Battling Writer’s Block and the last London Photographs

Hello World!

I am finally back after having suffered from writer’s block for two weeks.
To be honest, I wanted this post to be online yesterday, but my uploader did not work and I fell asleep.

I knew that this would happen, since I am an ambitious person and a perfectionist. Unfortunately.

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Being a perfectionist can be very helpful, but it often prevents me from doing spontaneous and imperfect things.

When it comes to blogging, this perfection often overwhelms me.
I really want to produce content which is interesting, or helpful, or at least a little bit special. I know my blog is nothing in comparison to other blogs, but that is not the point.

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My favourite record store in the backround

It is not about readers or clicks or likes. This blog shall be about experiences, memories, happiness and spreading love.
Even if I could ever make money with blogging, which is completely unrealistic (and not the purpose!!!), it should not lose its identity.

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Royal Arcades, London

Sometimes I wonder, if it is really necessary and if there is a sense why I am writing and sharing my photographs. And yes there is one: it is fun. And I love to connect with other people. To my mind, blogging is a great way to connect! Because so many people in the world are able to read your blog!

And this is, what it is all about. Sharing, caring, impressing and creativity.

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Subway Station

I started my first blog in 2012. And I failed and deleted it because I thought that nobody was interested in reading it. But I do not want to stop writing and blogging again. This would be a mistake.
I know that I could prepare blogposts, but I am not at that point yet.
I am not that productive yet.

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Anyway, today I am sharing with you my last London pictures. It is another mixture of Street Photographs and I hope you like them! Looking back, I really enjoyed my time in London, since it is such a wonderful city. I wish I could travel the country for a couple of weeks one day. Ireland and Scotland would be nice to see as well. 

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Taking the ferry

Please excuse me, when I am having my writer’s block again. I am fighting it.
Have a lovely week!

Sophie

My thoughts on MINIMALISM – happiness, a state of being or a state of having?

„Spend your money on experiences that are gonna feed your soul instead of stuff that’s gonna clutter up your life!“

…is one of my favourite quotes from a TED talks speaker, who held a speech about minimalism. I can highly recommend watching these speeches, they are so motivating, informing and inspiring!

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Today, I would like to talk about a topic which is very important for me: Minimalism.
When I was a child, I used to collect everything. Dolls, papers, leafs, everything.
My room was always full of useless clutter! Later, when I became more interested in clothes, shoes, make-up and stuff, I hoarded tons of these things and the more I bought, the unhappier I became. At that time, this did not make sense to me. I mean, we are almost conditioned to buy stuff in order to be happy. We always need the latest iPhone, that new pair of Nike Sneakers etc. Large business companies want us to maintain our consumerous lifestyle,  they keep on creating new innovations and produce products, which are „predestined“ to die after two years.

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After years of buying and tossing, I decided that I do not want to promote this lifestyle and I started watching Ted talks speeches about minimalism and downsizing.
In addition, I began to downsize my own stuff and stopped buying without thinking.
The point of minimalism is that you do not have to toss and sell everything in order to have all your belongings fit in one backpack, (don’t get me wrong, this is amazing!) but you have to create your own rules and live your personal minimalistic lifestyle, in order to become happy with less belongings!

Additionally, one side effect of minimalism is that you will have more money. Consequently, you can spend your money on experiences and travel for example and in most cases, these experiences will probably fulfill your life to an extent which consumer goods never will.
Why should we spent hundreds of dollars on a designer bag when we could also live in Thailand for a month for the same amount of money?

The less you own, the less you have to take care of.
And the less you own, the happier you will probably be.

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I really wanted to share my personal thoughts with you, and I would also love to write a „Minimalism Guide“ as well. Please let me know, if you are interested!
At the moment, I am often thinking about happiness and how to create a lifestyle and a mind-set which allows us to be happy and independent of how much money we have.
You may have wondered why I am showing you these pictures of me, sitting in front of a white wall. I do not really know. I guess it is because I love to take minimalistic photographs, because there is no clutter which distracts the viewer from the human being in the centre of the photo.

Have a nice and sunny week! Enjoy the little things.

Sophie

 

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Red and Jack the Ripper in London, UK

One of my favourite things to do when I am travelling is going for a walk and exploring all the different streets and places.
I have to admit that I only support guided tours to a certain extent, since you are not able to explore the city on your own.

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Jamie Oliver’s Diner! I wish I had the opportunity to eat out there!

But last year we took part in a Jack the Ripper Tour and it was amazing!
Our guide was very impressive, since he had a vast knowledge about history. Additionally, he used to be an actor.

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This record store was just amazing!

Anyway, I really enjoyed the tour. We were able to see so many different and partly hidden streets, which made the tour a great experience.

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The famous red busses.

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Having wandered around, I discovered many interesting places, stores and pubs. I wish I were able to visit them all! My best discovery was a grunge/indie/alternative/vintage record store! I almost bought Nirvana’s „In Utero“ recorded on vinyl.
But I did not and I still regret it!

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Telephone box twins.

When I am thinking about London, the first colour which comes to my mind is red.
Red busses, red telephone boxes, red mail boxes, red signs.
I like red, red is impressive and classy!

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The streets. 

I hope you enjoyed this kind of „uninformative“ blogpost.
Stay tuned and have a wonderful and hopefully sunny week!

Sophie

 

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One night in Bangkok, or three weeks in Thailand

Thailand. Islands, elephants, jungle, beaches, friendly people, Bangkok.
These are the first few words which come to my mind when I’m thinking about Thailand.
Lucky me, I am going to Thailand for three weeks in November.
We recently planned our trip which I will be sharing with you today.

After we will have arrived in BKK, we would like to take the night train and the ferry to Koh Samui, in order to go diving in Koh Tao and to join the full moon party on Koh Phangan, which will be on 3 November 2017.
I know this is very touristy and stereotypical but I guess if you have the chance to go, you will regret it if you don’t.

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Palm Trees, Koh Samui ’89
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Koh Samui ’89
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Koh Samui ’89

You may have noticed that these pictures look a little bit vintage and they are!
My mum used to travel a lot when she was younger and she also visited Thailand and Malaysia.
She took these pictures in 1989, using a slide film. I was very impressed when she talked about her travel experience and I decided to digitise her photographs.
I hope you enjoy looking at these pretty and old pictures!

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Koh Phangan ’89
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Koh Phangan ’89

If we still have time, we will take the bus to Krabi and Koh Phi Phi, but we decided that we want to be very spontaneous.

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Northern Thailand
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Elephants, Northern Thailand

After we will have discovered some of the paradisiac islands we will probably fly to Chiang Mai, in order to travel back to Bangkok.
Hopefully, we will have the chance to visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai.
I am still not quite sure, if the elephants are treated appropriately. I will have to read a little bit more about this place, since I do not want to promote animal cruelty.

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Young Woman, Northern Thailand
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Northern Thailand
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Chiang Mai
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Chiang Mai

Last but not least, we will be exploring Bangkok for a couple of days and celebrate my nineteenth birthday there. We thought that it might be less stressful to visit Bangkok at the end of our trip. We will see what happens and I am really excited!

I know that this post does not offer much travel relevant information but I thought you might enjoy these old photos. I am so curious in which way these places have changed the last 28 years.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Love, Sophie

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London Street Photography

I am obsessed with black and white Street Photography. And London is such a great place to take this kind of photographs.
Many photographers like to take pictures of empty streets and places, which is definitely a nice aesthetic. However, people bring life into boring photographs.

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I love taking pictures of people working or hurrying. This may sound a little bit weird, but to my mind, candid shots are the prettiest, because they show the human being as it truly is.

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These two men reminded me of the famous picture of the workers having their break, perched on the beam of a skyscraper in Manhattan.

Let’s talk about camera settings. My favourite way to take street photographs is using my  50mm aperture  lens, which is particularly powerful.
When photography was originally invented, there was no zoom and you had to move, in order to get the right perspective. And this is the interesting part about photography. Using a lens with fixed focal length, you are experiencing parts of the original way to take pictures. You have to figure out how you can capture a busy street for example, moving very quickly in order to take a great shot! You need to be active, not wandering around passively, using your tele-zoom.

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This is an every day situation. People in the subway station, grabbing their sunglasses, waiting, staring into my camera.

After having taken some pictures in the streets, I am using Lightroom and Photoshop to achieve the perfect „look“. My favourite settings are the saturation-, contrast- and lightness settings. Black and white street photographs are so magical, since you have to colour them in your mind.

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I love this setting. All the different elements make me ponder a story for this photo- but I can barely imagine one.
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No caption needed, I just love subway stations.

I really hope you enjoyed reading this post and hopefully you liked my London Street Photographs.
Have a wonderful week!

Xx, Sophie

Things you cannot miss in London

When I was fife years old, my Mum showed me a postcard of famous sights in London.
I was so impressed and decided that London is my favourite city. The funny thing is, that for 13 years, London was my favourite city, although  I had never been there before.
Last summer I was finally able to visit this beautiful place!

I have to admit that I cannot give you insider advice, but I would like to show you my photographs of different sights and my street photographs.
As you may know, I am very obsessed with photography, which is the reason why I am always looking through the viewfinder, trying new perspectives and motives.

Today, I am starting my London series with the most popular sights, which you probably already know.

Having arrived at the London City Airport, we went to Wynfrid House in Whitechapel, a hostel near Shoreditch which is very cheap.
Shoreditch is great! There are so many young people and everyone is so friendly and open-minded! If you want to go clubbing, the Village Underground is pretty famous and the people there are highly recommending it!

From Whitechapel, you can walk to the Tower Bridge, which is quite amazing!

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Tower Bridge

On our first day we also visited Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. I love this church and the architecture in general. Additionally, I am definitely a great fan of the royal family.
When I was twelve years old, I spent the whole day watching different shows about Kate’s and William’s wedding on TV. I even drew them!

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I guess you know the nickname of the bell…Did you know that the tower is officially known as Elisabeth Tower?

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After having admired these historical and beautiful buildings, we enjoyed a wonderful boat trip on the Thames. Boat trips are an amazing opportunity to see all the great sights near the Thames all at once.
I can highly recommend doing this, especially when you are not staying very long.

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The London Eye
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Waterloo Bridge

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As I love the royal family, I had to see Buckingham Palace, although many tourists told me that it would not be that special. Well, I loved it! Unfortunately, I was standing too close to the building and did not want to create a panorama picture, consequently this shot may be not as typical as I originally wanted it to be.
Additionally, the weather was not as expected, so the Victoria Memorial does not look very special…

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Buckingham Palace
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Victoria Memorial 

I know these things are not the „very special“ things you should not miss in London (these are more the basics) but stay tuned, I still have many other things to share with you in the next couple of days!

xx,

Sophie

 

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Solo Travel – My fears, my thoughts, my expectations

As you may know, I will be going on my South East Asia- and Australia- trip in September. The first country I will be going to will be Malaysia.
This first part will probably be the most exciting one, since I will do Solo Travelling. I have never travelled to another country alone before, therefore I thought I could share my thoughts with you!

Maybe you have already read my Malaysia Blogpost, if yes, you already know something about my expectations etc.
But I cannot deny that I am VERY excited about this time!

There are certain reasons why I chose to travel alone and today I will be talking about these reasons, my fears and my expectations.

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Why do I feel like travelling solo will be good for me?

As I already told you, I recently graduated from High School in Germany.
After thirteen years of school, I feel that I have to do something different, to do something for me, on my own.
I guess it is because going to school and being surrounded by the same people everyday is no longer giving me the inspiration I need- which, to my mind, is completely normal.

Consequently, I think that it will be quite helpful not to see my friends and family for a while (This is not meant to be rude!), since I will have to learn to be very independent, without the constant feeling of security my friends and family give and gave me. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for that!)

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You are your own boss!

I always used to be very interested in exploring and in adventures as well, but if you are travelling with a friend, you will probably have different interests, therefore you will have to compromise.
When you are travelling solo, you are your own boss and you can decide where you want to go, how long you want to stay and what you want to do.

But stay alert, traveling too solo and taking risks is definitely too dangerous when you are in a foreign country on your own.
You should never arrive at a new destination after dark, or go home alone in the dark. This means, do not make yourself a target for „criminals“ or pickpockets. I would also highly recommend to hide brand names, or even better, not bring high-fashion items, or expensive equipment when you cannot protect it from thieves in a certain way (f.e. in a Travel Safe or in a locker).

There will always be people around you

One of my biggest fears is that I will feel alone on my trip.
However, I think that this fear is unjustified, since there will always be someone around you. When you are checking in in a hostel, you will meet so many people from different countries who will love to talk to you or to go on a trip with you. And do not forget – you are not the only solo traveler in the world!
On my last trips I also recognized, that I would have also appreciated the opportunity to go on certain trips alone, since you are usually a little bit limited when you are travelling with friends, because you are often staying in your group, instead of taking the advantage to talk to other people.
Sometimes I really regret that I have not talked enough to other people when I traveled. I mean, you will see your friends at home, but you only have the chance to connect with people from foreign countries when you are traveling.

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Push yourself out of the comfort zone

This is one of the best advantages you will have from Solo Travel!
The human being is a creature of habit, which means that we love to have habits and we want things to be comfortable.
However, it may be hard for us to adapt to an uncomfy situation and this is exactly what you have to do when you are traveling alone!
Additionally, this will probably be one of the best experiences of your whole trip!
 

Don’t be afraid of traveling solo! I will also try to not be!
I am taking the opportunity and I am sure this experience will enrich my life!

Have a wonderful week!

Sophie

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