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Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017 – My year in pictures

Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017 – My year in pictures

In 2016, I visited 9 countries (3 of which I had never been to before), took 21 flights, ticked 3 bucket list items off my list, read 14 books (and bought 26…), drank approximately 400 coffees and took 2976 pictures. It has been a long year. I laughed a lot and met many new people who have enriched my life and taught me things about myself. I danced, I wrote and I also cried a fair bit. But all in all, it has been a pretty good year.

The end of 2015 was rough for me and so I had the highest hopes for 2016. On many days during spring and summer, I was exultant with joy and brimming with life. A feeling I had almost forgotten I could feel. I felt so in tune with myself and the world around me that I really felt like myself. Maybe for the first time ever. This joy and oneness with myself went away a bit towards the end of the year, however. Whether it was because the days got shorter and darker or whether I had lost touch with myself again, I don’t know. But I am determined to find that hum or that joy again this year. And I hope I won’t lose it again.

One of the highlights of 2016 happened early on. I got to see my family in New Zealand and watch a beautiful wedding in the bush on a hot day in Wellington. I then got to paddle through the Abel Tasman National Park and watch the sunset in Piha. All in all a near perfect January. In March, I spent a great week with lots of blogger friends at the ITB and got my first writing job with Experee.


To be quite fair, I am cheating a bit here. There are two images for May and none for April. But April really wasn’t that exciting (I could barely find any pictures for April) and May included at least two events worth mentioning. May kicked off with the annual MyFest in Kreuzberg, continued with the Re:publica and the Carnival of Cultures and then peaked with a long weekend in Ireland.

Ireland was stunning. And while I didn’t enjoy Dublin so much, I really fell in love with the landscape and the mystical Giant’s Causeway of which you see a picture below. The Re:publica, on the other hand, is a 3-day-long meeting of people that work online, with social media, data or people.

June included one of my favourite days of the year: the Fête de la Musique. It always falls on the longest day of the year and it’s a day when the entire city is on its feet, dancing, laughing, loving and enjoying the official beginning of summer.

I absolutely adore summer and especially summers in Berlin. The city develops a different rhythm and a different tone when it’s hot and sunny. Berlin is known to be unfriendly and sometimes bleak, particularly in winter. But for me, all that changes when the sun comes out and everyone seems to transfer their lives to the parks, lakes and canals of the city. Music is played everywhere, people barbecue (whether they’re allowed to or not), everyone seems to be in love and kids and adults alike play outside long into the night. Not even the summer smells of the city can deter me from loving July and August in Berlin.

Apart from long walks and evenings spent by the Landwehrkanal, ice cream or iced coffee in hand, I also went to the Berlin Surf Film Festival (you can read about that here). The week of the Festival was so busy and I was desperately fighting a cold. But on Saturday for the Straend, I was fit again and I watched movies, talked, laughed, danced and sang into the early hours of the morning. Something I definitely have to do more of in 2017.

The highlight of September was a weekend in Barcelona. I will write more about the weekend soon, with some great tips of what to do on a weekend in Barcelona. (she typed hopefully..)

The last three months of this year involved a lot of travelling. I started October in Paris and ended it on the beautiful island of Florianópolis. And in November, I fulfilled one of my bucket list dreams of going to see the Iguazú Falls. The Falls were absolutely everything I could have imagined them to be and I will definitely go back if I get the chance.

The rest of November and, especially, December were drowned in a sea of work. I did get to see one Christmas market but that was pretty much as Christmassy as the entire month got. My enthusiasm and new found self-esteem seemed to vanish in all that work as well. But I am hoping that I can revive this spirit from the spring and summer months because I liked myself much better with it than without.

Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017!

And to finish off, I want to look ahead at the year that’s just started. My travel plans for 2017 are so far only very rough sketches in my head. I finally want to learn to surf. And I want to start doing yoga. So a combined surf-yoga retreat somewhere is a must. I’ve been thinking Portugal. But maybe somewhere in the Canary Islands would be better? Or maybe Bali because the water would be warm there. Any suggestions or tips are much appreciated.

I’ve also been thinking about going to Bali. So maybe I should combine that with a surf trip.

My mum also just reminded me how beautiful Peru would be. I have been wanting to go to Machu Picchu for as long as I can remember. So maybe 2017 will be the year I finally do that.

The only trips I have set up so far, are a weekend away in London for my birthday at the end of January and another weekend away in August for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

A lot of my other resolutions from last year (see the post here) still hold true. I want to challenge my fears and overcome my insecurities. But I also want to be more loving. More loving towards myself, as I am generally my own worst enemy, but also more loving towards the people around me.

I will achieve many of those goals/ resolutions/ dreams with the help of my trusty new companion Ein gutes Ziel. The book was written by a friend and it helps me and everyone who uses it to achieve their goals within three months with the help of some simple techniques. Unfortunately, the book is only available in German. But you can see the book and my own personal cluster of goals below (I’ve done that in German, too. But if you’re interested, I can talk more about it later).

About The Author


Hi, my name is Ulrike and I love to travel. I've been raised surrounded by books, travel guides, travel memoirs and TV shows about travelling. I have childhood memories of days spent by the beach, randomly learning bits of Norwegian, gutting a fish and of dancing traditional dances on Greek islands. But things don't always go as planned and the times where you ended up far from where you started or far from where you ever intended to be, usually make for the best stories. Travel teaches us to let go of plans and expectations and to just go with whatever life has in store for us. I want to share my stories with you, to give you the courage to live your own adventures. #ShareYourJourney