How to find yourself

Noosa beach

In the modern westernised world you can get pretty much everything done you need; you can buy already prepared meals, you can hire people to help you cleaning your home and fix your car, you can even hire a dog walker if you need to. Have you ever wondered how it is like if you had to do everything yourself?

I was raised in the East part of Germany (German Democratic Republic); you had to work out lots of the things you need yourself. We were not able to buy fresh fruits and vegetable unless you had your connections and you couldn’t just go and buy material for fixing up your home. We had to find your own way and improvise. My mum was growing our own fresh vegetables and fruits in the garden and cooked a beautiful tasty meal with it. My dad fixed the car and motobike or anything which needed to be repaired in the house. There was no way we had money to spend on others cleaning our house. Looking back I believe it helped me a lot to live my own life when I moved countries and had to stay on my own feet. I was never used to learn from my mum’s cooking, I wasn’t interested in it. Living on my own made me learn how to cook and now it is a hobby of mine.

Moving countries and living far away from your family makes you definitely stronger. You suddenly have to rely on yourself. Whoever has been through this knows what I am talking about. You will be amazed how suddenly you can cope on your own. Maybe you are about to make a decision to leave your family to live on your own in another country or you just would like to go for a holiday on your own but you are unsure how it will turn out? Go for it. You will develop skills you didn’t think you would be able to.  Being in that situation you will be forced to fend for yourself and to discover what really interest you as there is nobody who will influence you. Take control of areas you don’t feel comfortable with. Maybe you never knew how to cook but being on your own and not wanting to spend so much money you suddenly learn that it actually is not hard at all.

Gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Take comfort in knowing that you can rely on yourself. It is an amazing feeling looking back and how far you have come and developed skills you haven’t even known before.

Get lost to find yourself

Noosa beach
Get lost to find yourself

There is beauty in everything, just not everybody sees it

sunset

I was on a 3 day cruise for the first time in my life which was an interesting experience. Before going to dinner I had some chill out time with my friends on the balcony while watching the sunset. Quickly I had to get my camera, what beautiful colours we could see in the sky. I love sunsets and sunrises, for me these are the best times of the day. Just looking at it makes me feeling relaxed and happy.

Now, how many times do we not see this beautiful play of nature because we are busy at and with work or we are carried away with our thoughts of worries about the future? I agree, too often.

Get out there, open your eyes and mindset, stop worrying and make time to see the beauty in everything. Not everybody sees it but you can if you chose to.

There is beauty in everything, just not everybody sees it

sunset
beautiful coloured sky at sunset

Why Buenos Aires should be on your bucket list

You arrived in Buenos Aires and now what? Where to stay, what to do and see might be your next question. I was in Buenos Aires three times last year, unfortunately it was raining all the time but lucky it stopped at least for a few hours. However, with your right mindset it doesn’t really matter as there are lots of things you can visit and do indoors.

I stayed in a really nice small hotel in Recoleta. The neighborhood is a very nice and safe area for people who are interested in historical and architectural buildings. The famous Recoleta cemetery is the place where Eva Peron is resting after her death in 1952. She was the second wife of Argentinian President Juan Peron and served as the First Lady of Argentina from 1946 until her death.

If you like, go and visit the Pink house (Casa Rosada) and the famous balcony you know from the musical Evita on which Juan and Eva Peron were preaching to the Argentinians. It is located on Plaza de Mayo.

Pink hous Argentina
Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires

and here is a photo of the famous balcony:

The famous balcony of the pink house in Buenos Aires
The famous balcony of the pink house in Buenos Aires

Enjoy some time inside Casa Rosada in the courtyard:

fountain
inside the pink house of Eva Peron in Buenos Aires

and the beautiful architecture:

The pink house of Eva Peron in Buenos Aires
The pink house of Eva Peron in Buenos Aires

Don’t miss to visit the Cathedral from Buenos Aires.

church argentina
Cathedral from Buenos Aires

Enough from sightseeing? Stroll along the streets of Buenos Aires.

streets of Buenos Aires
streets of Buenos Aires

You want to stop for a bit of shopping? There are plenty of opportunities in Buenos Aires but if you are rather interested in art have a look at the ‘Galerias Pacifico‘ –  shopping mall with its majestic painting on the ceiling; it is on street Florida 787.

majestic art on the shopping mall ceiling
Galerias Pacifico shopping mall in Buenos Aires with its famous painting on the ceiling

Another interesting place to see is the well known book store El Ateneo Grand Splendid. For more details please read my previous post el ateneo grand splendid:

El Ateneo Grand Splendid
El Ateneo Grand Splendid the famous book store in Buenos Aires

What would be Argentina without a nice glass of Malbec? Have a rest in Aldo’s Vinoteca in Calle Moreno, 372 MonserratBuenos Aires. 

wine in Buenos Aires
Aldo’s vinoteka in Buenos Aires

La Boca is worth a visit but I recommend to come back to the city before it is getting dark.

the cat is watching the tourists in La Boca

The suburb which I really liked was San Telmo. San Telmo has its charm, is a bit arty with its weekly markets, cafes and restaurants. Don’t miss to visit this neighborhood and stay overnight if you can.

Take some tango lessons and enjoy the dinner show.

I will share some photos about San Telmo in my next travel post. A little preview here:

cafe La poesia in San Telmo, Buenos Aires
cafe La poesia in San Telmo, Buenos Aires

Stay tuned. Happy travel.

Feel deeply, enjoy simply, think freely to be happy

Have you ever noticed that the happiest people don’t have the best of everything but they make the most of everything. We can learn from them to live our life in the now and here. Happiness is not a destination but a journey to enjoy simple things in life, to think freely and to feel deeply and sometimes to go for the risk to live in happiness.

Happiness comes from within. Let’s sit still in our beautiful nature, watch the sunset even when the sky is grey, meditate if you love to and find peace within yourself. Forgive others who might have upset you. Move on and look forward.

Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.

– Storm Jameson –

blue hour
Be happy when skies are grey

Difference is what makes life fabulous

street dance

Wouldn’t it be boring when everybody would be the same? If you are somebody who is trying to be like someone you admire; don’t. Be yourself. You are unique the way you are and don’t change to please others. Only if you are true to yourself you will find happiness.

Being different can be rough though; you might feel isolated. Accept yourself whatever your own personal difference is, love yourself for who you are. If you are not getting acceptance from your current work place or friends, ask yourself: do I accept myself?

Start believing and accepting yourself first and you subconsciously will make different choices in your life. You will be more confident in what you are doing, who you are and the way you look like. If work is not accepting you, change your job and find a place where people accept you the way you are. The friends who don’t accept you, are not your true friends anyways. It might sounds hard but get rid of them. Remember – somewhere out there, someone thinks you’re absolutely fabulous.

When you walk around your city and observe people, do you realise how similar most people look. They have similar hair styles, colours and outfits. Be yourself and be different. That makes life interesting. People who actually are different and confident with themselves are the ones attracting all sorts of people around them. They love themselves and have a great personality. I love watching people in fancy outfits and cool haircuts . They make our life more colourful.

Don’t try to be somebody you are not, you will come across as fake. Sometimes you might end up in a workplace where they think you should be different to their standards – don’t – if your personality doesn’t fit in, find a place where it does. Some years ago a recruiter told me that I need to change my hair colour from red to dark as it would not be suitable for an accounting firm. I was not impressed by that statement. My response was: ‘I don’t change my hair colour for anybody but just for myself. If they don’t like my hair colour, they don’t like my personality then this is simply not the place I would fit in.’ I am not changing my personality to suit others, this is my life and life can be too short.

Go crazy and be yourself. Live your life to its fullest potential and have fun.

Difference is what makes life fabulous

street dance
Difference is what makes life fabulous

Why is the kangaroo the symbol of Australia?

What comes to your mind when thinking of Australia? For me it is the kangaroo. It is the symbol for Australia but why?

The Australian symbol ‘the Kangaroo’ appeared first in 1773 with the publication of an official account of Captain Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific. Captain Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour arrived back in England in 1771 and carried a number of different types of plants and animals. One of them was a kangaroo, shot at Endeavour River for voyage naturalist Joseph Banks. He commissioned George Stubbs to paint a portrait of the kangaroo.

After that the kangaroo quickly became a symbol of Australia. Since Federation in 1901, the kangaroo can be found on coins and emblems, stamps and is a mascot at sporting events.

The kangaroo and the emu are bearers on the Australian coat of arms. Those animals were chosen to signify a country moving ‘forward’ because of a belief that neither can move backward.

Below is a photo of a kangaroo I have taken in Tasmania.

Kangaroo
Australia’s symbol the kangaroo

A Kangaroo mum with little Joey.

kangaroo baby
kangaroo baby

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

Climb the mountains to reach your goals

mountains

In my previous post I talked about knowing your mission and setting your goals along the way. In case you have missed that post “ever thought about your goals in life?” click here.

Now it is about making decisions in order to achieve your goals. Having smaller and achievable goals which all lead you to your big achievement in the end helps you to stay motivated. Set yourself up for challenges, something you always wanted to do but you cannot find the time or you are getting scared and put things on hold for later. Remember, later may be too late, life is short.

Don’t put things off and don’t get lost in your busy daily schedule. Make time and don’t be scared. Get out of your comfort zone and just do it. Trust your instinct and don’t worry about what others think.

When I made my decision to move to Australia 8 years ago, I went through times where I was excited and scared at the same time. You ask yourself questions like: what will happen, what would happen if I stay etc. It is the uncertainty and the fear which makes us looking for excuses and to put things off. For me I just trusted my instinct and here I am in Australia for 8 years now. I definitely got out of my comfort zone, left my home country, left friends and family behind to live on the other side of the globe. Doing so, you learn a lot about yourself and I do not regret my decision at all. It actually feels good once you got out of your normal routine and followed your dream.

When working towards our goals we most likely will encounter obstacles in life. However, instead of getting frustrated with it, see it as lessons to learn to become a stronger and better you.

Most of you will know the feeling of hiking in the mountains. The top of the mountain is your goal and the way is the journey of your life, going through ups and downs, you will experience rain, wind but also sunshine. Once you have been through all this and you reached the top, you feel amazing and happy.

Climb the mountains to reach the top of your life

mountains
Climb every mountain

This photo has been taken in Fitzroy National Park, Patagonia in Argentina. We started early in the morning, it was cold, windy at some stages, then hot and back to being cold; by the way that is normal weather in Patagonia. One hour before you reach the top, it was hot and sunny. That part of the hike was pretty steep but once you reached the glacier lake and you actually could see the beautiful Fitzroy mountain range, you forget about everything and you cannot believe that you actually made it.

Go and follow your dreams, get out of your comfort zone and live in happiness.

Wishing you a happy day.

Why should you visit Lake Titicaca – photos from Uros, the floating island

Uros island

You made it to Lake Titicaca, great. Once you visited Taquile Island, another must to see are the floating islands. I have been to Uros Island, but before you actually go I recommend to have some local lunch. Since I was on a gadvanture trip, we were lucky to be invited at a family’s place who cooked just for us.

The entree was a home baked bread which you can see in the bowl on the top of the photo, together with a tomato and chilli salsa, followed by a yummi quinoa soup and as main a fresh trout from Lake Titicaca. It can’t be any better than that.

Peruvian trout
fresh trout from lake titicaca

The family who cooked for us were dressed up in traditional clothes and very friendly. The Peruvian cuisine is seriously the best I know. It uses lots of fresh produce, vegetables and the super seed ‘quinoa’. If you love eating healthy like me, you will be in paradise.

Peruvian lady from Lake TIticaca
This Peruvian lady cooked the most amazing trout fresh from Lake Titicaca. We had quinoa soup as a starter, some homemade amazing bread with tomatoe salsa and fresh trout from the lake.

The little cheeky boy was playing hiding with us. What a cutie.

Peruvian boy
a little peruvian boy on Taquile Island

…the little boy with his grandpa. A traditional Peruvian family living in simple conditions and seem to be the most happiest people you can imagine.

happy family from Taquile Island, Peru
happy family from Taquile Island, Peru

Once you have a happy tummy, go and visit one of the floating islands. I have never seen something like this before and couldn’t imagine you can live like this. As you can see on the photo, a storm was approaching.

Floating island, peru
Uros the floating island on Lake Titicaca, Peru

Once you arrive at this little island you will be welcomed by singing locals in their colourful traditional clothes:

Uros island
the women from Uros the floating island in Peru, Lake Titicaca

A little girl was happily jumping around, being very excited about the visitors:

traditional floating island
little girl from Uros Island, Lake Titicaca

…a bit curious too:

little girl from Uros Island, Lake Titicaca
little girl from Uros Island, Lake Titicaca

…now being exhausted after running around:

playing little girl on Taquile Island, Peru
playing little girl on Taquile Island, Peru

The locals selling their handcrafted art:

Life on Uros Island, Peru
Life on Uros Island, Peru

Lake Titicaca was the last place in Peru before I travelled further to Patagonia. I fell in love with Peru, the friendly people who live happily in their simplicity. The Peruvian cuisine is one of the best I know, it has an influence of the asian cuisine but uses the Peruvian natural ingredients.

I definitely will come back to Peru. I am currently thinking of doing some volunteer work in Cusco in the next year. If anybody of you had some great experiences to share, I would be more than happy to hear about it. Please feel free to comment.

More travel stories from Patagonia will follow soon. Stay tuned.

Have a lovely day.

Alex

When one door closes, another door opens

colourful Santa Catalina

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where things don’t go ahead as planned. Maybe you were applying for your dream job and you didn’t get it; maybe your heart just got broken by your partner or you booked your amazing holiday but then it got cancelled because of external other reasons you couldn’t control. These are typical situations where a door is closing. We get disappointed and wonder why this happened. We are sad.

But hey, remember, everything happens for a reason. The job you were hoping to get, did not work out for you because a better one is waiting for you just around the corner. The partner who broke your heart wasn’t loving you, so why would you want to waste your time. Maybe your soul mate is waiting for you but you need to be free for him. Maybe your dream holiday wasn’t such a great choice and you are getting a better deal for less money now.

Keep in mind, where one door closes, another door opens. We need to free up our mind and believe in ‘everything happens for a reason’. Your mind will be open and suddenly you can see things clearly. New ways will show up just in front of you. It may take some time but at the end of your journey you will realise and learn why the first option was not a good one for you


When one door closes, another door opens

The photo below was taken in Santa Catalina, Arequipa, Peru. I loved the colours of the doors. You can see how one door leads to another one. Go for it and open your mind. Do you want to read more about Arequipa in Peru: click here for Part 1 and click here for part 2.

colourful Santa Catalina
colourful doors of Santa Catalina

Continue reading “When one door closes, another door opens”

Who I am and why I am here

I love landscape photography and published my own website in October 2014. Back then I was getting excited to travel to Southamerica for 2 months. All I wanted to do in the beginning was to share my photos from my travelling with friends and family, so I decided to create a blog. It takes some time to get familiar with blogging and to get used to find some time to actually write something. Once I came back from my travelling, I wasn’t really active with my blog but going through all my photos and remembering the stories I had experienced and lessons I learned I suddenly could see a greater purpose of what I want to achieve with my blog.

I wanted more than just sharing my travel itinerary and showing my photos but to take you with me on my journey. There is a difference between being a tourist and being a traveller. For me the most enjoyable part of travelling is to live in and experience the different cultures, to eat the food the locals eat, to understand their values and history but for most of it to enjoy and respect the beautiful nature god has given to us around the world.

Seeing colleagues in the office closing the blinds of the windows because the sun is shining but not seeing how the sun is trying to break through the beautiful amazing big layer of fog covering the Harbour bridge of Sydney or missing out on colourful sunsets and sunrises, makes me want to scream. How can you be so busy not to see and admire this? Also seeing lots of people not believing in themselves but just doing a job to earn money so they can pay their rent, makes me sad.

I want to break through that vicious cycle and want you to open your eyes and realise how beautiful our mother nature is. My mission is to inspire you to be a happier person and to live your life to its fullest potential.

That’s when I started to launch my happiness blog, in which I pick one of my photographs I took from beautiful places around the world and tell a story which helps you to find your own happiness and to embrace the little and simple things in life.

Travelling especially through South America was an eye-opener making me realise how rich our lives in the westernised world are and that we shouldn’t have any reason to complain about anything.

My mission is to inspire you, to change your mindset and maybe even your life reading my stories. We easily forget about our positive things in life until the day you travel to third world countries which open your eyes if you choose to. I hope I can kick your travel bug and you will travel to those places and see the magic in our world. If you can’t afford your dream trip yet, don’t worry, keep reading and I will take you on my journey. When you close your eyes you might even be able to feel what I was feeling when traveling to those places.

Welcome to my blog. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on each post. Share my blog with your friends if you like it.

If you are interested in my photos, hop over to my website (you can find the link in the menu), you will be able to buy prints. The lab I am using is a professional great quality lab in the US. Feel free to send me an email if you have any other queries I can help with or if you wish to license photos.

Peru
Me and the Lake Titicaca

Alex