Why do all goods things come to an end?

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“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack KerouacOn the Road

I have two more weeks left in beautiful California, I don’t think I quite realize it yet!  Every time I start thinking about it, my mind sets a huge blockade, holding up a sign saying, “no step further, beyond this point the likelihood of increased unhappiness and bad mood changes is intensified.” So I see myself walking away, thinking about the beautiful beaches and sunsets, all the people I consider my friends here now, the activities I have planned throughout the next weeks as well as about my past experiences, which all bring a huge smile on my face. I know it is the easy way, pretending that this great experience I made so far, just is not going to be over, but will go on. You can’t imagine how pleased I would be spending at least the rest of the summer here, as so many great things are coming up within the summer months.

Don’t get me wrong, it may sounds as if I completely hated my life back in Germany, that I don’t want to go back there at all. This is not true. I am super excited to see all my friends and family. Go to some of my favorite spots, and enjoy German food. But life in California just has more to offer. I believe what is my greatest hold back from wanting to go back is the instability I have at home. I am basically going to live with my mom over the summer, as I don’t have my own apartment anymore. I know I will only be home for a couple of weeks until I am going off to Scotland for my study abroad. I am super excited but it will be a completely new environment not knowing anybody again. After that my bachelor thesis semester is coming up, where I will be in a new city again, working in a company and writing my final thesis to get my degree. I have no clue yet where I will go for that. I know that I made all this choices and that I wanted it and still do want, but  sometimes it is a little bit overwhelming. It is great to see so many different places of the world, and I am truly happy that I am the one getting the chance to do so, but sometimes I just feel I need to hit a pause button that allows me to stay a little longer in one place. And of course goodbye’s are always the hardest part about it. I had the chance to meet so many amazing people, feeling I just got to know them entirely and having to leave now. And that is sad. 

But you know what, I will just try to make the best I can out of the 2 weeks I have left here, hoping that I will have the chance to come back in the near future, either for holiday or for work 🙂 And just follow this idea.

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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Follow the sun

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What I will really miss about California is the ocean. I love being able to go to the beach whenever I want within 1o minutes. Not simply because I love to take a walk barefoot in the sand, watch the waves break and listen to the their sound, but mostly because nothing gives me a better mood than a beach day. After a long and stressful weak, for whatever reason, nothing brings back new energy to me faster than relaxing at the beach, feeling the warmth of the sun on my skin, reading a good book, and enjoying a beautiful sunset, seeing how the sky turns pink and the world golden 🙂

The Power of Photography

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On Saturday I went to the Annenberg Space for Photography with a group from InterNations. I am so lucky that they have an exhibition in collaboration with National Geographic magazine, called The Power of Photography, while I am here. National Geographic is a big name of which mostly everybody has heard of before. For their 125 anniversary they created a exhibition featuring the best and most meaningful pictures. All the images were stunning, no matter if being nature-, people-, or animals-shots. Sometimes almost unbelievable that all the pictures weren’t edited by Photoshop, in a time when it is hard to find a picture not edited. But this proves how talented all the people working for National Geographic are. Due to limited space and the huge amount of photographs, digital screens were used to show pictures in addition to print media. I really liked that because you could wander around several times always seeing something new or simply stand in front of a screen for several minutes and watch pictures changing. We had a guided tour, which gave an insight into the history of National Geographic, dating back to 1888, and in addition included information about photographers like Steve McCurry. In addition two documentary’s were shown, one about the creation of the exhibition and the second one featured interviews with journalists and photographers, talking about the power of photography and what inspires them. When we see a picture, especially pictures from National Geographic, showing content of social evils of the world, I have never really thought about what it must have been like taking this picture. Those journalists and photographers are deeply involved in their surrounding, the culture and the people. The documentary was a great eye-opener and encouraged to think about it. After having been in so many museums all over the world the Annenberg Space, even though being really small and only featuring one exhibition at a time, was one of the greatest places I have been to, because it really touched me. I learned that photography really is a powerful tool! Unfortunately now photography was allowed inside the museum, I would have loved to share the pictures I liked the most.

This said I am really excited for the next exhibition starting on May 31st, Country: Portraits of an American Sound. Definitely a must do before I leave. I can’t wait 🙂

Happiness

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This quote is so true. Happiness is what matters the most. It is not about earning the most money, living in the fanciest house and being high on the career ladder, but it is about what personally makes us happy. If we are happy with what we are doing, it is a clear indicator of what is right and what is wrong. Of course for some people this can mean following their dream career, or having a certain standard money wise. But happiness has no clear definition. For me happiness means being in a place I love, being surrounded by people I love and having enough freedom to do all the things I love. I can honestly say that I haven’t found my dream place yet, even though LA is pretty close. I love being close to the beach, having sunny weather most of the time, and having endless possibilities for going out, just grabbing my camera and taking pictures of some wonderful moments. I am surrounded by people I really like but of course my family and friends from Germany are missing. Overall I am happy, I know I have made the right decision to go abroad again, to explore and to create myself a little more every day I am here 🙂 Can you say that you are truly happy with your life? What does happiness mean for you? Leave a comment!

100 days

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Before I came here I made a little countdown in my pocket diary to see how many days I have left and how many days I have already been in the States. This morning, when writing down some appointments I saw the number 100, meaning I have 100 more days left here in beautiful California. I can’t believe how time is running. On one hand I have the feeling I have been here in LA forever, as I already had the opportunity to see a lot and made some great new experiences, but then on the other hand there is so much more to see and to do. The list is endless. So it already feels like I am a little bit under pressure, because of course I want to make the most out of my time here. I guess I don’t have to worry though, by just looking back at all the post I wrote, I get a good summary of what I have been doing while being here. And when looking at my pocket diary and all the upcoming things I have planed, I can definitely say that I am using my time right. There has been no weekend so far, on which I didn’t at least go out one day and explored different parts of the city, and there are so many things planned still.

So talking about my time left here I in general thought about the value of time.  We can have an influence on basically everything we do, we are making hundreds of choices everyday, we can choose how we spend our day, what we spend our money on, what we will eat, but time ultimately is something we cannot change, 24 hours will always stay 24 hours, and that is what makes the value of time so special. Thinking about it we all plan our days by hours, depending on when we get up we make choices for breakfast, we make plans for the evening depending on when we will get off from work, we calculate the hours of sleep we have left deciding if we should watch another episode of our favorite tv show and so forth. And mostly everybody at least at some point has the feeling of being time-strapped. I read a good article about the price of time published by Forbes magazine. Not being able to change or extend the time we have we all should make the most of our time we have, and by this I not mean doing as most as you can on one day, but doing things you love and that make you happy. We all should stop wasting our time on things that we do not value, that do not bring us further in live. Just realize what time can mean:

To understand the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To understand the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
To understand the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To understand the value of ONE HOUR, ask lovers who are waiting to meet.
To understand the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the bus.
To understand the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To understand the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a gold medal in the Olympics.

Time waits for nobody, so make the most out of it 🙂

 

Reach for the unknown

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Yesterday for some reason I was thinking about what brought me here, what made me decide to come to Los Angeles to do an internship instead of going the easy way and staying home in Germany. I came to the conclusion it is curiosity, curiosity for the unknown. If I think about the last couple of years I always was searching for something new. I was constantly exploring. Starting from my high school year in Virginia in 2008, going backpacking in Thailand, getting my scuba diving license, making the decision to study in the Netherlands, going parachuting, attending a surf camp in Portugal, to my move to Los Angeles, my upcoming 4 week road trip around the west coast of the States as well as my study abroad in Scotland starting in September of this year. These are just a couple of things I did, but I was and am constantly opening new doors and try to do new things. Why? Because it makes me happy! I want to explore the world, meet new people and experience different cultures. I want to try as many new things as possible, because you never know how much fun some things can be until you try.

So many people ask me how I am able to afford all what I have done at my age. They are telling me they want to do the same thing but don’t have the resources to do it. For me there is always a way to do it, I rather say you can’t get something from nothing. I have been working since I was 16, constantly saving money. I am glad that I have a family supporting me with my study, but all my trips and so forth I have mainly financed by myself. You just have to set priorities in your life. And trying new things does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money, it can be small things like attending a new sports club, trying out a restaurant with an unknown cuisine, attending a cultural event in your hometown, or doing a weekend trip.

For me curiosity does not only mean to discover new paths but it means growing personally. Because every new experience we make shapes us somehow and makes the person who we are. If we are not curious and stay in our ‘safe haven’, we are stuck. And yes, staying in my safe haven can be great sometime or just the thing I need in certain times, but then my curiosity calls for attention, and there I go again looking forward to a unknown place or new activity 🙂

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/waltdisney132637.html#GmjbJt7wifJvDhdb.99

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/waltdisney132637.html#GmjbJt7wifJvDhdb.99

Dreams

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”- Ellen Jonson Sirleaf

I stumbled across this quote on pinterest the other day and I had to stop doing what I was working on to think about it. Should we follow dreams that scare us? And if so, would this fear not only stop us from following them in the end and hinder us to pursue them? To find an answer I was thinking about my dreams, coming back to the US and living here for a longer amount of time was one of them. And there definitely was fear involved. I have made the experience before to leave my home for a year, to leave all my family and friends behind and to come to a place where I did not know anybody. There is fear about loneliness and questions you ask yourself like will I be able to adjust to all the differences? Will I be able to make new friends quickly? How will it be when I come back home, what has changed? In addition as this is my first internship, I was scared about how I would perform? Would I like the company? But besides all these scary questions the excitement about coming here surpassed the negative aspects. I am really glad that I got the opportunity to be here and to pursue one of my dreams. I personally believe that fear does not hinder you in pursuing your dreams. If fear does stop you then you simply weren’t dedicated enough to follow your dream. Maybe it wasn’t a real dream then. And if dreams wouldn’t fear us at all, it would be too easy. Because every big step we make in our life will result in changes, and changes always come along with a good and a bad side, meaning things we are scared about. For me the fear I had kept me focused and helped me in staying realistic. It helped me in deciding do I really want it or not. Will it be good for me or not. So yes for me Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is right, try not only to focus on your small dreams just because they are easier to achieve, but go for the big ones 🙂

Smell of America

So I came across this quote earlier this morning and I wanted to write about it because I believe it is so true.

‘The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it’, by Rudyard Kipling

Haven’t we all entered a room at some time in our life and suddenly a flood of memories occurred in our mind based on the scent that stroke our nose?! For me when I smell the scent of freshly made waffles I feel like I traveled back in time standing in my grandmothers kitchen, as we used to bake waffles almost every weekend when I was a child. Or the smell of vanilla will always remind me of my mom as she loves everything related to it. Or the scent of John Paul Gaultier – Le Male, will always put a smile on my face, as I remember me and my best friend going to the perfumery, when we were about 14 years old,  to spray it on our wrist thinking once we have a boyfriend he has to wear this perfume. I could continue like this forever…

So when I arrived in LA it wasn’t what I saw that made me realize I am back in the States, but it was the smell. I can’t even explain what the States smell like to me, but it does smell different than in Germany. Especially when entering some houses here, I feel like I am back in Virginia at my host-families place. LA has a different smell than Williamsburg or New York, but I guess it is influenced by the smell of the ocean which is so close to where I live. And I have to admit this smell of the ocean is great because it brings back all the good memories about previous trips I have done in my life. So even without all the gorgeous sunsets I was able to see while I was here, a walk at the beach with my eyes closed would be just pure relaxation for my mind 🙂