Who am I?

Hey there. My name is Ann-Kathrin. I am a German-born cisgender female (she/her) currently living and working in New York City. An explorer at heart, I have been plagued by “Fernweh” aka far-sickness or wanderlust for as long as I can remember. As a child, this was limited to dreaming about all the places I wanted to visit and soaking up every bit of information about cultures and history that I could find in the form of books, movies and TV shows.

As probably a lot of travelers, my big plunge into the mystery of travel came after a breakup: In 2008, I was 21, heartbroken and felt a deep urgency to leave the city… in parts to not accidentally run into my ex. Somehow I came up with the idea of booking an Interrail ticket and touring Europe. Additionally, I felt the strong urge to do it alone. Considering how sheltered I had been up to that point, it surprised even me. But it felt important to do this for myself and for once in my life (I am the oldest of 4 children) not to worry about anyone but me.

My parents were a little shocked and concerned. Why would I not consider partnering up with one of my girl friends? Luckily for me, aside from having done my initial research and having made sound arguments, I was able to play the equality card: My dad had set out on the exact same adventure when he was my age and surely they would be okay if one of my (younger) brothers decided to do the same in a couple of years. They reluctantly held their peace after that.

So I dove deeper into the research, got resources from the local library, acquired train time tables for the European railway system and started planing my first real travel endeavor. And I have only grown wider eyed and hungry for more since then.

A lot has changed since that first big trip. Mainly how I (and probably a lot of people) research and plan travel. The internet was slow and not readily accessible in the late 2000s, so I pre-researched my route, departure and arrival times (with emergency alternatives) and accommodations (and emergency alternatives) as well as sights and places to visit along the way (which resulted in an extensive list) using travel guides in book form, but did not pre-book anything. Making a phone call internationally – even within the E.U. – would have been too expensive. Nowadays, I do most of my research and booking online and most often just-in-time using my smartphone. Travel has become so convenient and gained a level of certainty that my insecure and anxious 21 year old could have never even dreamed up.

Nevertheless, some things have stayed constant: I still learn something new about the places I visit, the world and myself every single time. And at the end of the day, that’s why I grab every chance I get and why I keep coming back to it, not matter what. It gives me a sense of passion and peace that I don’t grow tired of. And in a way, I stay the wide-eyed, curious, excited young girl that wanted to explore and discover the world.

Cover picture taken in Vizcaya Gardens in Miami, Florida (U.S.A.) in Feb 2020

One thought on “Who am I?

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  1. It’s interesting to read how you began travelling and how you got your parent on board. The equality card was a good one! There was no way they could have argued out of that one! Excited to read more about your adventures here.

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