Why I don’t pay too much attention to travel warnings by embassies

is it safe to travel to kenya

and what I do instead for my safety

I am often asked: Is it safe to travel to Kenya? In my view, safety begins in my mind and here is my take on the topic:

Before I published this article for the first time, the UK embassy to Kenya issued an advice for their country people to avoid certain places along the Kenyan coast and in Nairobi. The advice followed several attacks and threats by terrorist groups like Al Shabaab. It had a tremendously negative impact on the region which highly depends on tourism.

The Kenyan authorities pleaded with the UK embassy and also the US embassy, who had issued similar warnings, to lighten them again. I have to say, I went to some places they had issued the warnings about, and I am still alive and kicking.

Then they lifted the ban.

Some warnings were still in place, but many locations didn’t have to be avoided anymore, according to the UK embassy. It all happened barely a week after an attack on a military base in Lamu, in which several militants, including a Briton, were killed.

This shows that such warnings are sometimes politically motivated or even random.

I used to be on the newsletter list from the German embassy, but I unsubscribed. Because I mostly got warnings and comments that didn’t apply to my daily life in Nairobi. Some examples:

  • Don’t use matatus (public mini busses), they are dangerous. (Well, if I don’t want to sit in my house day in day out, I necessarily MUST use matatus because they are the only available means of transport.)
  • Avoid crowded places. (Nairobi Downtown, where the end station of my matatu line is situated, is by default a crowded place which I have to pass through if I am going to the City Center.)
  • Welcome to the Kenyan October Fest. (I don’t even go to the German one, so why should I join the Kenyan one? I hear last time they didn’t even have German beer. And besides, to get there, I would have to use several matatus and pass crowded places.)

What I do instead to keep safe:

  • I am known in my street and interact a lot with people. They know that I am not a tourist anymore, but a resident of the area.
  • I also have a lot of friends around who know me AND the town and who can estimate well how I should behave in order to be safe.
  • If a Kenyan tells me, I should avoid certain places at night, I do.
  • I usually walk with a Kenyan friend in town when it is dark.
  • I never look lost, I always know where I am going.
  • I don’t wear a money belt. I also try not to look like a tourist.

In that way I feel safe and comfortable. Much more than if I would follow the politically motivated or random advices from my embassy or others.

 

Being sick and getting well

sick abroad

Experiences in Kenya

Falling sick in a foreign country is annoying. Especially when you actually just want to enjoy your trip and need to be at the top of your powers.

I have been sick several times and developed a mind-set that helps me get well quickly again.

I follow the rule “the earlier the better”. If I feel feverish, weak, dizzy and stomach ache, I go to see a doctor or chemist. It doesn’t always have to be a hospital. Especially in Kenyan public hospitals you sometimes have to wait for a long time. Chemists or private clinics will also do the test and then prescribe the proper medication.

When i am not feeling well, it is usually because of malaria or stomach problems.

Malaria

The symptoms always start with some pain in the joints of my fingers. Then it spreads across the whole body. I feel weak, a general disease and a bit dizzy. It happens often when I am back from the countryside, where malaria is more common than in Nairobi.

I go to the doctor, get pinched in the finger and the test is done. Then I get six times four yellow tablets which I will take over the course of three days and that is it.

Malaria is not to be joked with though, so even if you take prophylaxis and always cover yourself in mosquito repellent – whenever you feel the slightest discomfort, go for the test.

We once dragged my whole family to the doctor just to be sure, and nobody had it. That was also a relief to know.

That said, malaria is also not the end of the world and easily treatable. Even in rural areas there are health facilities around, so don’t shy away from visiting them.

Stomach problems

We foreigners are not familiar with how to wash our hands, how to clean specific food, and how to generally keep a certain level of hygiene in new circumstances. Therefore it is common to get some stomach problems. Some can be solved with anti-diarrhoea medication. I always have some available. But if the condition persists longer than a day, I go to see a doctor.

They will ask for a stool sample, which is not everybody’s favourite, but a necessary means for a proper diagnosis. Common cases I experienced were infections, amoeba or h. Pylori. There are always medications against them. I always make sure to ask what I am allowed to eat or drink and what not.

Medication

Sometimes the price for the medication is negotiable. However, it depends on the place and the drugs. There are certain brands and labels that are cheaper, and others more expensive. We once had a case of a mouth infection, and we bought the required mouth wash much cheaper in the supermarket than from the chemist.

Pain killers

Usually, chemists or doctors give me some pain killers, too. (Mind the fact that especially with stomach problems you can only take a certain type of pain killers.) Therefore we often have a stock from last time and I tell the doctor that I don’t need them.

Natural remedies

My mother-in-law used to have a pot of home-made herbal medicine that cured basically everything. She helped me get rid of a terrible diarrhoea with two cups of a very bitter herbal drink. If you are open for these things like me, they are worth trying. It’s old knowledge that has proven to work for generations.

Dosage

Ask how many pills you will have to take at which time of the day. I always confuse the numbers and amounts which the chemists write on the small paper bags to indicate the dosage.

In general: try to not overreact.

I don’t question my doctor in Germany, so why should I do it in Kenya? They know what they are doing. They have studied those things and they are not helping people for the first time.

I generally talk a lot when I am seeing a doctor, just to make sure they get all the information, and I get all the instructions right.

Go to the doctor or chemist early. Make sure to communicate much, well and politely. Follow instructions. And then get well soon!

 

Keep your travel tech simple

travel tech

in order to be a more responsible travel blogger

Picture me, sitting in rural Kenya in a cyber café. I walked here for half an hour. For days, I took notes in my notebook on what to write about in my next blog post. It’s a bit of a struggle to form the notes into an appealing post, considering the noise from the people at the busy market. But I manage to focus and mold an interesting story.

As I hover over the publish button with the cursor, the screen goes blank. Blackout!

My meditation skills were greatly tested several times. In 2009 I depended on the cyber cafés to keep friends and family updated. It’s still one of the easiest and cheapest ways.

Internet

You can check nomadlist.com for a quick overview of the coverage in big cities worldwide. When I stayed in Nairobi, we got Wi-Fi installed. Easy. But if you are travelling to rural areas, free internet access is not always guaranteed.

There are also more and more libraries, cafés, co-working spaces and hubs coming up where you can access internet.

And if you carry your laptop, you can either purchase a modem before you start the trip, or you buy it locally, once you have arrived.

Sometimes, data volumes and network cover can be shaky. I had to have my laptop run for one night straight in order to upload videos.

Phone

Once you know which format suits you, you’ll find that it can probably be filled on a smart phone. It usually makes much sense to buy a line from a local provider, which is the cheapest option in most cases. You can ask local friends about that. You can buy internet data in “bundles” like airtime, or subscribe for a regular monthly fee.

If you are in a more rural place, remember that you may not be able to charge your phone whenever you want. We don’t have electricity in our house on the Kenyan countryside. I usually take my phone to the next shop that is connected to power and pay a small fee every time I have it charged.

How to simplify your tech equipment

  1. Multifunctionality

I am a very old-school person with a very old phone that’s not smart but robust. I also have an MP3 player and two different cameras. Don’t be like me! Carry your smartphone. I’m sure it can offer all these functions in one.

  1. Combine

Get one single adapter that helps you get electricity in any country. Use headphones with an inbuilt microphone. USB chargers and cables can be combined as well.

  1. Avoid

Sometimes you may need batteries. You don’t have to carry them though. They can be bought locally.

  1. Minimise

Do you have to carry your entire external hard drive or will a flash disc do the job for the short trip? One SD card with massive storage replaces many smaller ones. You don’t need to carry the cable to connect your device with a computer or laptop. Bluetooth and card readers are your friends here.

  1. Don’t forget

To avoid losses, install antivirus programmes before you start travelling.

What are your tips for travel tech? How do you keep your loved ones updated? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Choose your format for Responsible Travel Blogging

travel blogging

How and why to publish through email, on blogs, social media or WhatsApp.

My first travel blogs fulfilled the sole purpose of keeping my family and friends updated. I just wrote, added some pictures and then published without editing. The posts were long, because I wrote twice a month and a lot used to happen within two weeks. The response was scarce, but friends and acquaintances generally were interested in my journey and I was sure they were reading.

If you are thinking of opening a travel blog, these are the first two questions you need to ask yourself:

Why are you writing?

Who is your audience?

These questions go hand in hand. If you are writing to keep your family and friends updated, they are your audience. But don’t underestimate the bragging power of parents: My dad started sending the links to the blog posts to his colleagues and friends, because he liked them so much. So the private audience quickly expanded to a bunch of people I didn’t even know.

Ask yourself why, how and when they are reading or following you. Are they going to read long texts? Or are short videos better (Periscope)? What about daily quick thoughts and photos (Twitter / Instagram)?

Maybe you are a professional travel blogger, or want to become one. Or you want to journal for your own benefit. Whatever your reason to publish and whoever your audience is, they determine your platform and format for travel blogging.

Here are some options. You can combine them, and there are more. But this should give you a quick overview.

Blog

Publish on a blog for friends and family with the possibility of expanding the readership. Blogs are also great if you want to reach a bigger audience, publish journalistically, inspire others whom you don’t know personally or even want to raise money or make some political, social or cultural phenomena public.

If you want to journal just for yourself, lock it with a password, so that you are the only one who has access.

Video

I kept getting similar questions about how and what I was doing in Kenya. But I myself find emails addressed to many people not very personal and sometimes even boring. So I record a video every month, upload it and send the link and password to a growing number of people.

I don’t have special equipment. Neither do I have a script. I just start talking in front of the camera, insert some photos or scenes I recorded previously and sometimes add some music. I always keep them around six to maximum ten minutes.

Watching a video is less effort to many people than reading a long email. And I feel more authentic towards the people who are genuinely interested in what I am up to.

There are plenty of options for platforms, tech equipment, professionality and formats. Some audiences may be satisfied with only seeing you talking. However, travel vloggers often have great cameras and microphones and their videos are full of action.

Shooting the video is only one quarter of the work. Vloggers usually have thought about a story before, and edited it later. And then there are data volume requirements and not everybody has internet everywhere.

If you want to do videos, you can also just record short clips, a bit like taking moving photos, and upload them on Periscope, in your WhatsApp or Facebook group or on Instagram.

Email

Emails will definitely be found in someone’s inbox. There is no escape and people can’t miss it. And you know exactly whom you are sending it to.

Consider your audience here: Hardly anybody, apart from your biggest fans, take their precious time to sit down and read 3 000 words of continuous text about their friend or niece, who is currently travelling through a country they can hardly imagine.

If you want feedback, a WhatsApp or Facebook group is more attractive than email, simply because people can quickly like something or leave a short comment with one single click. Also, your messages might be shorter, more regular and not these big bites that nobody in the boring non-traveller’s daily life has time for and enthusiasm to read.

WhatsApp

On WhatsApp or other messenger services you have more control over who gets to read what you are writing, and you will more likely get feedback, because it’s easier and quicker to answer.

Social Media

Social media is usually more public. You can change the settings for who will be able to read and share though, or open a separate, closed group.

Photos, videos and voice messages will be easier to handle on social media, like Periscope, or a messenger service like WhatsApp.

Podcast

Voice messages or podcasts are only suitable for people who know you personally, because they can imagine your face with the voice. Describing a different culture in a ramble for a podcast is a real challenge, and I would like to dare you here to be the next best travel-caster! However, most of it works better visually or when you have written it well.

This worksheet will help you getting an overview over all the points made so far and pick the right medium for you.


If you are thinking of establishing a professional blog or brand, or you have already started out: There is a great blogpost by Regina of byregina.com  where you can find out whether blogging, Youtube, Periscope and other platforms are right for you.

Some general hints

  • Short is always good, especially online. People don’t have time anymore – unfortunately. Unless you are a predestined travel writer, keep your posts around 800 words, your videos under ten minutes and sort your photos before publicly uploading them all.
  • Regular works better than long. If you can write once a week or three times a month, do it. This automatically helps keeping things short. It also “teaches” your audience when to check for news about you. You can announce new posts via email or social media. Or blog on a specific day so that people know, every Tuesday or every 10th, 20th and 30th of the month they can check back in with you.
  • Different platforms give you different ways of control. Do you want control over who is reading or is it okay if it spreads? (Consider password protection, groups with invitation vs. Facebook pages, for example.)

Insider hint for lazy bloggers

Maybe you are already familiar with one or several of these outlets – and you don’t have much time to start learning how to use a new one. Then the best is to go with what you are comfortable with. Register a blog, open a group or set up a profile. If you need to practice, start talking about your preparation, announce your flight, or answer questions you are already getting about your trip.

Do you have any favourites of formats for travel blogging? What did I forget? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Travel without camera

travel without camera

How a day without taking photos can change your worldview

During our two weeks in India I took 621 photos and videos. Or let’s say: within 12 days I took 621 photos and videos. Once a week I deliberately took a day off and didn’t take photos.

Why once in a week I refrained from taking photos

The reason is simple: mindfulness. On a day without photos I don’t feel forced to capture certain moments, situations or view. I recognize everything. Even the images that don’t really qualify to be photographed.

For instance, I look at cars that look just the same as in Germany. Or beautifully boring bus stops. I become aware of the structure of the pathways, the sneakers of the people in the park, print shops, street lights, the sky. During my photo-free day I am more perceptive than ever.

And the best about it: I become aware again of the fact that all these impressions are mine alone. Now, in this very moment, I see and experience this very part of the world. Nobody has ever seen it like this before, and nobody will experience it again like this – not even I myself. Actually it is this way in every second.

But with my camera hanging around my neck I wrongly imagine to be able to capture and keep the moment. However, people who look at my photos often see totally different things from the once that are important to me. And the vibe of a moment can hardly be captured on a photograph anyway.

More advantages of travelling without a camera for one day

  • Less luggage. Without a camera I have to carry less.
  • Hands free. I can pick up a leaf, tickle my baby’s foot and eat food from a street stand, without worrying about my camera.
  • Walking flow without interruption. I don’t have to stop all the time – my companions neither.
  • No worries about security. For everyone with the unpleasant feeling of attracting thieves with a camera, a day without it is pure relaxation.
  • Less digital baggage. With my average I’d have 100 photos more on the memory card. 100 photos more to sort, print, save, …

How I organise a day of travel without camera

  1. Clear resolution. I irrevocably decide: On Sunday I won’t take any photos. No matter where we’ll go or what will happen.
  1. Hide cameras. In order to avoid any temptation, I pack all devices that are able to take photos into their bags and covers and then to the back and bottom of the closet, suitcase or backpack.
  1. Enjoy the day. It’s hard but I try not to think the whole time: Oh what a pity, this would have been a great shot. Instead, I become recognize my surroundings with all my senses.
  1. Question your actions. I ask myself: Why do I actually take photos? For whom do I take photos? Who will see them later? What do I show and what not? What would be the alternatives?

Why are there no photos on this blog?

This blog isn’t a travel blog in that sense. It’s about something bigger than my personal travel experiences. I want to inspire you to travel responsibly and aware. It’s hard to express that with holiday snapshots. That’s why you won’t find them here. Most of the images are from Unsplash.

The ultimate guide to taking pictures in Africa

I wrote an article about how to take photos in Africa. Beyond shutter speed and angle there are hints on using a camera mindfully.

9 things people in India did with my baby

travel with a baby to india

Travelling with an infant is different from any other way of travel I did before.

  • Packing gave me some unknown challenges. (How many diapers are enough? How many are too many?)
  • I massively slowed down the itinerary. (We tried to take a break every other day.)
  • And travelling with an infant was probably also the easiest way to get in contact with local people around me.

Here are 9 things they did with my baby which they might do to yours if you let them.

1.They called my baby’s name (when he was almost asleep).

One of the first questions was for his name. And once people knew it they would call it over and over again. Even if the pronunciation was difficult to them. Especially, when I was trying real hard to make him sleep.

2. They called my baby other names.

Sweety Pie and Chubby were only some of the English names I understood. The ones they gave him in their mother tongues passed me.

3. They pinched my baby’s cheeks.

To all occasions and in various degrees my son was pinched in and twitched at the cheeks. I had read about it earlier and realised that it is a common thing to do to babies. Although he didn’t love it, he never complained about it either.

4. They held my baby.

Much quicker than any German before, many Indians took my son into their arms. Several of our hosts seemed to see it as their duty to let me have my arms and lap free so that I could eat. Therefore they carried him a lot. But also total strangers would pluck him from my arms. One young woman even asked whether I would remove him from the wrap I was carrying him in so that she could hold him. I had to explain to her that she should at least wait until he woke up. But when he did, I had my arms free once more.

5. They carried my baby around and away.

Once people held him, it didn’t take long and they carried him around and showed him things in the other room, in the yard or elsewhere. Several times a day I was wondering where my child was.

6. They fed my baby.

In India my baby started to show interest in food other than mother’s milk. Since it was his first time to have solid food I tried to be careful with what he ate. I didn’t want to overwhelm his little stomach. He ate biscuits, though, and other Indian food that people gave him.

7. They talked to my baby in their mother tongue.

He doesn’t speak yet and he is growing up with at least two different languages anyway. So the languages in India may have not been more confusing to him. Only I didn’t understand what people told him.

8. They took photos of and with my baby.

We as a family have a policy. We don’t want photos of our baby to be spread around. We tell people that it’s okay to show them to others but they need permission before sharing them online. In that way we are trying to keep control over the distribution of our baby’s photos. I should have mentioned that to the many people in India taking photos with and of him. I just felt uncomfortable and wanted to be polite so I didn’t. Next time I will.

9. They blessed my baby.

I don’t know what it means when a woman moves her hands around my baby’s face and then clicks her finger bones on her temples. They did it a lot. But I consider it as a blessing. All the things people did to him, including starting to cry, people did out of happiness and joy about him and for his best.

Visiting Krishna’s temple with catholic priests

The way towards the temple reminds me of a theme park during off-season.

You don’t have to queue for the attraction. However, the way to the roller-coaster is long and leads through an interlaced labyrinth of fences guiding the masses in drops to the ride during main season.

That’s how we wiggle past the shoe deposit through the security check where I leave my camera. Father Thomas has kept his socks on and tries to climb on the fence to avoid the water which was sunk in the floor, probably for clearing purposes. He doesn’t manage quite as well as Father Santosh who is significantly younger and more agile. So Father Thomas continues with one wet sock.

Awestruck I follow the priests who appear almost as touristic as I. Sporadically, families and groups of young people move past us. They seem to know better how to behave in this place and which way to follow.

A voice chants the holy names of Krishna through speakers:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.

And again. And again. Believers walk one step ahead after each verse. Praying in that way, they slowly come closer to their destination inside the temple. There’s a way for visitors, too, and we simply skip the act by walking up marble stairs.

We reach the first two shrines.

In each one sits one God. They wear sparkling adornment on their heads and their faces are black and serious. Father Thomas tells me their names. One of them is Hanuman, the monkey.

Few steps ahead there’s another God in a shrine, this time with the black head of a lion. Visitors like us are guided along in a big distance to the shrines. The Gods look serious at us, or through us.

Following yet more steps that make Father Thomas breath heavily, past even more bannisters, we finally reach the terrace in front of the main gate. It gives a good view over part of the city. Close by I see clothes, neatly hung on long lines for drying. Behind, half-finished skyscrapers shoot towards the sky. In between linger smaller buildings with light colours, and green spots here and there. The big birds throwing themselves into the breeze in between the tall buildings must have an even better overview.

There’s a draught in the entrance. In front of us, facing away from us, four monks sit in the cold breeze on a little stage, play music on a harmonium, cymbals and a drum and sing. They look and sounds exactly like the monks in Germany’s pedestrian zones.

In front of the stage believers are sitting down on mats. We follow the bannister guiding us round the high temple hall anti-clockwise, past the golden altar-like space in front. Radha and Krishna stand there like porcelain dolls, but their faces are shining gold. First I think they may have put on masks. But the impression results from the contrast to the black faces of the other Gods being a little livelier.

In front of the couple, hidden from us by a screen, three monks look as if they were sitting in shop windows. They fulfill their rituals which are not visible to us. We can only see their side- faces and the curl on the back of their heads.

The bannister guides us to a canopy.

A statue of the movement’s founder, who already passed away, sits there.

His face is frozen in golden seriousness, too, but his little height makes him somehow human, despite all the enlightenment.

We meet him two more times. Once in his office behind his desk. Through the open door he suddenly looks quite real, maybe because his face is off skin colour this time. The second time he sits cross-legged in light orange clothes and looks into deep emptiness. On his bold forehead he wears two thin white lines ending on the root of his nose. The corners of his mouth characteristically move towards his chin.

He smiles in a very serious way and I don’t dare imagining what goes on inside his head. I’d probably surprised by the simple clarity of his thoughts.

The way out is almost as long as the way in. Now we pass stands with books, souvenirs, pictures, clothes, toys, jewelry, art. Two paintings are catching my attention: The artist painting little Krishna on his mother Yasoda’s lap has managed to portrait well how mothers hold their children. And on the picture of Ras Lila (which can glow in the dark and the shopkeeper is happy to show us) I adore the traces of naked feet on the nightly beach and the faces of the women. It must be a controlled dance being performed there, quickly filling the dancers with deep joy.

Meanwhile Father Thomas is amazed by how cheap the statues are. At the same time he warns me: Catholic priests are never recommended to buy something from a temple. “Because they have a certain influence,” he simply says, and I don’t understand whether he means the spiritual influence of the statues or the political influence of the confession that he doesn’t want to support.

Father Santosh buys me a piece of pastry that is as big as my palm and drips off fat and sugar, from the next stands that stretch for metres and bend under neatly piled little colourful snacks. I take a bite and am surprised how refreshing such a sweet thing can be.

In one corner a family has sat down and has lunchbreak with about ten different little bowls full of a colourful variety of dishes. They are not the only ones enjoying the food here.

Gratefully I decline the free splodge from a massive pot served by a monk with a big spoon into a pressed banana leave. I just don’t want to strain my stomach too much on my third day in Bengaluru.

I don’t dare either to accept the free mantra, printed on pink letters on a small card as Father Thomas’ eyes are meeting mine.

In the evening, lying in bed, I am waiting for sleep which refuses to come.

Suddenly, through the nightly street noises, I hear a flute playing.

Maybe that’s Krishna, who can’t sleep either, considering all his calm joy and enlightenment. But I may be just imagining that.

4 reasons why my baby is a more mindful traveller than I am

baby travel mindful

Mindfulness means paying attention to the very moment and living in the absolute present. It means being. It means acceptance, patience and openness.

To travel mindfully, I open my mind as wide as possible, curiously letting all impressions in without judging them. At least I try. Here is why my baby is much better at it.

1. Baby lives in the present.

It is admirable how children live the present moment to the max. Baby doesn’t worry about the future and ponder over the past. All that counts for him is what is there right now. That is why even  the hundredth time my funny noises are funny to him.

2. Baby discovers something new in everything.

To him, everything is an opportunity, everything is interesting, everything is new. Keys, blankets, trees, people and the floor – he tries to discover them all with the same undivided amount of curiosity, as if he saw them for the very first time.

3. Baby doesn’t judge.

Whether I give him a fancy toy or a random spoon, he will play with both. Whether a grumpy old man passes him or his favourite aunt, he watches them both curiously and is open to what they may have in store for him.

4. Baby trusts.

He knows everything will be fine. He doesn’t fear falling from the bed, being knocked by a car, banging his head on the floor or slipping through his dad’s arms. Baby just enjoys being thrown in the air and trusts he will be caught.

In short: Baby has an open heart.

  • He treasures the present moment.
  • He acknowledges the opportunity in everything new.
  • He is non-judgemental.
  • And he trusts.

How to travel as mindful as a baby

Live in the present moment.

Don’t rush to tick the sights on your bucket list. Instead, pay attention to the place you are in right now. Practice that a lot during your trip. Be it the waiting lounge at the airport, the hostel room, the river bend, the temple, the kiosk. How does it look like? How does it sound, smell, taste and feel like? Simply experience the places without liking or disliking them. Do that often.

Focus on mundane things and people, too.

If you consider an area at your destination more boring than the others, go there deliberately and be open for surprises. Look out of the taxi window knowing that nobody ever had this view, which is your very own this very moment, before. And nobody will ever have it again. Not even you. Be curious for the way people live. See what you can learn from them.

Don’t judge.

Try not to compare life abroad with what you know and take for granted. Instead, sit, breath, listen and watch. It is not your job to divide all impressions into good or bad. Instead leave the categories closed and just focus on the experiences flowing by.

Get lost.

Start walking, not knowing where you are going. You might have to ask strangers for help to get back. Trust that all your encounters will be beautiful. I am not suggesting to behave risky and mindless. On the contrary: Be mindful and pay attention to all the possibilities coming your way when you simply trust that you will be fine.

Mindfulness is like a muscle. It needs to be trained. But then, after some exercise, it will work seamlessly. I am constantly reminded by my baby how fluent time is and how needless to try to hold on to it. Instead, I try to open my heart as often as possible, practice mindfulness and let the world flow through me for a second.

How I take better travel photos with this one step

There’s a simple secret to better travel photography and videography: Take more photos and videos, even before travelling. It sounds simple and maybe disappointing, but it is true. And I have proof.

A year ago I was given a new camera by a very nice person. It came with a bag and a handbook and I was so happy and overwhelmed that I didn’t use it for three months. I always thought, in order to make full use of all its features, I had to read the handbook first. Which I was too busy to do.

But the only way to get used to a new camera is to take photos with it.

Long time ago I found some truth: Doing comes from doing.

As in:

  • If I have no clue of what to cook, instead of thinking about it, I go to the kitchen and start chopping an onion. And before I know it I have cooked a full meal.
  • When I need to come up with an article, researching won’t do the job. I actually need to open the writing programme and start typing, even if it’s just “I don’t know what to write.” I will write this funny sentence until I actually know what to write and get an article written.
  • And in order to get used to a camera and tune my photography skills, I need to go out and take photos.

To cut the long story short: I still need practice for travel photography in India. So I keep taking photos. At the bottom there are the results from an end-of-summer walk. We did not only say goodbye to summer, but also to my village. It was shortly before we moved from the South to the West of Germany.summer

There is also a video. If you were so kind to support my trip with 9€ or more, you may already have seen it. If not: Go ahead – and thank you so much in advance!

better travel photography 1

better travel photography 6

better travel photography 2

better travel photography 5

better travel photography 4

better travel photography 3