Monthly Archives: January 2014

On the move

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Wow, it really is time! Time to pack up all our stuff and move to the new place. Since late summer we’ve been waiting for the day to finally get the keys to our new home and last week that day was finally here. First up was an hour long tour through and around the house (German thoroughness, y’know). We’d learned where to put plastic and paper waste (in a box outside which can only be opened with the house key), where to put other waste (inside a room, also only accessible with the house key) and that there’s going to be a bin for organic waste soon, too (yes, we Germans love our recycling). We’d been shown the the underground parking, the cellar and the storage room for bicycles and strollers. And we’d made sure we know everything about the passive house technology which will heat our apartment with the help of our own body warmth. All we cared about really was to finally hold the keys in our hands and when we finally did and were left alone we jumped with joy. I would’ve loved to stay right there and to start turning that place into our home. But instead I had to go back to the office, wearing a huge smile on my face for the rest of the day.

Now the busy part has started. We’re packing boxes, moving furniture and taking it all to the new place during the week, then put wallpaper and paint on the walls during the weekend. We’re planning to have finished most of the move by next Sunday, even though I’m sure we’re gonna live in chaos for the next couple of weeks. And you know what, I’m ok with that. It’s all part of the process and it’s gonna take as long as it takes. I’m really curious to see what life in the new place is gonna be like though. What kind of people our neighbours are. And how the area we’re living in is going to develop in the next months. So far we’re among the first inhabitants on our little peninsula in the river. There’s going to be lots of new houses, offices, a hotel, a supermarket and other things being built. It’s going to be a whole new residential area and I find it pretty exciting to witness this all with my own eyes. I can’t wait for summer to come, so we can enjoy a cold beer on our huge balcony or have a barbecue with friends down by the little harbor in front of the house. I certainly will miss living right in the centre of Frankfurt where I can basically get anywhere I want shortly either by public transport or foot. But I’m pretty used to changes in my living situation. I’ve never lived in the same place for more than 3 years since I moved out from home.  So I’m sure I’ll get acquainted to this place quickly. And I’m more than looking forward to this new chapter in our lives. It’s gonna be our first home together. How amazing is that!

I hope I’ll still be able to post here regularly during the move. But if not, you know I’ll be trying to organise the chaos that is my life right now. 😉

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InspiraShot: A sunset in the mountains

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DSC02912Last Sunday, we woke up to a perfect winter day. Blue sky. Sunshine. Temperatures not too cold. It was clear that we had to go outside and enjoy this beautiful weather. Enjoy the sunlight on our skin. I did a little research of things to do in the nature not too far away. And I found something: Großer Feldberg, with around 900m the highest mountain (or hill rather?) in the area. The plan was to drive to the top, walk around for a bit and then watch the sunset. The great thing about winter really is that you can watch the sunset without having to stay up late. There have been some beautiful sunsets this season so far with lovely colours in the sky, but I mostly watched them from the office. But not this time!

When we arrived, the top was pretty busy. There were cars and people everywhere, but we managed to find a parking spot not too far away. It was pretty chilly up there, but I liked it that way. It actually felt like winter to me for the first time. There wasn’t any snow, but the branches of some trees were covered in ice which looked almost like in a painting. There are lots of hiking paths on the mountain, so we walked around for a while soaking up the scenery. I felt so calm and peaceful. Exactly what I needed before the move to our new apartment is starting this week. And then it was time for the sunset! There’s a tower on the top which you can access for a little fee, so we bought hot cocoa and went upstairs. From up there the view was really stunning. Since the sky was so clear, we could see the skyscrapers of Frankfurt, the airport and even more mountains. There were a few clouds hanging over the valley and everything was covered in warm red light. I could’ve watched that sunset forever. It was just so beautiful (as you can see in the pic above)! It really was a perfect Sunday.

Here are a few more pics of our little trip. Enjoy! And if you’re in the area make sure to check out Großer Feldberg some time. I’ll definitely be back in the summer for more hiking and a picnic.

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My song for 2014

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Wow, the new year is already a week old – time to pick a theme song for 2014! Last year I chose “Invincible” by Muse. I loved that song particularly because of one line: “Together we’re invincible”. When I picked it, I had no idea that these word would pretty much sum up my 2013. If I had to pick a tag line for the past year, it would probably be these words. Life has his funny ways, doesn’t it?

For this year, I want to pick a special song. Because I want this year to be a special one. I know that every year is special in its own way. But I want 2014 to be extra special. I want it to be a year full of adventures and wondrous experiences and fun and just all about living life to the fullest. I want it to be the year in which I find my way back to my passions, back to what I really love doing after 2013 has taken me on some detours. And the one thing I want to focus on most, the one thing that has changed my life entirely over the past 2 years is music. So this year I’m choosing a song as my theme song which I’ve written myself. “Unsung heroes” is the only song I managed to finish writing last year. It accompanied me for months and months, it grew from a tiny thought in my mind into something big and beautiful. By choosing one of my own songs I’m making a statement. This song is still unfinished. So far it only exists as lyrics, a melody and a few chords. It’s as unfinished as this year which has just begun. But over the coming weeks, maybe even months we’re going to work on it. We’ve chosen it as the first song we want to fully record and we’ve already started to work on it. And one day soon it’s gonna be a shiny, brand new song. It’s going to be the prove that I’m back on my way, that despite having left my path for a bit I’m heading into the right direction again.

I absolutely can’t wait to share that song with you. But for now I’m gonna have to leave you with the lyrics. Just read it as a poem and I’m sure you’ll see exactly why I’ve picked this song. And if you wanna be updated on the progress of our recording project that is going to entail lots of more songs, check out our Facebook page. We’ll post regular updates there once we’ve got something to share.

 

Unsung heroes
We were fallen stars in the city of light
Glowing in the dark but the night was too bright
We broke the laws and went untouched
But still
We crave for more
 
The dream is alive
Beating wild
Carved in our hearts we follow its lead
To the death
And the dawn
Push us down
We’ll survive the hell of this unspoken spell
Cause we know
We know
 
We don’t need enemies to fight
No bridge to cross the other side
We’ll feast on visions in our minds
We don’t need wings to fly and leave the world behind
We can be kings without a crown
 
Through the mist of our past
We came to leave no stone untouched
Shake the world in its grounds
We will rise
High above the walls of dependency
We are free
Yeah, we’re free
 
We don’t need enemies to fight
No bridge to cross the other side
We’ll feast on visions in our minds
We don’t need wings to fly and leave the world behind

We can be kings without a crown
We can be

 
Wild like a beast trapped in the dark for too long
Full of passion for a dream long gone
Cause this voice inside
It will never die
On our death bed you’ll hear it cry
 
No enemies
No bridge
No wings to fly
We can be kings
We will be kings
 
In the darkest hour of the deepest night
I will sit with you
Side by side
Under the beauty of a starless sky
We’ll wait for the dawn

An urban adventure

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This winter has been pretty mild so far, temperatures have rarely dropped under 0 and there have even been amazingly sunny days with blue skies. On these days, I’m trying to go outside, to expose myself to as much sunlight as I can. I love to be in the nature, even in winter which definitely isn’t my favourite season of the year (except if there’s snow and I’m close to a slope), and one great thing about Frankfurt is that you can access green spaces pretty easily. Even right inside the city. From time to time I like to go on little adventures (as I call them) with the boyfriend to explore a new part of the city or its surroundings. It’s always so much fun because you never know where you might end up and what you might discover. Who says you can only explore foreign territory when abroad? The adventure is right in front of our doorstep really!

Since we’d spent most of Christmas inside eating and resting our full bodies I was craving to go outside and a few days after the holidays we woke up to a pretty, sunshiny day. So off we went into another urban adventure. We started in a little park on a hill in a residential area which gave us a nice view of the outskirts of the city.

DSC02844The park led to an area full of little gardens (called Schrebergarten) which I believe is a particular German thing. People who don’t have a garden behind their house (which is a pretty rare thing to have in a city like Frankfurt) can rent a little garden space where they can plant flowers, fruits and veggies. Usually, you can also find a little hut in front of which people like to gather for barbecues in summer. One day I’d love to rent a Schrebergarten of my own, but I heard it’s pretty hard to get one since they’re quite popular. Sigh!

DSC02849The path led us next to a little creek and then suddenly we stood in front of a huge bridge. We could see the highway further behind, but it seemed like this particular bridge wasn’t in use anymore or had never been. Curious as I am I needed to go up there. Once we got to the peak we saw that there was no road leading to or from the bridge. It was just a bridge with no connection. I thought this was a pretty cool playground for kids to ride bikes or skates, even though it might not be the safest place with fast cars passing by. However, we had an awesome view over the gardens and the whole area from up there, a pretty cool find!

DSC02855DSC02856DSC02858Behind the bridge we got to another area full of little gardens. Since it had been raining quite a lot the past days, the path got pretty muddy. But it was kinda fun trying to find a way through all the dirt and not getting stuck in it. And we made even more interesting discoveries. There was a little lake. The headquarters of an infamous motorcycle club (we found out about that later). And lots of horses looking at us curiously.

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It definitely was a fun couple of hours outside and I can’t wait to go on the next adventure. Who knows what we’re gonna find then.

Have you ever been on an adventure in your city? What did you discover?

 

My year in blogging

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Every year, WordPress has a little surprise in store for its bloggers: an annual review with stats of the past year. I’m always looking forward to that report because as probably most bloggers I’m a little obsessed with blog stats. I love to see how many people visit my blog, which posts they read, how they find me and which part of the world they’re from. I frequently visit the stats page of my blog thoughout the year, but it’s especially nice to get an overview of the whole year. And while this blog is still tiny, I can’t help but be proud that quite a bunch of people read what I have to say and sometimes even leave a comment. So how did 2013 go for Exploring Maybeland?

All in all I’d say it was an average year in blogging for me. I wish I would’ve sticked to writing more regularly, but I still feel that I shared a lot of things during the past year. I wrote 37 posts which makes a post every 1,5 weeks (not as bad as I thought) and posted 55 pictures. The busiest day was February 4th. That day I published a post called “February? Really?” in which I was surprised at the fact that the first year of the month had already passed and I felt like I’d accomplished nothing at all. Rereading that post just now made me wonder if this January is going to be the same. Well, I hope not. That post surprisingly wasn’t among the 5 most popular posts I published last year. Here are the post people were most interested in reading:

  • What I like: It seems like the simplest post I wrote was the most popular one. Sometimes it’s that easy I guess. I simply listed things I like. Which are quite a few. Take a look.
  • Rock bottom: In this post I dealt with the immediate aftermath of my breakdown. This was probably the most difficult topic I ever wrote about. But also like a therapy. I’m not very good at talking about my problems, so writing it down, getting it all out certainly was important in order to get better. And who knows, maybe it can even help someone who’s in a similar situation.
  • Creativity is not a talent!: I found this quote in a speech by John Cleese and I found it to be very true. And even better: I believe that anyone can be creative. You just have to set your mind to it and let inspiration flow.
  • My theme song for 2013: At the beginning of every year I pick a theme song to accompany me through the year. A song that reflects what I want that particular year to be about. Last year I chose “Invincible” by Muse and it turned out to be very true to my experiences. So much so that I put a lyric (“Together we’re invincible”) on the back of our love lock (see my previous post for more on that).
  • Forward: In this post I introduced a prototype of our band shirt and had a little rant about how hard it is to find fellow musicians who are as passionate about our music as we are.

What I find particularly interesting is that all these posts were published between January and March. So I’m either writing more interesting posts at the beginning of the year or people are generally reading more blog posts during that time. Who knows.

The funniest part about blog stats are the search terms through which people find your blog. The most popular ones this year were: “exploring maybeland” (obviously), “maybeland” (also no surprise), “gary lightbody laugh” (Interesting, I wonder if he has a particular sexy/funny/whatever laugh? I hope they weren’t too disappointed when they found out it was actually Snow Patrol’s guitarist who was laughing in the post they were referred to by this search term), “maybeland makeup” (I wonder if they meant Maybelline?) and “creativity is not a talent”. My personal favourites, however, were these:

  • “fuck as many girls as many time in frankfurt” (Um, I have absolutely no idea why someone would find my blog through this!!!)
  • “what are my chances of getting to meet Jared Leto” (I have no idea how the internet is supposed to tell you what the chances are. Unless by “meet” you mean being in the same room with him and dozens or even hundreds of other fans, in that case money will give you a 100% chance.)
  • “porn hub kim and ray j sex tape” (I just wish I’d never seen this one.)

Unfortunately, most search terms are encrypted. I’m sure there would be some other hilarious ones.

Another interesting stat are the places visitors of my blog come from. One reason I’m blogging in English is that I’d love to have readers from all over the world. And I certainly did. There were people from 54 different countries reading my posts last year. By far, most people came from Germany, followed by the United States and the UK. But there were also people from as exotic places as Barbados, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Panama, Lybia, Guam and Iraq. Wow!

I for one can’t wait for another year here in Maybeland. And I really hope you’ll join the ride. Cheers!

Endings and new beginnings

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DSC02863HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY! I hope y’all arrived well in 2014 and had a great night of celebrations. The boyfriend and I ended the year with a little symbolic act: We locked the above “love lock” to a bridge nearby. It might be a little cheesy, but I think there’s nothing wrong about that.  And honestly, there couldn’t have been a better day than New Year’s Eve for this – the last day of a year in which our relationship has grown so much. A year full of happiness and adventures together as well as some lows we managed to get through. As it says on the back of our love lock: “Together we’re invincible”, a lyric from a Muse song I chose as my theme song for 2013. When I picked it I had no idea it would be that true for us this year, but such is life I guess.

Usually, here in Frankfurt couples attach their locks to the Eiserne Steg, a bridge close to the city center which is already overflowing with locks. But when I gave our love lock to the boyfriend for our anniversary, we both instantly knew we wanted ours to be put in a different place. There’s a bridge very close to my apartment with a beautiful view of the skyline. We crossed said bridge on the way home from our first date. It was night and we both stopped to admire the beautiful view and to take a pic – and later found out that we both wanted to kiss each other at that very moment, but were to shy to pull through with it. It was pretty clear that this had to be the place for our lock. So we took a little walk to the bridge yesterday afternoon to fulfill our mission. We weren’t sure if there would be a place to which the lock would fit, but we were lucky and found a place that both fit and was still unoccupied. This is the view from the place on the bridge we attached the lock to. Beautiful, isn’t it?

DSC02864We then spent a very relaxed rest of New Year’s Eve. We had dinner at a Chinese buffet restaurant, went back home to enjoy some homemade cocktails (yum, Zombies!) and then went to the rehearsal room to spend the last hour of the year working on a new song. As I said in my annual review post, I want music to be my first priority in 2014, so it was pretty awesome to dive right into it again. Around midnight we went outside to join dozens of other people who were ready to welcome the new year by the river. We watched the fireworks from yet another bridge and were just happy to enjoy these moments with each other. It was an awesome start to the new year and I for one can’t wait for all the adventures we’re going to embark on in 2014. We’ve already made some plans for the new year and I promise I’ll make sure to keep you updated.

DSC02866I’m wishing you the very best for 2014! Dare to dream, dare to live and don’t let anyone stop you from doing so!