brave enough to fly over it.

desert
Nazca lines in the Peruvian desert

10 things I have learned from travelling

Noosa beach

I love travelling, enjoy being outside in nature and experiencing different cultures.

Travelling is more than just sightseeing, it is experiencing life on a different level. To see other cultures and the way they live is an eye opener.

I was born and raised in Germany, travelled a bit through Europe, moved to Australia 8 years ago and fulfilled my dream to travel to Southamerica for 2 months last year. In all those years I have learned a lot about myself and life in general:

  • Respecting other people no matter where they come from, their cultural background, their job or how poor or rich they are. Everybody has a different story to tell, you never know what they have been through in their life and in the end it just doesn’t matter. Everybody deserves respect and a friendly smile.
happy family from Taquile Island, Peru
happy family from Taquile Island, Peru
  • Being grateful of what you have. Travelling to poorer countries in particular open your eyes. I have seen very poor people in Peru but they were so friendly and nice and they would give you anything when you treat them with respect. Some of the poor people don’t have hot showers or a big warm house. This makes you realise how rich you are even though you might just rent a small place but you are able to have a warm bath. People in the westernised world are complaining a lot about ‘nothing’. Travelling to those countries make you realise what a great life you have.
playing little girl on Taquile Island, Peru
playing little girl on Taquile Island, Peru
  • You cannot buy happiness. Happiness comes from the inside and not from material items you own. I met poor people who were happy with their life. It is about owning things you cannot buy with money, like health, love and friendships.
happy smile
the most beautiful smile in the world
  • I realised for myself and decided to stop shopping but to spend the money on travelling. This gives you insights, unforgettable experiences, great memories and opens your mind. It will change you for the better. You might not have enough money to travel – well, save and spend wisely and there is a budget for everyone. You don’t necessarily need to fly far away, the best travel can be in your area.
Devil's throat
the double rainbow over the devil’s throat
  • Don’t wait that something will happen, make things happen  and follow your dreams. Life is too short. Don’t let fear hold you back and miss out. What do you have to lose?
happiness
Are you curious what is out there? Go for it. Do more of what makes you happy.
  • Try new things and eat what the locals eat. You will be amazed what amazing cuisines are out there. I love cooking and in I try new recipes from different cultures. Festival of the taste butts.
Peruvian cuisine
Peruvian cuisine
  • Travel and pack light. Being on tour for 2 months made me learn how to pack light and simple. There are laundries everywhere and you don’t need your high heels when travelling through Southamerica. Organise your belongings and you will become a master and packing.
the cat is watching the tourists in La Boca
the cat is watching the tourists in La Boca
  • Dress simple and leave your jewellery at home. You don’t need to show off your luxury in poor countries. You will have a much more peaceful trip.
life in the streets of Cusco, Peru
life in the streets of Cusco, Peru
  • Beauty is everywhere, just open your eyes. Do not compare one place with another. Each is unique and has its own charm. Respect and enjoy the nature we live in.
A beautiful day in Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia.
A beautiful day in Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia.
  • Being organised when travelling is important but leave room for spontaneous things to have a bit of an adventure.
street dance
Difference is what makes life fabulous

Happy travel.

Why am I writing and sharing my photos

enjoy the early morning

I am writing because I love to share my travel stories and happiness quotes with you. I hope to inspire you to open your eyes when walking through your day, to see the beauty in our nature and help you creating your own happiness.

New Zealand sunset
reflections of Karekare beach in New Zealand

I love taking and sharing my photographs with you. See and experience amazing places in the world with me through my photos and writing.

A beautiful day in Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia.

We easily can get caught up with first world problems in our lives and forget to see the beauty around us. I want you to open your eyes and mind throughout the day. You will be amazed what you can see. The best part is, you don’t need to travel to see beautiful nature.

Glenorchy, New Zealand
If you don’y know where you are going, that’s where you will end up

With my photos and happiness stories I want you to see the things you cannot buy with money and to be grateful of the little things you have. Enjoying the simple things in life is what we learn when we travel and experience different cultures with an open mind. Money cannot buy you happiness.

appreciate the little things
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be

I am writing to reflect on situations we sometimes experience in life. No matter how bad a situation can be, you mostly can choose to see the positive side in it and move on knowing you learned a lesson. When one door closes another door opens.

Open window
Open your mind

Choose to be happy and you will be.

Welcome to my blog. I am happy that you decided to stick around for a while to check out some of my previous posts.

Enjoy.

What does spiritual connection mean?

Did you experience that sometimes you meet people the first time and you instantly connect and with others you cannot explain why, but you can’t stand them? There is either chemistry or there is none. What does chemistry actually mean?

Chemistry is more than just having the same interests and ‘ticking the boxes’. It is a spiritual connection and goes deeper than your surface needs or desires. A spiritual connection is when souls are attracted to each other and are in sync. People with a spiritual connection are not just properly aligned but in bond. Once sparked, you feel very close to the person in question in a way you feel connected with your family or other best friends in your life. It feels like you’ve known them forever on some level. You get comfortable with each other and show the ‘real’ you. You realise you share more than just hobbies, religion, political ideologies but you realise you share deeper things like values, principles, your way of looking at the world or a particular point of view. If you have found that person, don’t let her or him go.

“The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.” 
― Barbara De Angelis

 

sunrise
Couple in love watching the sunrise

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Connected.”

How to make the best of your life

The best years of your life are the ones in which you take ownership and decide to take control of your life. It is when you stop blaming others and circumstances and realise that you control your destiny. Take action and make decisions for your life which will lead you to happiness.

It is an easy way out to blame others when something doesn’t work out the way you want it to be. People keep complaining about their life and wonder why nothing ever changes. Well, nothing will change if you don’t take control of your life and start making decisions for the better. Stop complaining and take actions. You are the only one who can control your life.

If you don’t like your situation, change it and if you really cannot change the situation that quickly, change your attitude. Make a decision which will makes you feel good. Choose to be happy.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president. You realise that you control your own destiny. – Albert Ellis – 

King penguin with attitude
King penguin with attitude

How to have a happy life

Patagonia

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal and not to people or things. Things and people don’t make you happy. It is your mindset and your purpose in life.

Goals give you a purpose in life; you wake up in the morning and getting excited to work towards achieving your goal. Achieving your goals feels amazing. Knowing you fulfilled a purpose in life feels life changing.

Do not tie your happy life to only people. Surely it is so important to have friends and family who support you, treasure them, but try not to be too dependent on them.

Depending on your goals, the people you hang out with might actually change and benefit you.

It is easy falling into a cycle of getting up in the morning to go to work and earn your money to pay your rent, car or whatever it is. However, wouldn’t it be an amazing life when you get up in the morning and you know it is for a purpose in life? Find some time out for yourself and understand what your purpose in life is. You don’t need to be able to tie it back to what you are doing; you might change what you are doing once you found out about your purpose. I know it is easily said than done. Think about what is your passion, what is it you really care about, what is it you really would love to change in this world. Once you have an answer for all of the question, go and put them together. This might be your purpose you want to focus from now on. It doesn’t have to be a job you earn your living with. Money is not giving you happiness. As long as you are able to pay for your basic living this is fine. You still could volunteer for your purpose in life. The fact of appreciation of others you get back is worth so much more than money, believe me.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

Patagonia
beautiful colours in Patagonia

Happiness is an attitude

Happiness cannot be achieved by having material things but in fact it is your attitude. It is a journey in life.

It is up to you if you want to be happy or not. If things don’t turn out the way you want it to be, maybe it is not meant to be or your mindset is not quite right yet and where it should be. If you cannot change a situation, you can change your attitude.

We have a choice to make ourselves miserable or happy and strong. The amount of work you have to put in is the same.

Having your own attitude is important. Whatever way you choose to be, you can make or break it.

A negative attitude and a ‘I cannot do’-  or ‘I will always be like that’ attitude will make you feeling unhappy and miserable. You will achieve exactly that – being miserable.

Whereas a positive ‘I can do it’ and ‘I can achieve everything’ attitude makes you open your mind and recognise different unexpected new ways of achieving your goals or desires. This in the end will lead you towards happiness. Be positive and believe in yourself.

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same. – Francesca Reigler- 

a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.
a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.

Have a great day.

The challenges you face when trekking in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

Torres del Paine

After trekking in Fitz Roy National park, Patagonia and visiting the massive Perito Moreno glacier I got so excited to travel further to Torres del Paine National park in Chile.

A three day trekking tour was about to start. After a bus drive from Perito Moreno glacier to Punto Natales we got prepared with camping equipment, had a night of rest in Punto Natales before we took our bus to Torres del Paine National Park early in the morning.

On our way to the national park we could see some big storm clouds over the mountain range and a beautiful rainbow appearing on the horizon. I knew this trip will be amazing.

Chile
storm clouds and the rainbow in Torres del Paine National Park

You get also to see the guanacos here in Patagonia, what beautiful animals. This is a native South American animal which is around 1 to 1.2m high and can weigh up to 90kg. The fur is very soft and their fibre is being used in luxury fabric.

Guanacos in Torres del Paine
Guanacos in Torres del Paine

Arrived at the entrance of the National park, everybody got ready and dressed up for trekking. Backpacks on our shoulders and walking sticks for the ones who felt more comfortable with it. I definitely was one of them.

Suddenly we could hear this loud sound of the wind, the dirt from the gravel road started blowing in all directions. I could not believe it. I learned very quickly that this is pretty normal in Patagonia. In case it happens while you are trekking at the edge of the mountains, go down on your knees, cover your head and pray:) It only lasts a few seconds but the wind can be very strong and blow you away especially when you are a tiny and skinny person.

I had my camera equipment in my backpack and was worried about it; however, my bag from f-stop passed this test. It was sometimes a challenge to walk with that heavy bag of 8 kg on my back while going through those windy phases.

So, we started walking in the beautiful sunny weather but were experiencing some strong wind attacks. I unfortunately don’t have many photos of that day as it was just too windy and all the dirt blowing everywhere. I decided my camera was better protected in my bag. You can expect having 4 seasons in one day. Walking on the edge of the mountains can be very exposed to the strong winds, especially when there are no trees. That windy day was really challenging for me but in the end so worth it. The last one hour of trekking up to the top was the hardest for me. You have to climb up the big rocks and sometimes cannot even see the pathway. Just follow the crowd. Again a massive wind attack hit us and rocks smashing against our legs, in that moment you go down on your knees and hope for the best. The weather changed from cold and windy to rainy and then sunny and warm.

Finally arrived at the top you see this beautiful turquoise lake and the Torres del Paine towers surrounded by clouds and fog. Our tour guide had a nice surprise for us: a bottle of champagne. What a great idea, exactly what you need after going through all those challenges. I have to say I have never experienced trekking in such windy conditions. In that moment you are packed with adrenalin but also excited and hope everything will be fine and god is watching and protecting you anyways. It was so windy up there that you could rarely breath.

Torres del Paine
The towers of Torres del Paine

After enjoying a bit of champagne at the top we walked back for roughly 4 hours to the parking area where the bus was waiting for us to take us to our first camping site. I was on a g-adventure trip. The first camping site was pretty amazing: we had the private site just for ourselves. After travelling around Argentina you get a lot of meat, potatoes and bread. Most of us were graving for vegetables. We had such an amazing delicious home cooked dinner with lots of fresh vegetables and meat.

Everybody was hoping for the wind to stop to have a quiet and good night sleep. Well, that wasn’t meant to be the case for us. The wind was unbelievable strong and loud. My dad always taught me not to hang around underneath trees when it is windy. Guess what? The tents were directly underneath the trees. Well, looks like we just had to trust that everything will be fine. The family from this camp site were looking after us very well and even had to fix up some of our tents mid in the night. One of the tents was about to lift up in the air. You couldn’t really say we slept well during that night. At one stage the roof of the tent hit me on my nose. Well, that’s definitely called adventure.

I am not a morning person but at 5am I had enough from the wind,  so I got up and took my camera out to take some morning photos. It has calmed down a tiny bit. I was the first one awake and enjoyed the early morning in pure nature. I was so lucky to see a light beautiful rainbow.

The home cooked breakfast was great and exactly what you need to start another day of trekking.

rainbow in Torres del Paine
early in the morning in Torres del Paine National Park. Can you see the rainbow.

In my following post I will share the experience on the second hiking day in the Patagonian beautiful nature with non-stopping wind.

Happy travel and stay tuned.

Life can be like a soap bubble

central park

Walking through Central Park in New York can be really enjoyable. You see pure nature, beautiful art, dancing acrobats and fun artist like this guy who was blowing big soap bubbles. It is a joy to watch people and dog’s reaction to it. Adults are mostly ignoring it and keep walking, the kids are running after the bubbles with big smiles and dogs trying to catch and bite into the bubbles.

Reflecting on that, our lives can be like a soap bubble.

Soap bubbles are colourful like our dreams and we follow them. If we have faith and believe in it, opportunities suddenly show up just in front of us – like a soap bubble. We get excited and trying to catch it.

central park
life can be like a soap bubble

Chase your dreams, achieve your goals and celebrate success. Don’t forget to open your mind in order to see the choices given to you. Stop worrying and being sad about issues you may have in your life as it will stop you from seeing what is actually happening right in front of you. Don’t be blind. Do not hesitate, grab your chances and enjoy the moment.

catching a soap bubble is like chasing our dreams
catching a soap bubble is like chasing our dreams

Remember, if we wait for too long, the bubble will just disappear as quickly as it showed up. Life is too short, so go and get started, open your mind and catch your dreams otherwise you might miss out in life.

Chauchilla cemetery near Nazca in Peru

desert Nazca

When I was in Peru, we visited the Chauchilla cemetery near Nazca.

desert Nazca
Chauchilla cemetery

This discovery of the cemetery was in 1920s and covers a period of 600- 700 years. Unfortunately this cemetery had been plundered by grave robbers who have left human bones and pottery scattered around. Since 1997 the Peruvian law protects this place. Nowadays tourists can take a tour to this ancient cemetery and see the mummies.

The bodies are preserved due to the dry climate in the Peruvian desert. They were clothed in cotton, then painted with a resin and kept in tombs made from mud bricks. The mummies still have their hair and skin.

I found this pretty amazing but also ‘creepy’.

mummification
Mummy in the Cemetery of Chauchilla

 

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Creepy.”