About the Blog
Whenever you meet strangers, they also meet one.
Strangeness is not only what we see in others. Discovering a stranger also means discovering one's self. When we spend time to dive into another culture, we also see ourselves in the mirror of the stranger's eyes. We see the strangers we are.
This blog tells stories of these strange feelings, experiences and encounters. You may not find the best restaurant in Paris here, but maybe you will find something meaningful. We will take you to places which you will find in no other itinerary, because they are often far removed from the comfort zone. We will hardly take you to backpacker hostels, but show you locals' homes and our tents. We will not tell you how amazing everything is, but let you witness struggle. We will confront you with misunderstandings, real feelings and encourage you to question what you take for granted.
Whatever we think about ourselves, it will always become stranger on the road.
Nils is a camel-lover, anthropology-student, author, photographer, actor and so much more that he even doesn't know yet. Most importantly, he is an optimist about life.
He has explored the issue of social mobility in India and is currently conquering the world with his laptop and camera.
He likes to travel slow or stay and embrace whatever he finds. But he also loves the road without a destination, hitch-hiking, wandering around and letting adventures happen.
10 Random questions from Marleen to Nils
What is your favourite place in the whole wide world? Wherever I have friends to talk with, who really understand me. I wish they all live in Istanbul, though.
What would you like to be in your next life? Apart from not knowing what I want to do in this life, probably I’d like to be a naughty monkey which disturbs humans. Or maybe a penguin.
What makes you really happy? Stories or speeches about love, success and appreciation. German beet after a long time abroad.
What is your favourite drink and why? In the morning: Turkish tea, because it gives you a smooth start. In the evening: Beer, because it gives meaning to life. In the night: Mexikaner, because it is spicy and has tomato in it!
What inspires you? Stories about people who were making their own path and stand up for themselves and others.
If you could have three dinner guests, dead or alive, who would they be? I’m a bad cook, but the poor fellows would be: Jesus Christ, Mohammad and Alexander von Humboldt.
Which Harry Potter house would you prefer and why? I am the good guy in Slytherin. It’s nice to be able to positively surprise people and be allowed to be an asshole at the same time. I love confusion.
What was one of the most difficult things you have ever done? Seriously? Moving a washing-machine from one flat to the other. The rest of life was easy.
Which is your favourite landscape and why? Unpolluted mountains for hiking, breathing air filled with life and watching the sun rise.
Would you prefer to be called insane or sane? Sane, because I think that I am and would love most people to agree. But that’s what insane people would claim, too, I guess…
Marleen loves to go out and embrace the world. She is a goodhearted traveler who claims to have no roots. Being a magnet for extraordinary encounters, Marleen always believes in humanity.
You will find Marleen on road trips (never without a wheel or engine incident), bus rides through the Himalayas and in deep talks with fortune tellers.
10 Random questions from Nils to Marleen
What is your spirit animal and why? A mountain goat. I think a life spent as a free, wild goat must be pretty amazing. Although, lately I have been debating that my spirit animal may in fact be a Baobab tree. It’s technically not an animal, but still.
How do you use to break things? I usually sit on them, lose them, or they get stolen. Any form of technology I own is usually the first victim – also my glasses.
What is your favourite time of the day and why? It’s a toss-up between Dawn and Midnight. Preferably where one leads to the other due to productivity, or being in the midst of something magical where time doesn’t matter.
What makes you most angry? The near-sightedness of modern consumer society. Environmental destruction, and the costs of war. When Humans fail to recognise the Humanity of others.
If you could choose your next place of birth, where would it be and why? This is a hard question! Maybe everywhere, maybe nowhere. For now, I guess I’d say, a remote village near Mount Kailash in Tibet.
Which Harry Potter House would you prefer, and why? Ravenclaw. Because I think it corresponds the best to also being an Aquarius, and I want Luna Lovegood to be my best friend.
When did you really feel lost the last time? I don’t really feel lost that often. When I am supposed to be going somewhere but I end up somewhere else, It’s usually a worthwhile detour.
Is there anything you cannot laugh about? I am increasingly struggling with the casual racist humour that floats around the world in general, but South Africa in particular.
Your hardest mission ever was? The hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done, was to walk a trek of one thousand kilometres across Israel.
Would you prefer to be called sane or insane?I think sanity is in the eye of the beholder. A lot of things that are deemed ‘sane’, are insane to me, and some things that are deemed ‘insane’, seems very sane to me.