Indian waiter: Where are you from?
Jo: What do you think?
Indian waiter: Switzerland?
Indian waiter: Ahh, very good there!
(Hampi | India, Feb. 2015)
T o d a y we are in ASIA since O N E Y E A R ! What a feeling!! Party the whole day!!
On the 13th of November 2014 we left Hamburg and started our trip around the world. We wanted to travel through Asia within first year. As we don´t had “real plans” for travel routes and destinations, we decide very spontaneously where to go and where not. Most of our decisions depend on our actual mood, some depend on suggestions from other travelers we met. And many decisions were just a question on the actual weather conditions. A few times we skipped all of our plans and go to where our heart and soul leads us the way.
As we left Hamburg 2014 we had the plan of traveling the world for three years. We quit our jobs, let our flat, bought some new equipment, had many vaccinations, store everything we had left on our 20 qm loft. We don´t only dreamt of traveling the world, we dreamt of making new plans for our future & maybe getting ideas for a digital business. We wanna feel a new way of life after a big part of being parents and family was over as our beloved son leaves the nest. We felt that we are “young and healthy” and wish to feel the world and ourselves in it.
Everything was open, we felt FREEDOM from the first moment on as we arrived in Laos. Everything we got was now in our 42 liters travel bags. We only had travel sandals and the most of our few warm clothes we have sent back home. Our life changes step by step, inside and outside. As we can´t and won´t to continue some eating habits from Germany, we lost more than ten kilos of weight each. No well-stocked fridge anymore, no bread and cold meat, no sweets. We ate local food two times a day and we don t feel the need of any other food anymore.
We learnt to live the hereandnow more and more.
It´s also a challenge, all the old “to do´s” from home doesn´t exist anymore. All the various requirements and stress from the daily jobs didn´t exist anymore. The daily rate race continues now without us. We don´t have to cook, we don´t have to wash, to clean, to go shopping for all the various things needed at home. Nothing to do of this big bundle of daily life care at home. There is nothing to decorate when the seasons changed. The seasons don´t change. It´s hot with or without rain. No TV, we watched two films on the computer in one year! We don´t play any computer-games, we aren´t very much involved in social media sites, only a little Instagram once a week. There is much time to spent for new experiences in our lives now!
We like to show you our year in photos, peppered with some statistics and unforgettable moments. We begin with the very start.
365 days of deeply loving & enjoying the decision to wander through the biggest continent first!
November & December 2014
13.11.2014: we say goodbye to our friends and our son at Hamburg Airport. Having a last glass of champagne and tears together & many lovely presents and talismans in our little travel bags. The moment when we enter the safety area and we can´t see all the beloved faces anymore was indescribable…
Now our journey starts with a one way ticket and no concrete idea when to come back.
Unforgettable moments in Laos & Koh Tao:
being arrived at our first station on the world-trip & r e l a x ! watching several sunsets over the Mekong on the beautiful island Don Khon in a hammock, fell deeply in love with the Lao people, watching the rice harvest in silent little villages, seeing the first walking stick insect, getting attacked with a very hard gastro-intestinal infect during the six hours transfer from Don Khon to Ubon Ratchathani – Janine couldn´t help but puked all over the bus for the first time in her life, deciding that our new website will be named: hereandnow.life, doing the first dives since seven months in Koh Tao, enjoying the beach & snorkeling, doing unforgettable yoga classes with “Abby” from Australia, love to walk in flip-flops from now on, playing poi at the beach with the wonderful teacher “Uti” in Koh Tao, sending a big sky lantern with love & wishes for our world-trip – it goes up and up, enjoying the best fire poi shows at the great “Lotus Bar”, having a very hot Christmas with thunderstorms in Kuala Lumpur, met Santa Claus in the Aquarium.
Unforgettable moments at the Philippines:
being within the tropical storm SENIANG at “Sugar Beach” in Sipalay, meet our travel-friend Winfried, celebrating our new years eve very calm & silent at the wonderful “Sugar Beach” with foreigners from all over the world, sweeping out a big spider from our Nipa-Hut in Sipalay every night but she was back in the morning (it´s her home), being part of the “Ati-Atihan-Festival” in Kalibo for two days – dancing & singing “Hala Bira”, Janine was calming down an old Filipino (“we will die!”) on the ferry with a very rough sea from Panay to Negros, eating “the sweetest mangoes in the world” in Guimaras, sleeping or not-sleeping with 50 roasters around on Boracay, fell in love with the most beautiful beach in the world: Boracay, especially unforgettable – big adrenaline rush while snorkeling with whale sharks in Oslob.
first wishes completed from our bucket-list:
√ snorkeling/diving with whale sharks, √ doing a massage course in Thailand, √ sending “our world-trip sky lantern” with love, √ seeing Orang-Utans in wildlife, √ doing a zip-line, √ watching baby-turtles & snorkle with big sea-turtles, √ riding horses into the sunset, √ go barefoot for more than one week, √ see millions of fireflies, √ doing a bone-carving-class, √ doing a jungle-trek in a rainforest, √ doing more than one cooking-class, √ riding double-decker bus in Hong Kong, √ rope swing into the water many times, √ watching the symphony of lights in Hong-Kong, √ being part of the “Ati-Atihan-Festival”, √ riding bicycle in India, √ trying many different kinds of yoga, √ start meditation & daily practice, √ diving with manta rays, √ see absolute clear starry sky, √ sleep in the jungle, √ reduce weight, √ find a place called Paradise…
Unforgettable moments in India:
loosing documentary map with passports in Kuala Lumpur five Minutes before boarding to India – UAHHHHH – found it six Minutes later at the end of the floor and enter the airplane, having a deep transformation process during the whole time in India, the question was – love or hate? The answer: there is nothing like INDIA and we will come back, doing a wonderful cooking-class in Kerala, watching buffalos having a bath in the ocean in Goa, learning SUSEGAD & easy going in Goa, enjoying the most beautiful sunsets with the biggest sun ever, getting in touch with wonderful inspiring people from all over the world, giving away sunglasses & feel very good karma for hours, watching the sunrise over the roofs of Hampi with uncountable monkeys beside, get to know four crazy “magicians”, fell in love with the bizarre landscape and the old temple-ruins in Hampi, finding several geckos and other “inhabitants” in our travel bags, being part of the most cluttered bus ever – always soften intercepted by the very big belly of an Indian man, riding bicycle in India is a real adventure, nine hours in a sleeper-class-train, 12 hours trip in a sleeper-bus, doing a very silent Backwaters tour, getting used to watch sunsets on piles of rubbish, drinking beer in tea-pots out of a tea can (the Restaurant had no license for serving alcohol), falling in love with the Indian peoples special head shakes, totally fall in love with the best food on our trip (in the world?)
Unforgettable moments in Ketambe & Lake Toba:
doing an unforgettable three days jungle trek in Ketambe, seeing Orang-Utans in wildlife & feel deeply, deeply touched, lay down in the hot springs in the rainforest, watching millions of unknown insects & young rafflesias, learn how to make Indonesian sambal in a magical atmosphere, exploring the artful Toba-Batak culture at the Toba Lake, fell in love with their wonderful houses, trying to understand this very unusual culture, feeling how deep this long-time-travel transforms us, sitting at Lake Toba every night watching fireflies, the stars & falling stars, and a deep-touching lunar eclipse, having a wonderful & unforgettable time at “Zoe´s Homestay” & enjoying the best fish-barbecue ever, listen to Batak music everywhere in the streets, celebrating eastern with palm-wine, doing a great bone-carving-class, listen to a school boy singing old Batak songs on the ferry, having a little motobike accident, using the mini-buses in Sumatra with ( e x t r a l o u d ) Indonesian Pop Music, learn to get used to horrible road conditions, driving in a private taxi with hundreds of bleeping chicks under the seat.
Things we´ve found in one year: friendly & lovely inhabitants all over Asia, Susegad & easy going, beautiful & inspiring places, new friends and companions, a deeper quality to live “hereandnow”, unforgettable moments, uncountable smiles on cultural differences, another perspective on life, 50 new recipes, freedom, silence, going slowly, mindful snorkeling, many new habits & skills, daily meditation practice – ourselves…
Unforgettable moments in West-Sumatra & Hong-Kong:
learning to get used to the muezzin praying five times a day with 10000 decibel from the mosque next to our room in Bukittinggi, exploring the wonderful Minangkabau culture, enjoying the most beautiful rice fields, getting in touch with a drink out of coffee leaves for the first time, getting our second unexpected birthday cake on the trip, having our first dipper shower with very cold water, living in the smallest room ever (3,5 qm) in Chungking Mansion in Hong-Kong, fall in love with Kowloon & all the bamboo scaffolds at the skyscrapers, view the amazing skyline of Hong-Kong Island & the symphony of lights for the first time – big goose bumps, riding a double-decker-bus, walking twenty kilometers a day, getting in touch with very icky meats, watching an 80 years old inhabitant climbing 300 stairs up and down five times back-to-back (!)
Things we´ve lost in one year: more than 10 kilo weights each, different clothes and socks in different laundries, sending unused things home, many illusions & prejudices, all old eating habits, giving things as a present to people we met, a kindle in a bus, many old habits, our old life…
Unforgettable moments in Taiwan:
fell in love forever with the wonderful banyan trees – they are a big part of nature takes over in Asia, having the first bathtub since six months, enjoying the fireflies season at the Sun Moon Lake with millions of fireflies in the dark night – unforgettable, getting lost in translation, getting totally wet in a rain-shower during an evening walk at the lake (not the first rain-shower but very romantic), fell in love to see how Taiwanese people are really, really pleased that you visit their country – totally touching, celebrating Jo´s birthday in the bathtub, Janine gets deeply infected with the color blue & indigo from now on, celebrating the 6th months of traveling with Pizza, watching flying fishes in the river of Tainan, the waste disposal cars in Taiwan play Classic music, in Taipeh they play “Per Elise”, we got flooded with new ideas on so many levels!, we feel in-between, our souls are knocking at our doors again: we have to pause, we skipped all our travel-plans.
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself” Danny Kaye
Unforgettable moments in Bali & Nusa Lembongan:
trying to find a soul place to pause in Bali, getting deeply shocked on Balis transformation after six years, nevertheless we enjoyed a few relaxed days with spa and yoga in Ubud, giving a beloved bracelet to an old lady & feel a deep joy for hours, having a wonderful stay at the Jalan Gootama (named after Buddha: Siddhartha Gautama), getting deep insights to Balis special hinduism practices, getting our first “Ticket to the moon” – a blue travel hammock, finding a big blue starfish at Nusa Lembongan, we start to work on our first business idea, our travel-friend Winfried came to visit us for two days & we had a great time together, getting in touch with the seaweed farmers & their work, Janine installs the habit of drinking a glass of fresh lemon daily & loves it, enjoying great yoga-classes with Shanna from Canada, diving with giant manta rays, meet the wonderful “Moni” on Nusa for the first time and get friends from the heart, we have to leave Nusa because our Paradise can´t be found here. Nusa is called “the Island of friends” now. (We have been at Nusa two times but we resume it together)
Transportation in 365 days:
Walks through this wonderful world: 365
Tuk-Tuks, Tricycles, Labi-Labis, Songtheaws: 65
Boats & Ferries: 37
Unforgettable moments on Gili Meno Paradise:
in the end we´ve found our P a r a d i s e in Gili Meno! We felt the deepest freedom & relaxation for body & soul on our whole trip four weeks on this little Paradise, getting deep insights to Ramadan, Janine starts sunrise-meditation at the beach and anchorage this as a daily habit since four months, doing our first “horse ride at the beach” into the sunset, snorkeling with big hawksbill sea turtles, watching lovely baby-turtles, having a scorpion and “nature” in the outdoor bathroom, fell in love with the soulful woman “Ida” & her great meals, we learnt “mindful snorkeling” – being pushed from the ocean waves like the sea dwellers and become a fish after twenty minutes, four weeks with salt-water shower, having a good time with many long-term travelers which also feel the need of a pause after six months of traveling, enjoying sunrise and sunset daily, enjoying the most wonderful moonrise on the whole trip, sampling millions of sea-shells and slugs, getting in touch with a big banded sea-snake for the first time, Janine is giving her straw hat as a present to the lovely staff, start to work daily on our business ideas at this wonderful “beach office”, installing new habits & practice a new quality of mindfulness, we start to read more & more books in the field of “self-development” again, we´ve lost our GoPro while snorkeling in the ocean – and it was found! (you can read this unbelievable story here), we start to work on future plans & visions, Jo found two horseshoes – what a lucky sign, we start to learn new programs, we felt happy & lucky in every single moment, we came into a real flow as inside & outside matches totally together, this was our P a r a d i s e !
Meditation practice: 120 days
Yoga Classes: 30
Unforgettable moments in Thailand:
The shadow of a sickness stressed us from the moment we left Indonesia but everything went fine in the end… feeling deeply blessed as our friends and our son arrives to visit us on Koh Samui & having a good time together! celebrating Janines 50th birthday all together with love & fun and many unexpected joys, building the first beach tippy of our life – it stands still in the rainstorm for one day, having a wonderful time of traveling through Thailand together with our son for six weeks, building the first beach-sculpture (a star fish) & having fun with this, having a good time in Koh Tao for a week, watching and listening to the big Tokehs everywhere in Thailand, we fell in love with Chiang Mai from the first moment on, visiting & enjoying uncountable markets & temples, having a funny time at the “Art in Paradise Museum”, the boys doing a great zip-line together, doing a massage course and getting insights to the wonderful Thai-Massage-Techniques.
Drinking water: 1100 liters each
fresh lemon: 100
Laundry: 30 times, excluding hand-washing moments
Hairdresser: 2 times each
Unforgettable moments in Chiang Mai:
doing an inspiring cooking-class together, Janine is doing an Indigo-Dyeing-Workshop & deeply fell in love, being part of the wonderful Clayhouse Cosmos Jakawan Baandin for a few days and getting totally mad & influenced by this creative atmosphere, driving through the wonderful landscape around Chiang Mai & enjoying all the beauty around, having fun with fireflies again in Sankampheang, getting the fourth unexpected birthday-cake on our trip, visiting craft goods factories & learn interesting facts, cooking eggs in the hot springs, being proud while watching our sons daily handstand lessons!, having so much fun together & love to feel being family again & talking, talking, talking 🙂
No 1 of all the various suggestions on „where do you come from?“ was A f r i k a
Unforgettable moments in Sri Lanka:
we had three weeks of endlessly monsoon & heavy rainfalls in Sri Lanka, but this does´t matter because we wanna work, to travel by train is an adventure as we remember it from India, we totally fell in love with Sri Lankan food, enjoying a private little cooking class from the chief at the Palm Villa in Mirissa, uncountable baby-geckos walking over our bodies since months, the sweetest once in Sri Lanka, being invited to a Sri Lankan birthday party, have fun with head shakes again, getting wet allover again from the biggest wave we have ever seen on a beach walk, trying to quit drinking coffee but it only lasts for seven days, getting the best massage ever in the most smelly hut, the signs on menopause accumulate (only for Janine:-) we got a very good work & travel & life balance, getting an answer to the question if a mask with fresh avocado works? – yes!, enjoying the stormy rainfalls and felt like being at the baltic sea in autumn, again we quit all our travel plans and decide to go back to Chiang Mai to rent an apartment for the last two months.
Unforgettable moments in Chiang Mai:
having a good time at the caves in Chiang Dao & feel impressed by a very calm nature, visiting the impressive “Wat Phrat Doi Suthep” and ask the question: what apps do monks use? (any suggestions here?), visiting the first temple cave “Wat Umong”, feel different scorpions, walking sticks, praying mantis and lizards on our hands at the “Siam Insect Zoo” in Mae Rim and love to be that near, feel impressed by “Queen Sirikits Botanical Garden” in Mae Rim, having a good time in our first apartment-like room with kitchenette, getting the biggest flow ever for our new business idea, we met a few people we get to know in Chiang Mai weeks ago & get in touch with other travelers, we feel deeply impressed by singing Policemen near the Wualei Night-Market, Janine risks to color her hair again after eleven months (most of the time the color “blond” don´t exist in Asia) and is very happy with the result:-) we´re talking about a few Thai coherencies and say “at home”, and yes – we feel very much at home in Asia after 12 months!
As we sum up 365 days on the road we feel deep in our hearts: this is just not a world-trip – this is OUR life now – and we l o v e it as if we have done it forever.
“The journey is my home”
Janine wrote this sentence on her Xing-Profile 12 months before – it is truer than ever.
2016 will start with two new continents: north and south America – we are full of anticipation & curiosity!
Feel embraced wherever you are & be inspired to start your own journey to wherever it may lead! You will find more than you loose & what you may loose is possibly something that prevents the contact to your true self…
With so much l o v e & l i g h t & happiness & crazy feelings from Chiang Mai…
J & J | Glücksritter
Real Costs per Day including flights and visa, accommodation, food: 60,- Euro together