Five tips to make travelling your lifestyle

In the last 10 years, I have lived on three continents, five countries and about 30+ places. Some of them weren’t longer than a month, one lasted for an entire six months. It was almost worth noting down the address. I truly love travelling, moving around and meeting new people and cultures. I am not afraid of moving to a new continent without knowing a soul, the language or the culture. In fact, I thrive on the excitement of experiencing new adventures.

Rather than travelling, I call it moving because I do immerse myself into my surroundings, in fact that is a must for me. I don’t like to be a tourist and prefer to stay where the locals live and do what the locals do as told here.

Although moving to an unknown places seems scary at first, there are ways to make this an amazing adventure. Here are few tips:

  1. To make moving easy, I own just enough stuff that I truly need, nothing more. Despite being an absolute bike addict, I only have one bike. Carrying extras of anything makes me feel weighed down. The adventures I am experiencing discredit any materialistic belongings. Stuff weighs me down. Experiences lift me up.
  2. Be happy with yourself alone. Don’t be afraid to be alone in a new country where you don’t speak the language or understand the culture. Yes, it seems at first overwhelming and scary but exactly those intense emotions you will never forget and appreciate even more because they make you feel alive.
  3. Smiling opens doors. There is no better way to communicate. Enough said.
  4. Be proactive. Moving into a new country but then hanging out in front of the TV is not worth the effort. Get out with or without a plan. You learn so much from looking around.
  5. There is no better strategy to learn than observing. Find out why the locals do certain things. How they behave. How they interact. What is different than what you are used to and why could that possibly be?

Travelling is an enriching and rewarding experience. Just buy a plane or train ticket and get out! With or without plan.

Because life is a journey!

Etappenrennen in Langenlois

Als mir der Team Manager, Olaf Janson, die Chance gegeben hatte, mit einem Bundesligateam für vier Wochen in Europa Rennen zufahren, hatte ich absolute keine Vorstellungen, wie es denn so werden würde. Zuvor bin ich noch nie in Deutschland Rennen gefahren. Die Erfahrung würde auf jeden Fall einzigartig werden. Das kann ich auf jeden Fall bestätigen. Diesmal mit dem Etappenrennen in Langenlois in Österreich.
Elena, Heike, Gunda, Lena, Chiara, Franzi und ich sind mit Olaf, Anna, Günther und Andi am Donnerstag angereist, um die vier Etappen in drei Tagen zu bestreiten. Untergebracht waren wir in einem Schloss. Das hat das Erlebnis natürlich noch viel besser gemacht. Die Landschaft war malerisch, umgeben von Weinbergen.
Die erste Etappe war eine 102 km flache Strecke mit abenteuerlicher Streckenführung, die permanente Konzentration forderte. Da sich keine Gruppe absetzen konnte, sind wir alle (abzüglich einiger Gestürzter) nahezu gemeinsam im Ziel eingelaufen.
Am zweiten Tag standen gleich 2 Rennen auf dem Plan. Ein 12 km Bergsprint im Massenstart und ein 14 km Einzelzeitfahren. Um die Sache ein bisschen spannender zu machen, hat’s auch gleich mal geregnet. Trotz des Wetters war die Stimmung im Team super.
Der dritte Tag umfasste ein 69 km langes, bergiges Rundstreckenrennen. Ja, bergig war’s auf jeden Fall. Ein bisschen Kopfsteinpflaster, ein bisschen Regen, ein bisschen steile Abfahrt und ein bisschen sehr steile Auffahrt hat das Feld gesprengt. Somit hat jeder von uns topographische Herausforderungen und Wetterlage in einer kleinen Gruppe genießen können. Bei weniger Leuten um sich herum hat man ja dann auch bessere Aussicht über die Landschaft.
Das Wochenende hatte mir die Möglichkeit gegeben, die Mädels besser kennen zulernen. Alle richtige Hingucker mit lebensfroher Art und super Einstellung zum Team. Vielen Dank an alle für solch eine super Erfahrung!

Last race in Europe – Austria

Seven Team Stuttgart girls – four stages – two days of rain – one castle – a ton of crashes in a picturesque setting in the Austrian Langenlois – that would be the snapshot of the three day stage race the past weekend.
When we arrived on Thursday a surprise awaited me – we would stay in a castle. Ok, havent had that one yet for race accommodation. Langenlois, the town all races started and ended in, is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards. It was gorgeous!
The first race – the flat 120km road race – told  the story of European racing. The peloton was aggressive, unpredictable and for first-time users, nerv-wrecking. The course and scenery were spectacular.
Aggressive: Elbow rubbing and cutting lines is standard. One girl didnt want to just push me out of the way so she gave me a hug before she did. I was stunned. It seemed that there is a different attitude towards crashes. No one cares. With or without reason…it doesnt matter. During the fourth race, I saw a girl climbing out of a creek bed because she crashed in a corner over the rail. Nothing special it seems. I talked to a girl that raced three days after a car collision where she suffered a concussion. I havent heard that one before.
Unpredictable: The average age of the women’s field is way younger than in the US. I would guess early 20s. Thus, racers have less experience and take more risks. Total abrupt stops out of nowhere are not unusual. In addition, there is way more stuff on the roads – traffic islands, signs, cars, whatever is there stays there. Thus, every passage through narrowings becomes an adventure and a game of luck.
Courses and scenery: I raced in Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria and all of the courses were phenomenal. All super challenging. The elevation profile in the racing booklet doesnt mean anything. From the race in Switzerland a week ago, I learned that their elevation chart must be fitted to the scale of Alpe d’Huez. Because the profile seemed so flat! Someone should show me where they built in that massive climb in that elevation chart!
Oh and one minor detail. Only head wind exists here! Dont ask. I havent figured it out yet.
I definitely had to get used to a different kind of racing here. So even more I appreciated the help and the friendship of my Team Stuttgart! I was so happy to be part of such a great team. Thank you very much Gunda, Lena, Heike, Elena, Chiara, Franzi, Andrea for a great time in Europe. And a huge thanks to the team director Olaf and team support Anna and Frank!
Upper row: f.l.: Chiara, Franzi, middle row: Monika, Elena, Gunda, lower row: Lena, Heike