Champagne Ponds

This is a naturally occurring pool carved out of lava along the coast. The thing that makes it unique is that the water is heated by an underground lava tube, so it’s about 95°F degrees in there. It’s a mix of ocean and fresh water, and a popular sea turtle hang-out. And the best thing is I am staying at a couchsurfer´s home 5 minutes walkway from this amazing place. Is there anything better than starting the day snorkeling with sea turtles?

The big island of Hawai´I is a big mystery to me. While there are 11 different climate zones on this island it is usual to expect rain showers, thunder storms, heavy clouds and burning sun on one 30 min car drive. Half of the time here I feel like in the movie Jurassic Park while the other half feels like back in the 60ies. In the beginning of my US-trip I did not like the idea of driving everywhere. Since I am on the Big Island I adapted the convenient driving style to explore the area. It is way easier as busses are very seldom seen and many areas are rather remote. This makes the “Jurassic Park” part of sitting in a rental car and driving through the jungle while looking at the sights. I had an intense feeling of tininess driving through the volcano national park and seeing volcano craters and lava fields from an eruption in the 70ies. And it wouldn´t have surprised me to see a dinosaur jumping over the lava fields or hiding between the huge ferns.

It is difficult to take a picture of the big nothing we experienced. These lava fields feel endless and wide and are kinda heavy to describe. Imagine the lava being liquid and flowing over streets and homes is thrilling. Now the lava rocks are hard and cold and tell their silent story.

I mentioned the other part of me that feels like back in the 60ies. This feeling is caused by the hippies living here in their organic communities, being independent and free. We found a black sand beach where most of the people wore nothing but their drums and hairbands. They were dancing, singing, swimming and playing with their kids all as god made them. Most of them came from the main land and are sick of being dependent on modern facilities. They developed their own way of living – just like in the 60ies. (yes, weed is part of it)

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Arrival on Hawaii

12 hours time difference to Germany. That feels really far away. To me it is unbelievable the 137 islands called Hawaii belong to the United States of America. Hawaiians seem to have independent culture and language. (yes, it is kinda hard to understand you fellows) I spent my first week on Oahu – the island where Honolulu is located. My two dear friends hosted me in their home on an army base. It was interesting to see and feel how it is to live on an army base. Believe me it is a different world! I have never been in touch with the military and it was a little strange to me. My nicest friends and their lovely neighbors and friends made my stay unforgettable – thank you! I am looking forward to seeing you again!

On Monday my friend from Germany arrived which means i have a travel-buddie again! Yay! We drove to Oahu´s north shore and spent two nights there. Snorkeling, pineapple plantage, sea turtles and swimming inclusive! I did not dare to surf yet. The waves and current are really strong and I heard a couple of people debating about the perfect wave-riding. Maybe I am more into paddeling?

Today my friend and I flew to the Big Island – only 35 min flight from Honolulu. Tomorrow we´ll get our rental car which I am really looking forward to. Not having a car on the big island sucks. Today we walked so much – I was completely exhausted.

This was my short update for you guys. Next stop: Vulcano and liquid Lava!

Lost and found in New York City

It is my last day in New York City. Tomorrow i am flying back to Seattle where a part of my family lives and am finally heading to Hawaii on Friday, April 15th. My visit to New York was like a rollercoster. When I started my world trip i thought: Wow, 365 days of fun and happiness! I did not calculate bad days or feelings into my year. After 2,5 weeks in New York i know there has to be some recalculations made.

I lost myself in New York City. All the possibilities, activities and people i found there made me want to stay longer. Therefore i decided to skip my L.A. trip and stay one more week. The second week began great, but then it turned out to a week full of insecurities. On some mornings I did not know where to lay my head at night. This is how I moved 4 times from home to home. For the first time in this trip I felt a little homesick. Why am I doing this? Where is MY bed? And where are MY friends? To find answers to my questions I spent a few days online at Starbucks, healed my soul with liters of cinnamon dolce latte and skyped with my friends back home. Instead of giving me shit about my unsatisfied feelings they acted supporting. And they told me to continue my travels because feelings change as fast as the weather does. The weather here in New York City was grey and rainy the last days.

Thanks to all the kind and the new people in my life I refocussed on my trip. Bad days are calculated into my travelology 2.0. And after 2,5 weeks in New York i remember why i am doing this trip. I want to see the world and to find myself. The last days in New York were filled with sun and happy feelings and I finally found my grit again.

I can´t wait to see Hawaii and go snorkeling this weekend. Next stop: Seattle!

Living in New York

People keep asking me how i spend my days in New York. This post is for all the curious people out there.
This monday I moved from Harlem to Brooklyn. Brooklyn my new home for now treats me well. The sunset-rooftop-view to Manhattan is priceless! So how do i spend my days? I am still meeting as many new people as possible. I went shopping with a friend and bought the most “necessary” world-trip accessoires: high heels, curling iron and jewelery…. While i use these items for my undercover identity the hipsters in Williamsburg still identify me as a backpacker because of my functional wind and weather jacket and the backpack. Not yet assimilated dear NYC citizen!
Besides undercover missions i am exploring the bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan and practice my cooking skills: Prawns with asparagus and mixed salad – check. Chicken breast on spinach salad plus red wine and cheese – check. Nutella bread – check.
Yesterday i decided to visit Coney Island. It was the worst idea ever.  After 1 hour train ride i arrived at the only 40°F,windy and rainy beach. The amusement park was closed and looked like a construction site.

It was only me and two homeless people hiding from the rain. Kinda depressing. Being completely wet i went back to Brooklyn and had a cup of tea at a friend´s house. Cozy!
The last days i spend laughing, eating, shopping. (I would say eat, pray love… but i haven´t prayed yet)

New York

I am not easy to impress. Thats why i am rarely excited before  my travels. As a matter of course i am sitting in the bus from Washington D.C. to New York City. The busride begins and i fall asleep. After 4 hours of sleeping in a uncomfortable position i wake up and what do i see? The New York City Skyline! I get all excited, grab my camera and take a, for most persons meaningless and blury picture, out oft he bus. I am in New York!

The feeling I had when i woke up on my seat and saw the skyline hasn´t changed. The first time I have been here was 8 years ago. But all I remember is skyscrapers and the crowd of people living here. For me New York has always been a restless and uncomfy place earth. That´s why i was very surprised to find something completely different during my latest trip. I live in Harlem in a scretchy but charming apartment. My host is on vacation and so i have his apartment all for myself.

Harlem is not what it used to be twenty years ago. Danger? Hasn´t faced me yet. Instead of that families live here in the cute little houses with stairs in front of the entry. I don´t care about skin color. The term “meltingpot” still fits perfectly to New York. Here the minority ist he majority. And i am in the middle of it all.

I love New York because people answer to questions like: „Hey, have you seen that dwarf with his 2 meter transsexual girlfriend?“ with „So what?“ If New York is restless? I don´t know. To me it is a city full of creativity that you can grab out of the air and feel in every breath you take. From the very first sunlight, when delivery trucks dispose their goods to shops and street cleaners sing a song with their co-workers and the last party people come home, or during the day when businessmen stream across the streets like ants and the whole city is drowning in humming or in the evening, when the people are on their way home, to the park to enjoy the last sunlight, kissing their loved ones or go to a bar… i sit here, watch and take pictures.

Here in the city of the restless i feel balanced and calm. Every day i spend here i meet new people. I listen to their way of seeing life, i am listening tot the craziest ideas and to unusual life-concepts. A unbelievable strong will is coming out of those people. Nothing seems to be impossible as long as you are willing to work focussed on your goals. This is maybe why most of the people i meet here are selfemployed in their field of work.

I love New York so much that i have decided to skip my trip to L.A. to stay here one more week.