March 3, 2024
Wow! Morning rain and traffic jams, train cancelled, boss grumbles at you, headache throbs, annoying WhatsApp note in the family group, account balance at half mast, no time for the really nice things, again—wait a minute!
By living out of a suitcase, meeting people from all over the world, and experiencing first-hand poverty, resourcefulness, and other ways of life, I have learned how little it takes for people to find happiness. I am tired of complaining about rain clouds at a high level while somewhere there are people engaging in war or taking refuge in unnecessary consumption. Here are five ideas that may quicky make your everyday life happier and they don’t cost a cent. Ready?
November 4, 2023
I admire how you simply live your dreams, work from the road and follow your intuition!
I'm always happy to receive nice compliments like this. Especially when I can encourage others or give them thoughts and inspiration. But I need to do some housecleaning here.
I think that too many funny travelogues, photos in jubilant poses in front of white mountain peaks and ravings about freedom and courage lead to my alphabet soup lacking a few important sentences.
Sentences such as: "I can't take it anymore," "I lay on the sofa and cried," "I didn't know what to do," "I didn't have a plan," or "I was scared."
So, what about the good and happy life, the positivity and encouragement I constantly try to share? I think it’s time for the groundskeeper to come and lay a ground cloth of truth and fact.
June 22, 2023
"I always listen to the news in the morning, so I can get upset about something," my neighbor says almost enthusiastically. Geez, what's wrong with us humans? Why do we always want to get upset, write hate speech on the internet, envy someone or criticize how other people live, think or believe?
In all my travels, I've learned one thing above all: gratefulness. For not having to live in a corrugated iron hut in a favela, for not having bombs falling on my house and for having enough food.
But I have also seen dear people die, have an incurable, chronic illness for five years, and have friends who had to endure everything from a miscarriage to a cancer diagnosis. So I could really hate life instead. But I've decided I'd rather be grateful. Here's why.
February 26, 2023
I've always wondered what would happen if there were no trail markers, the cell phone battery died, the GPS device fell into the river, and the folding map blew where Bob Dylan's answers blow: into the wind.
So far, I think I would have simply been toast.
But after viewing the wilderness lecture, I'm full of enthusiasm. Sun position, wind, sounds, smells, and landmarks can all come together in my head to form a complete plan about the terrain. All without Google Maps, "You are here" arrows, signs, or similar trail aids.
A few days later, my boyfriend drops me off on a small dirt trail in a valley and gives me the task of finding him and the car at the same spot after a round of hiking without a map. Who could have known that a few miles later I'd be stumbling haphazardly through a river, staring at giant cat tracks, and one particularly path-defining smell would be my own fear sweat.
December 24, 2022
Have you ever noticed how frequently we just fritter away our lives simply by thinking about what we could do, or regretting something we should have done? Rather than actually doing something?
How crazy it is that we first make plans and create visions, only to become lethargic, afraid, or unwilling to spend the money. Then we regret that we wound up doing nothing, and now it is too late. So much of our lives are lost in daydreams and regrets instead of investing that same time in what is most important: finally doing the shit we want to do!
And because humans tend to read thought-provoking articles like this one, giving it a nod of approval, and then forget the thoughts the article as soon as they read the last sentence, here come five concrete suggestions on things we should do more often, starting right now!
September 23, 2022
Terri and I sit together in the small coffee shop at the Panama Hotel in Seattle. Five minutes ago we met in
person for the first time, although we have known each other much longer on Instagram.
"...and that's why I think it's good that we were able to meet today. My uncle was only 62 when he died of cancer.
Time is so precious," I say.
"Oh God, Sarah, we've barely sat down and we're already talking about death," Terri interjects, a little startled.
Why try to run away from that topic mentally? Shit doesn't get less shitty because we avoid talking about it. On the contrary, once we become aware of it, and if we think about it beforehand, we have much more control over how we react to it.
So let's talk about death!
August 21, 2022
m standing on a rugged ridge near the top of mountain. "And when I count to three, you run and don't stop running until we're in the air!" my jump guide implores me.
Run? On this nearly vertical runway? If I take even one step, I'll drop over the side of the mountain and then that's it. This dude cannot be playing with a full deck!
But my bucket list included "paragliding." Because I'm sure it's awesome. Especially in the Alps. And we're in the Alps. Three weeks of hiking and adventure in Bavaria. Promised to my boyfriend, who really wants to see more of Germany. And as much as I get a fit when I hear oom-pah music and see Oktoberfest goofiness, the mountains in this somewhat strange German state are simply terrific. And those huge, solid mountains are what we're going to jump off. Now.
March 26, 2022
I love my dreadlocks. But there are so many rumors about this kind of hair. Don't they stink with time? Aren't there problems when washing it? Don't they get moldy with time?
The answer to these questions is a bit complex: Nope.
In this report I tell you briefly and honestly about my first year with dreadlocks, clear up myths and strange Youtube videos, and write about practically tested and personally experienced pros and cons.
By the way, I got my dreads put in for my 30th birthday. Because I'm absolutely convinced that it's never too late
to do anything in life and that you only get old if you keep telling yourself "I’m too old to do that".
February 19, 2022
“I’ve Never Been to New York”. Almost all Germans know this song. About a guy who goes out to buy a pack of cigarettes and realizes he has everything he needs to just take off. Even a passport. Everything seems to be perfect: He knows he could hail a cab and it is very likely that there is a flight to New York that evening. So what does he do?
Nothing. He goes home.
I have never been to New York, I was never really free, once being crazy and cross all limits. As I listen, I suddenly shout through the music, “Yes! Go ahead! Do it!” My car window is open. Some guy gawks at me from the next lane. Maybe because of my outburst. So what? Let them all gawk. Go and get those “cigarettes”. Now.
April 24, 2021
The desire to be happy about something. Happy with your job, your relationship, your children, your house, your leisure time, or your hobbies. Or simply happy with life. Joy of life, or as the French would say, “joie de vivre.”. It is one of the few desires shared by all people in the world. And yet it often seems to get lost in everyday life.
"I was so stressed at work again today," we say. "My partner and I have been arguing a lot lately."
What is it with this thing called joy of life? How does someone get happy? A few years ago, a long journey completely obliterated my entire previous life, and I essentially had to start over from scratch. Since that time, my personal happiness has worked out well. And so here is my attempt at writing my own guide to happiness.
February 21, 2021
There are little imps who grow up and move away from home and cannot do anything. They cannot hold a hammer, they cannot pound in a nail, even improperly. At the hardware store, they just run against the big glass entrance door.
I know because I was such a child.
So, what happened? Right! Maximum creativity ran head-on into minimal specialist knowledge. I finally got to the point in life where I wanted to create something. And that is exactly the kind of crazy shit I am doing now. A huge teepee in my living room, a wooden cottage in my bedroom, an industrial ambience in my bathroom. Yes, I am talking about the same loser who could not even hammer a nail into a piece of wood before. How did this happen, why it can also happen to you, and how you can do all of this? Now. Here.
Novenber 28, 2020
I open the message. It is short.
Hi Sarah, Frank died this morning.
I stand in the middle of the room and stare at the wall. The window seems about ready to burst and rain into a thousand splinters on the street. Suddenly the wood paneling seems as if it is pulsating, and the floor below me begins to sag. Frank is a friend from Los Angeles, whom I met in 2017 on my solo trip through the USA for several months. I knew he had cancer.
Folks—you need to go and visit your family, call your friends, do not spend all your time working overtime at your job, but spend it with the people you love or care about, whatever it costs. Here come wondrous memories of a great person—and a thousand reasons why you should never wait!
October 29, 2020
I am in the high-risk area of the world. The country that is at the forefront of evil and where everything seems to be out of control with worldwide travel warnings and so on. I'm in the United States. And even though I am in the hotspot of superspreading with one foot in the grave, I feel as good and as far away from the world as I have been for a long time. What I have decreed for myself: no news, no disconcertment, no drama.
I am in the wilderness. It is lonely, rugged, and beautiful. No one is irritating me, and the constant din of the crazy world becomes merely a murmur in the background. This is the moment when I know: I'm out.
What you can do to reduce stress in these times and how you find back to balance
June 6, 2020
The guy at airport security looks at the boxes and bottles in my hand luggage like something fishy was going on here. “What is that?” he asks. I want to shout, “COCAINE!” loudly.
But then I realize that if I said that, I would probably spend the rest of the day in solitary confinement rather than on the airplane. So I decide to tell him the truth. “These are my medications. I have a chronic illness. I have my certificate with me.”
I did not let the diagnosis spoil my mood from the
beginning. Not even with my prolonged travels. Long-term travel with my chronic illness goes somewhere between a full crisis and a laughing fit.
May 24, 2020
I’m sixteen and I go to my favorite bookstore. I want to purchase a new book written by a well-known writer of German thrillers. So I go to the crime section of the store. Just to realize that I have forgotten the name of the author. After only a few seconds, my normal feelings of insecurity and stupidity become overwhelming. Between pathetic and panic.
Worthless. For many years, I felt as if my life was totally worthless. In this article I will take a very personal look at topics that concern many, but only a few are able to speak about openly: bullying, self-doubt, lack of self-confidence. How do you get out of this shit and finally realize: I can do it. And I am great!
July 5, 2019
Wind tears the blaring silence apart like a velvet curtain on the stage in complete darkness. Dry grass bends over in the invisible air currents until it touches the dusty ground. These are the
only sounds on that evening, just before the golden hour, before the sun disappears behind the black edges of the rocks. Sure?
My eyes are fixing the mountain range - and the mountains seem to look back. I feel something like a second heartbeat inside me. The call of the mountains. With the intensity of an electric shock. Here comes the attempt to explain the fascination of mountain hiking.
June 2, 2019
Marh 31, 2019
I have to brake hard. I have a truck behind me. Who doesn't seem to care much about the stopping cars. I can barely see anything. But I do think a lot. One thing above all: Please don't let it be over! When I get home, I start to think about that incident again. Why I was so scared. About The End. After all, we all have to die. But not now.
Today, two years later, I close my eyes at the abyss of the deep red canyon. My legs are hanging down the deep gorge. What if. I smile and a deep peace is filling me. Not now? Not anymore. How I lost my fear of death.
June 17, 2018
Like a misguided firework my thoughts are racing colourfully and burning through the room.
Which feelings are still normal or right? Should I leave everything and run away or throw away everything and stay? Why am I suddenly not happy anymore? Will I really gonna make it?
Here comes a dash of courage, rumbling against the bow of Panic-Titanic. For all of you who are planning on a long, far or great trip – alone or together.
June 3, 2018
I’m driving from the north-eastern entrance of the Yellowstone National Park to Red Logde, Montana, via US Highway 212. Behind this unspectacular number hides one of the most beautiful streets in the world: Beartooth Highway.
I will to take you on
a road trip over this awesome road. Beyond clouds and above lakes, through hail storms and along vertical precipices. What to see, where to stop and why it is one of the top rated scenic highways
in the US.
March 17, 2018
A couple of pale green palms are shaking in the wind right next to the main street. Instead of looking
forward to my road trip I’m panicking because I was neither able to understand the English contract of the rental car nor the traffic rules.
I established this mini series called “Road Trips & Rental Cars” to give advice for things you need to do and consider when you are renting a car. I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions to make your road trip the most fascinating, save and uncomplicated adventure.
February 20, 2018
Legendary Route 66: By looking up pictures of Route 66 you will mostly find spectacular sunsets behind red rocks and a horizon with a never ending street. But this
is only part of the truth. Did you know that Route 66 does not even exist? And that Americans wonder about all the tourists going down that pretty useless road with lots of potholes instead of
taking the smooth and new interstates?
Here we go with 5 myths about Route 66 - and lots of surprises!
February 10, 2018
The 80-year-old French lady is looking puzzled. She is not speaking one word of English. We are smiling. We
don’t speak one word of French. Because we decided to learn Latin at school when we were 12. Shit happens.
Are you scared of traveling a certain country because of language barriers? Are you worried that you will disgrace yourself or be completely lost? Here you’ll find encouragement, hacks and many things to laugh about. You’ll see – there is nothing you have to worry about!
February 2, 2018
A little piece of confetti is blinking the soft sunset light. Then it is ripped apart from the grey wall by the wind and drifting down the narrow alleys of cobblestone roads. Between old lanterns and gables that seem to lean towards to each other you can spot a white cathedral with onion domes. The bohemian side of town Montmartre of Paris is a labyrinth made out of galleries, street art and tiny restaurants. Here it is an obligation to lose yourself and your head. Throw away your map, deactivate your data and follow the pieces of confetti.
January 26, 2018
Colorful wind chime jingle gently in the breeze. The sky stretches across the horizon like a huge blue canvas. Rough rocks drag jagged shadows into the chipped asphalt. A road sweeps a length of some 65 miles. This is the scenic Turquoise Trail in New Mexico, which cuts through an enchanting landscape of red rocks and sandy shrub-steppe. This is a true road trip, not some fast ride from one spot to another on the Interstate. On this road, your only clock will be: timelessness.
August 7, 2017
A short summary of all the weird, funny and sad things I discovered during my 4-month-trip across the United States. Small and big oddities. Things to laugh about, things worth crying for, things to think about. America through the eyes of a German with a German-American heart. Be aware: this text probably contains irony.