Flying, bird concerts, koalas and rhinos

This week’s Tuesday Tales HAS to be Anja since she’s just spent a week’s holiday with me here on Koh Samui.

Colleen in former West Germany, Anja in former East Germany

Where the Berlin wall USED to be – Colleen in former West Germany, Anja in former East Germany

1. How do we know each other?
We met at work while you lived in Germany. It was that nice office at the fourth floor and we went through an SLA report :-)

2. Describe yourself using adjectives that start with the letters in your first name? (E.g. Bob – bubbly, organised, bashful)
A – artistic  N – natural  J – judicious  A – amiable

3. If you could be any age for the rest of your life, what age would you choose? Why?
I really like my age right now.  I am always keen to learn new things and my brain and body just cope with it :-)

4. What country do you live in?

5. How many countries have you lived in?
Considering the history, I have officially lived in two countries. Until 1990 I lived in the eastern part of Germany known as the ‘German Democratic Republic’. Since the German reunification, I now live in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Yoga on the beach in Thailand

Yoga on the beach in Thailand

6. How many countries have you visited (not including airport stop-overs)?
25 (Thailand was the 25th)

7. What’s your favourite method of travelling?  Plane, boat, train or car? (Or anything else)
Working for an airline I prefer to fly to awesome places all around the world. Being there I prefer to have a car and the freedom to experience everything at my own pace and schedule.

8. What are your 5 favourite foods?
Strawberries, Gingerbread, Raspberry and mango sorbet, All kinds of spaghetti dishes. This is quite hard – so for the fifth, I’d have to go with Rice with steak and Letscho.

9. What is the craziest food you’ve ever eaten? Would you recommend it?
Well, crazy is subjective – one would say Haggis is crazy but not the Scottish, some would say abalone (sea snail) is crazy but not the Namibian, other would say black pudding is crazy but not the German – I have eaten them all and would recommend all of them.

On the runway in Frankfurt

On the runway in Frankfurt

10. What is your most memorable experience from your travelling?
During my childhood we spent vacations relatively close (political circumstances limited the possible destinations). My grandparents had a globe in the cupboard and I used to take it out, spin it and look for exotic countries. Years later, when I was 18, for the first time in my life I boarded an aircraft and this flight changed everything. It was a flight from Dresden to Frankfurt on a grey, cloudy winter morning. After take-off we passed the clouds and for the first time ever I saw the sun rising above the clouds. Since then I knew it was possible for me to see the world. On that day I flew there for an aptitude test for an apprenticeship and soon after started working for an airline. Ever since I have travelled the world and experienced many awesome, memorable moments. There is much more to see!

11. Name a beautiful sound that you heard on your travels.
Staying in a small B&B on Big Island, Hawaii there was no artificial sound at night but a concert by birds, frogs and insects – it was simply fascinating.

12. Excluding your passport and purse, what are 2 things you NEVER travel without?
My DSLR camera and either a laptop or tablet to make safety copies of my photos. I love taking photos and I try my best to not lose them.

13. How many languages can you speak?
Only two – German and English. I’m still trying to learn Spanish with medium success up until now.

In the Kalahari, camera at the ready

In the Kalahari, camera at the ready

14. Which languages can you say, ‘How are you?’ in?
Three – German, English and Spanish. When travelling in another country I usually learn a few words from their language but somehow those didn’t stick.

15. What are your 3 best packing tips?
Use a packing list – makes it so much easier, use always the same list – it saves so much time, remember the basics – passport, flight ticket and credit card. All the rest can be purchased if forgotten.

16. What are some of the wildest animals you’ve ever touched?
Being from Europe touching a kangaroo and a koala was definitely exotic but  they were not really wild, but in a sanctuary.

Laguna Torres in Los Glaciares NP, Argentina

Laguna Torres in Los Glaciares NP, Argentina

17. Which oceans have you paddled or swum in?
Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Thailand

18. If someone had told you 5 years ago that you would be where you are now, would you have believed them?
Actually I would not have believed that I found a job in which even after 2.5 years I still get excited when telling about it.

19. What techno-gadgets do you own?
My Galaxy tab and my fancy camera.

Koala bear cuddles

Koala bear cuddles

20. Who would you like to sit next to on a long-distance journey and why?
I simply like to sit next to a person I know when on a flight. I fly a lot but I’m not really calm especially during take-off. So a bit of conversation is always welcome.

21. Your craziest experience and if relevant, would you recommend it?
Crazy is not a word describing me – so there are not really crazy experiences to tell. Asking my mum she would disagree since most of our trips are crazy for her. Maybe this one is a bit crazy: being in Namibia we went on an afternoon drive. Usually you need to stay in the car but this time the driver asked us to leave the car and we walked through some bushes until we were right next to a rhino couple. We were just meters away – what an awesome experience. Actually both were raised at the farm and the guide sees them every day and knows their mood. Luckily they were in good mood that day.

22. Something that you’d like to try… (food or experience – keep it clean please!)
I want to see the aurora borealis. The first attempt to see it is planned for later this year in Canada.

Walking up the steps to a hilltop church in Florence

Walking up the steps to a hilltop church in Florence

23. When you fly, do you prefer to arrive at the airport extra early or get there just in the nick of time? Why?
I like to arrive with enough time. Usually I arrive with less time in Frankfurt since I know the airport by heart. In foreign countries I tend to arrive with enough time in case something doesn’t work out as planned.

24. 2 important things you have learnt from your travels.
1. Even so it looks different the basics are the same everywhere.
2. The differences make the character and that is what one remembers from a journey.

25. What 3 points of advice would you give to would-be travellers?
1. If you want to go somewhere – plan it, save money and go. Don’t listen to the people who say you can’t.
2. Buy something small that reminds you every day of those beautiful places. Nothing that you put on a shelf to accumulate dust but things like a scarf, a hat, earrings, a bowl, something you really use. In winter I wear a hat from New Zealand, a scarf from the US, earrings from South Africa and so on.
3. Last but not least look for the details around. A view can be beautiful but usually it is not that memory that sticks. Look around for structures, patterns, colours, plants and you will much better remember the smells and surroundings.

26. When was the last time you where completely disconnected from the Internet? How did you cope?
Last summer in Namibia I had an awesome 10 days without internet – no WhatsApp, no Facebook, nothing. What a wonderful time.

Hmm, I don’t know about that, Anja, being without internet sounds like torture for me :-) Thank you so much for taking part ()()()

Anja is an incredible photographer – if you’d like to check out your stunning photo gallery, click on her Flickr link HERE.





Tell me what you think about this post or just say hi...