Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas in Germany

I have been to many countries across the world due to my very very very generous parents, but I have to say that when it comes to Christmas, Germany is the most magical place to celebrate it in. Every store is decked out with reds, greens and silvers; wreaths hug doorways and tinsel clings lovingly to rooftops, while Christmas music sung by deep, sonorous voices fills the brisk, fresh air.

Snow covers sidewalks and falls softly onto eyelashes, colouring the scenery in a hue of cold, glittery Wonderland. Hands are warmed by gluh wein or hot chocolates spiked with rum, while the soft laughter coming from cafe chairs warms the heart.

At night the Christmas spirit really comes to life as the Christmas trees that stand charming and cheerful in every city square are lit up, while the gold and silver lights than hang along walkways and link every building to one another are set ablaze, making happy faces even more beautiful in the festive glow.

The people are decorated just as festivally as the streets, the black coats lit up with colourful scarves, hats, gloves, and, most importantly, glowing cheeks and smiles.

We spent our Christmas in Hohenschwangau; sharing a bottle of wine at a gloriously garnished table underneath a Christmas tree, while a live band (the cutest married couple you ever saw) sung Christmas tunes; watching the snow fall just outside the window as Neuschwanstein was lit up and stood blazing against the black sky.

I think I fell more in love that night.

Not just with Joel, but with Christmas, kindness, and life.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

finding yourself in anonymity

Hello my lovely readers, I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year.

I have to confess, I wasn't planning on blogging while I was away. The anonymity I felt as soon as I stepped off the plane into Germany was addictive, and it has been difficult bringing myself back to my life back home, even to send short emails to the people I love.

But internet access, a warm and cozy bed, and vodka mixed with mango juice by my side was too much of a perfect blog writing atmosphere to simply ignore.

Unfortunately I am not technology savvy enough to download photos from my facebook onto my iPad, then to upload them here, so I'll have to wait to share the aesthetics of my trip with you until I get back. For now I'll stick to the 'emotional' part of traveling.

Because that's what travelling is all about really, isn't it? at least that's what I've found. While it's lovely to see history before you, to experience other cultures and to eat much too much delicious food, the personal journey we go on is what really makes traveling what it is. It's the reason we save, the reason we anticipate, the reason we dream.

Because there is no better way to find yourself than to become completely annonymous in a new place. To have no expectations forced upon you; to find that you can be anyone and dream as large as you want without anyone to force you back to the reality of your life back home.

I don't really recognise the self that I left behind. I have found somebody new amid the cobblestone streets, lolly-flavoured houses and cold winter days. Amid the coats, scarves and hats; the snow landing on outstretched tongues; the hot chocolates spiked with rum and warmth.

That is not to say that I won't welcome back the me I left behind with open arms on my return, but I'll also bring back a small part, just a small part, of the girl I found here. I will take her courage, her hope, and the inspiration she found, and use them to colour my life in Canberra for the better.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

winter wanderlust.

I am totally in awe of Kaylia right now. And I mean that in two senses. I am totally in awe of what she's experiencing as she treks around my little patch of the hemisphere, but I am also totally in awe of her bravery. Sometimes, following your dreams and opening yourself up to new experiences is such a difficult thing to do, but she's doing it - and fearlessly so. There is very little I admire more than that, and very few people I admire more for doing it. 

And so whilst I'm hoping that I will one day be able to do the same, I thought I'd share with you my top five wanderlusts this winter - all European, of course.

There's Switzerland...

...and Prague...

...and Edinburgh...

...and Norway...

...and Paris...

...but then again, I kind of think Paris is worth visiting all year every year. It's such a beautiful little spot.

Where are your favourite destinations this Christmas?

Kaylia, my love, I hope you have such a wonderful time. I know you'll come back with some amazing and inspiring stories.

Merry Christmas, everybody! I hope you have a healthy, happy weekend and a wonderful, prosperous New Year!

...and if you'd like to pop over and say hello, it would be so lovely to meet you over on my blog, The Hummingbee!

- Becky x

(Picture credits: Switzerland, Prague, Edinburgh, Norway and Paris).

Friday, December 16, 2011

last post from Australia (until February)!

I am heading off for Europe on Monday, eep!!!

I’m going to try and update when I can, I would love to do a small post about each place. I also have some amazing bloggers lined up to do guest posts, which I’m very excited about. I have had a sneak peek at one already and it is so absolutely lovely.

I won’t be commenting on blogs while I’m away (Joel would kill me I think!), but I would love for you to pop over so I can share my trip with you . And please let me know how you’re going and keep in touch, whether on here or by email.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!!!


psst, the places I’m going, in not exactly the right order (I have the worst memory)are: Munich, Rotenberg, Neuschwanstein Castle (Christmas!), Salzburg, Vienna (New Year!), Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Heidelberg, Cologne, Bruges and Dublin. So if you have been to any of those places and know some great things to see, or great places to eat at, any and all info will be much appreciated. :) 

Friday, December 2, 2011

a post about blanket forts, chocolate, wine and naughty cats

I realised the other day that I have never built a blanket fort. Well of course, that had to be remedied. After looking up how exactly one would go about making a completely awesome blanket fort, and realising that there was the slightest possibility that it was maybe kinda doable in our one bedroom apartment despite the lack of blankets and space, I went home and set about rectifying my childhood that was sadly lacking in blanket forts.

And that’s why I found myself under a blanket fort with Joel last night; playing Clue, drinking wine and eating the copious amount of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups that he brought me back from the States. And while our fort was tiny and uncomfortable, and while the roof sunk lower and lower until our necks began to cramp, and while playing Clue with two players isn't nearly as satisfying as playing with four, and while the cats kept stealing our playing pieces/pencils/anything in sight that wasn’t edible and trying to eat them, it was one of the best nights that I have had in a long time.

Sometimes there is nothing better than releasing your inner child- however silly and impractical it may be. And sometimes it’s fun to get tipsy in a blanket fort on the 1st of December, underneath the sparkly Christmas decorations that make you so happy; while you pry small, inedible pieces of plastic out of your cat’s jaws and kick your husband’s butt at board games. 

What is something that you always wanted to do as a kid and never got around to until you were older?