Creative Break before moving on

Taking the time to reflect on my current life and setting priorities for the future
Wednesday, December 14, 2016 to Saturday, February 4, 2017

Everybody needs a creative break at some point. Taking a step back and getting some distance from its own work to adjust the overall direction and regain some energy. Especially, when you are putting a lot of time and effort into one major activity. For me, this was necessary after spending nearly two years on the road on different continents. All my adventures were a total blast and I enjoyed every single moment. But now it was time to make a pause, reflect and getting ready for the next phase in life. Actually, I had no idea how to continue next, how to earn a living and how to continue traveling the world. I was in need for a break and inputs for the next big thing!

Returning from an epic road trip

When I came back to Switzerland, I changed 35° degrees in southern Africa to 0° in Europe. This was a major shock for me and it lead to a drastic reduction in overall activities. Instead of staying outside and exploring unknown places, I stayed inside and tried to process my experiences. Since I gave up my own apartment, I had to find another place. Luckily, I could house-sit my sister and her boyfriend’s place for two months. This gave me enough time to arrive, clear my mind and launch my next expeditions. In fact, this was the perfect environment as I already knew the environment and could reflect undisturbed. On the other hand, I quickly settled in my comfort zone and had to force myself to take action.

Walking alone through the city of Basel

After the first shock in temperature, I pulled myself together and put on all my warm clothes. Even though I had their car at my disposal, I enjoyed walking around. As part of my creative break, I wandered through my home town without any destination, letting myself and my ideas flow freely. I also tried not to take any pictures and create new postcards. This worked out fine for some time but soon I saw many great places, that I wanted to show the world out there. My motivation to document and depict highlights around the world is stronger than ever before. Basel and all of Switzerland have many highlights to show the world.

Meeting old friends to exchange new ideas

In the first days after my return, I was rather cautious to meet people. I wanted to enjoy the moment and have my journeys settled a bit. Only then, I started to meet more family and friends. Besides catching up and sharing stories, I was mostly interested looking for new inspiration and ideas. Being rather restrictive in only meeting like-minded people, guaranteed for some fruitful exchange and mutual motivation for the next journey. In the end, those friends really helped me to get some great new ideas. It is extremely valuable to have people around, whom you can meet even after a year abroad and nothing has changed between you. Those people are usually the most understanding and supportive for your ideas, however crazy they might be. Like so often in life, quality trumps quantity.

Weekend trips in Switzerland, Germany and Italy

With all those journeys across Eastern Europe, California and across Africa, I could not just sit still in Basel. After a few days at home, I already felt a strong urge to leave my city. I still have not reached the point, where I want to settle down in one place. This was probably my very first insight from this creative break: I want to continue traveling and also do some creative work.

My first weekend trip led me to Milano in northern Italy. There, I picked up a beloved friend from one of my prior journeys. Together, we walked through the Italian capital of commerce and fashion - without being interested in those superficial aspects. After returning back to Switzerland, we shortly embarked on another short road trip within the country. Together, we drove to the south, visiting my uncle in the french speaking Alps. Along the way, we visited a world famous cheese factory and also Lake Geneva. The latter, unfortunately, was covered with fog and did not offer its usual picturesque scenery.

Only a week after, a group of friends from home invited me to visit Germany. To my surprise, it turned out that I would be the designated driver. Which I found a good thing, after all, I still enjoy driving a car across the countryside. Our destination was Frankfurt, the European capital of finance. Its bipolar architecture with a reconstructed medieval city center and some ultramodern skyscrapers for banking was awe striking. I was reminded of the fascination and diversity of most major European cities.

Getting a sense of direction after a creative break

I cannot say, that after these weeks at home, my entire life unfolded in front of me. Many many uncertainties remain and I have more questions than ever. I am still looking for my next big journey and the best opportunities to earn the necessary cash for it. At least, I could use the time to plan some smaller journeys within the next few months and ways to finance them. Moreover, I figured out my personal priorities and created a specific list of priorities for the next years. In case I will pursue with this, my readers will await some extraordinary expeditions!

My appreciation for my family and friends who received me open heartedly after staying away for nearly one year.

My waypoints on this journey

Revier Zurich - first daytime rave in Zurich after being back from nearly one year of travelling
first daytime rave in Zurich after being back from nearly one year of travelling
Milano - picking up a friend in Bergamo and spending one day in the north Italian metropolis
picking up a friend in Bergamo and spending one day in the north Italian metropolis
Gruyères - digging into an important piece of the combative Swiss history on a medieval history
digging into an important piece of the combative Swiss history on a medieval history
La Maison du Gruyère - tasting the best cheese of Switzerland and learning how it's being made on site
tasting the best cheese of Switzerland and learning how it's being made on site
Lausanne - getting lost in the famous university city at the board of the picturesque Lake Geneva
getting lost in the famous university city at the board of the picturesque Lake Geneva
Frankfurt - walking through and dining in the old town of the European capital of finances
walking through and dining in the old town of the European capital of finances
Die Drei Fragezeichen ??? - listening to a brand new audioplay with some live performance in Frankfurt
listening to a brand new audioplay with some live performance in Frankfurt
Kuuhl - Elsas Alpchuchi - trying out a new restaurant in Basel with delicious alpine food and decoration
trying out a new restaurant in Basel with delicious alpine food and decoration
FARNER - visiting one of the most prestigious and largest public relations agencies of Switzerland
visiting one of the most prestigious and largest public relations agencies of Switzerland
We are WONDROUS - visiting a new web-agency in Basel to meet great people and learn about technology
visiting a new web-agency in Basel to meet great people and learn about technology
Museumsnacht Basel - the long night of museums in Basel, one of the greatest cultural highlights of the year
the long night of museums in Basel, one of the greatest cultural highlights of the year