Passion. “My biggest passion is definitely travelling. And also food, in relation to travelling, because that’s a big part of every culture and its identity. I love going to new places, getting to know new people and learning new languages. I’m originally from Germany, grew up in Bonn and did a bachelor degree in Regensburg. My passion for travelling started when I was 15 when I went to Australia on a high school exchange. I fell in love with the country and it was there that I realised that I want to see the world.
So, four years later, after finishing school, I booked a ‘One World’ ticket and set off. Within nine months, I lived in South Africa, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, US and Canada. Although I was travelling alone, it didn’t feel like that. The best thing was meeting people unexpectedly in another country during your travels. I still stay in contact with some of them and we may organise a reunion of some friends from South America, because I want to go back there when I finish my master.”
Beloved places. “My first and also my favourite destination was Cape Town. The travel community made me feel really included and the locals were very welcoming and open-minded. I was invited to many private homes and parties and could feel it all came from the heart. Bolivia also really impressed me. The countryside there is insanely beautiful.
The only place where I felt homesick was Japan. You rarely meet Western-looking people there, the locals are not fluent in English and people are quite introvert.”
Tips? “First, I would say to every traveller to buy the Lonely Planet. I had the travel guide for every country and in my experience it really lists the best places. Also ask local people for recommendations as soon as you meet them in the hostels. They are the ones who know the best restaurants and club scenes and they know dos and don’ts. For example, everyone tells you not to use the train in South Africa because it’s dangerous.
But, in my experience, when you travel with the locals, you are always safe. Although I have to say, the only bad luck I had was in Cape Town, where I was robbed during my first week. Luckily, only 300 euros were stolen using a bankcard.”
Career. “I’d like to work as a TV correspondent one day, a job that requires moving around or travelling. That’s why I really enjoy the study programme because it covers everything I like: culture, society and politics. Let’s see how things go.”