The In-Between


One Week Ago: Ready to Go

It is not only the cancellation of a trip I prepared throughout months. It is not the letting-go of an idea I aimed for since summer 2018. It is frustration, insecurity and disbelief.

The corona crisis throws me back 1 – 5 years, depending on its duration. If not questioning my entire business: Will I be able to continue my preferred work as a freelancer? Will I keep my apartment? Not to think of my (already far from being splendid) pension assurance… Hard to trust politicians way beyond science, copying more or less blindly the reactions of other countries and with no estimate of neither duration nor impact or recovering. Meaning the impacts on moral, society, culture and economics, left alone those on general health.

Yet, this is a travel blog, so what about the planned voyage? The 3-months-sabbatical, finally rewarding me for years of hard work and of several cancelled vacations? Well…


Roadmap, Culture, Literature, Camping, Timing – Prepared Options for some Destinations in Scope

If and When and Where I will travel this year is not clear. Instead of carrying the prepared piles of luggage into Hector, I will store them properly in my wardrobe. The Sri Lanka trip (backpack holidays with surfing and three weeks of travelling all around the country) will be the easiest to re-activate one day. The France + England part is different: The idea was spending plenty of time, much more time than usually. Drive and park and stay and move on. See and taste, relax and be active. Who knows if I will get my chance for such a sabbatical at all… It depends upon the economic development of the next months.

Dynamic Development, or: How Come??


Innerhalb von drei Tagen war die allgemeine Reisefreiheit Geschichte. Ich erschrecke darüber, wie es so schnell so kommen konnte. Was sonst würden wir noch alles stoisch hinnehmen, wenn es jemand als “beste Lösung” verkauft? Ich befürworte zügige Maßnahmen (warum ist kaum jemand auf Isolations-Ideen gekommen, bevor alle vom Faschingsurlaub zurück in Schule und Büros gingen?), aber die geschlossenen Grenzen, die Ausgangssperren in einigen Ländern, der Stillstand… lass jetzt bloß kein Feindbild dazu kommen.

Three days. That is all it took to turn our world from multi-culti-travellers into closed borders. The speed of development and some facets of it are frightening. I appreciate quick reaction to a severe crisis and would have appreciated it even more two weeks earlier, when hesitation paved the way of thousands of families back into schools and offices. Good friends and good spirit are on the positive side of our recent experience. Let’s focus on solutions and well-considered actions and hope that nobody will come up with a concept of an enemy.

Preparation? What for??

Running out of plans. Sri Lanka? Blocked. Instead, go to Portugal? Blocked now, too. Marokko? Stopped all ferries or other traffic. Italy? Anything further south and passing by Austria? Forget about it.

So here I am, running out of job & income and nowhere to go. Difficult news for a travelblog. Hoping it passes by soon and will not impact friends and family.

Coronetzefix nochamal! (Countdown 4)


18 months planning… 6 months preparation + booking… weeks of anticipation… counting down the last working days until the job ends and I will live from the air that I breathe and the joy of travelling. Then the headlines turn up seedy.

While I usually try to find positive approaches to upcoming obstacles, the corona virus development is a real challenge. I am yearning for my holidays, for sun on my skin and waves around my body. Thanks to a couple of dentist appointments, I even got my bikini shape just in time. It is not only about me, but includes friends from abroad: Linda will join, coming from another country with different rules or risks and with the plan to spend her holidays in good company (that would be me :-)).

So, what to do?


Of course, I have made up a plan B. And a plan C. D and E as well. F and following letters might enfold when needed. Yet, it is a question of time and money: If the planned holidays cannot be realized, a similar opportunity will come up not earlier than a couple of years later.

I will keep my fingers crossed for a world-wide calm-down of illness in general and of corona in particular. I will keep an eye on the travel limitations of my destinations (stop-over-airports included). I even might spin the prayers wheel that I got from Nepal. And I will be careful of what I am wishing: Mostly, my wishes come true, so I hope for the best!!

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Countdown: 5

Sometimes I wonder: What if I plan less? Be more open for spontaneous action, new encounters, unplanned adventures?


The conclusion is: No. Less plans would lead to more sports (one for the good), but even more, it would lead to more duty-fulfillment. Like last week: I could have used some days off for senseful things. Take care of my car and my flat. Clean the windows, get more of a view!

Truth is: Making plans for any kind of travel makes me see more of the world than perfectly transparent windows.


So I had a great time with my sister during our yearly ski vacations, we had adventures with closed ski lifts, stormy weather and strange people. And we had such a great time together!

I will continue to plan holidays, travels, jobs and financials. And I will take my dirty windows as a proof for the right priorities.


Countdown: 6

 Play it loud, play it proud!

The calm days are over! The cliché of surfer-vanlife that hung temptingly in the back of my head now developped into sonic impacts: I proudly present my Ukulele.


From now on, it will be easy to check out which of my temporary neighbours are petty bourgeois (complaining about noise) and which are cool and open-minded to instrumental-experimental sounds.

Learning something new is fascinating: At first, you don’t know nothing and an instant later you take your first steps, shifting your abilities a 100% up. Try out unknown terrain, fail, try again, get further. Meanwhile, my hands and muscles learn moves that develop from funny sound to recognizable music. My brain learns to read scrum schemes and chords and my whole body learns to differ between hands (playing the strings) and head (singing).


Imagine my Surprise when it Turned Out that I Can Actually Sing! (Here: My Famous Last Christmas Video with Greetings to Linda)

Thanks to the best guitar/ukulele teacher in eastern Munich (Echo Music School), the 2020 Hector trip starts on a much higher level than I had imagined. Now, wherever happy tones float through the air, something like “Here Comes the Sun” or “I’m Yours”, it is highly probable that great little Hector is near.


Mostly Harmless when Stored in the Bathroom, More of a Show when Played Outdoors

Countdown: 7

Travelling is not a synonym for holidays. Travelling is a mindset.


Always Eager to See the World

My journeys often come with beach and lazy days. Yet, the main focus is driven by curiosity: See over there, how does it look like? The buildings, the landscape, the people? How is the atmosphere? Let’s go and try local delicacies, buy regional wine, talk to people along the way.

I try to learn at least a bit of the language of each country I go to, with average success throughout Europe and lesser in Asia. I am looking forward to far destinations like Sri Lanka, accepting narrow space in cheap airline seats, praying that the close neighbours are not famous for their halitosis. And I like to discover close destinations: short trips within an hour-ride. Europe with all its trillions of facets. Lucky me, I always liked driving. The longer it takes, the more time enfolds for wandering thoughts and vague reflections of life, the universe and everything.


Yes, Another One. Truth is that Every Trip Shifts Your Perspective. Thanks to Jacktheyogi, I Discovered my Neighbourhood in Munich Upside-down (here: Schwabing).

The upcoming voyage is a triptych of settings: First Sri Lanka, accompanied by Linda, all easy and warm and hopefully with fantastic waves. Main challenges: find public transportations to the next destination and keep the mosquitos at distance.

Then Bretagne: My only preparation is a pile of “Kommissar Dupin” detective stories and a travel book published by Michael Müller. Topped by the conviction that global warming will lead to mild and sunny weather from April on.

And then, giving way to a longing that may or may not turn out as a qualified one: South-England!

Years and years, I have been frightened of the left-sided driving. But then, giving in to irrational fears, really?? There are so many idiots on the roads, why not add myself, lost in directions?! Consequently, I decided to ignore my worries and just go for it. Even though the courageous part has won over the weakness, some doubts still remain. Hence, I seek to enforce my driving skills with supporting reminders that get stuck to Hector’s cockpit:


I took over a line from one of my current ukulele songs and slightly adopted it. It shall A) remind me to take the left part of the road (if the road is wider than Hector’s features, that is) and B) to check if some handsome men appear on the left.


The second one is the backup, just like the redundancies they build in high-tech-systems of airplanes, for safety reasons.

Apart from practical reasons (there are none), I like the idea of approaching things from a different angle: perhaps I should use the other side of my couch, drink tea instead of coffee and look for an entirely new mode in daily doings. Rebellious things, such as: “Morgens Elmex, Abends Aronal”!


Countdown: 8

Life has its ups and downs and sometimes even makes a vertical flip, bringing the world as you know it upside-down. Having realized that, I try to gain more control by doing it all on purpose.


Physical Preparation for Upcoming Travels

However, let’s get back to where it started: Sicily, June 2019, the cliff called Scala dei Turchi. Having no specific experience nor circus trick at hand, I went for typical, boring tourist pictures in extraordinary landscape. Me, smiling towards the camera and that was it so far. Then, a low voice in the back of my head asked: What if I exercise more focused? I always liked handstand and liked to use it for funny pictures in beautiful surrounding. Hence, I started right there during my last week on Sicily and, tadaa!, it improved within days.



I continued for a couple of weeks and months, adding some handstand training to each yoga session. And I managed to include more yoga sessions throughout my working life. I even went to a handstand workshop with yoga teacher Lucie and improved significantly, proved by playing the sandbox during the September weekend at Zandvoort.


Alignment… Stability… Flexibility…

October came with funny sunny weather and with Jacktheyogi who talked me into a bright photo session. These have been my best trials so far!


Then, the balance of work and sports got shifted and I lost track of it. Still, I tried to get some nice postures during early ski days in November.


While the original idea has been to work hard on my skills during winter and get prepared for my upcoming holidays, it is now time take a honest look at my current abilities: Bad news is that I lost the habit of continuous training along the way – being quite obvious in all recent attempts.


Good news is a change in mindset: Once I got started, I lost the fear to fall over, shyness in public or other virtual boundaries. Free your mind and the rest will follow! Here I am now, well motivated for upcoming exercises and looking back on simultaneous handstands with the artist of the day.


The paintings will be there at every exhibition of Ardian Binaj (and so worth it), yet the One-Minute-Sculpture (more true: one second) happened exceptionally. Thanks for Playing!

Countdown: 9

Grundsatzfrage: Lässiger Campingbus oder Weiße Ware Wohnmobil? Selbstverständlich der Bus! Deswegen ist Hector auch so schlank (2m Breite) und hat so lustige Proportionen (5,60m Länge). Aus unerfindlichen Gründen umfasst seine Ahnen-Reihe einen Adventskalender, so dass mein Bus mehr als 24 Fächer, Türchen, Klappen, Regale und sonstige Verstau-Möglichkeiten hat – und da ist das Bad als Abstellraum noch gar nicht mitgezählt.

General question: casual camper-van or white mobile home? Sure enough: the van! And this is why Hector is slim (2m width) and comes with funny proportions (5,60m length). For whatever which reason, he has an Advent calendar among his ancestors, leading to more than 24 compartments, shelfs, boxes and further storage possibilities – with the bathroom as general storeroom not even counted in.


The Couch as a raw Skeleton

Ende 2019 dann: Zu viel Arbeit. Etliche abgesagte Urlaubstage. Kaum noch Zeit für Ausgehen, Sport und Freunde. Was hilft? Frust-Shopping! Und so steht nun ein zweites Faltrad im Keller und die Frage im Raum: wie passt das in Hector?

In 2019, the following situation enfolded: Work, much too much work. Quite a few cancelled vacation days. Hardly any time to go out, do sports, meet friends. Consequently, I tried to compensate missing good times with shopping and, tadaa, I now call another folded bicycle my own. Which leads to the question: how can it fit into Hector?


Materials – check! Work yet to come…

Eher zufällig stellt sich heraus, dass das neue Rad mitsamt Karton unter den Tisch passt. Wobei „Tisch“ nicht der tatsächlichen Nutzung entspricht: wo andere einen Tisch hatten, habe ich ein Lounge-Sofa, bei dem der Tisch den Mittelteil bildet. Bisher ist der Tisch-Fuß verstellbar, so dass mit nur zwei Handgriffen aus dem Tisch ein Bett (oder Sofa) oder wieder ein vollwertiger Tisch wird. Seit Hector bei mir lebt, habe ich 2x den Tisch benutzt und unzählige Male das Sofa. Daraus folgt: neue Füße braucht die Couch, dann passt auch das Fahrrad drunter!

More by coincidence than by purpose I detect that the new bike fits under the table. While in fact, the table is hardly ever used as such (at least under my aegis), it rather works as middle part of my couch. Hence, the flexible foot that enables either table-function or bed / couch has become superfluous. Time for some handcrafts, let’s get new feet to the table and make it a bike compartment!


The in-between

Mit nur zwei Baumarkt-Besuchen, einem in den Wahnsinn getriebenen hagebau-Berater und 2 Wochenenden lässt sich eine Fahrrad-Garage bauen. Sogar ich kann das. Akku-Schrauber aufladen (wird kaum gebraucht, wirkt aber irre professionell), altes Tischbein abschrauben, Ansätze für neue Tischbeine vorbohren, neue Tischbeine anbringen, ausmessen: zu kurz.

It takes 75,20 € and two shopping dates with friendly hagebau-consultants and even super-blondie is able to build a bike compartment. It starts with the freshly-charged screwing machine (hardly used, yet such a professional image), remove old table foot, drill holes for the new feet and have them fixed underneath the table. I measure it and note: too short.



E_Tisch_nachher_BSchließlich ergibt sich aus einer wilden Mischung von Schrauben, Tischbeinen und dicken Sechskant-Muttern die nahezu perfekt passende Höhe. Ich beschließe, es als Erfolg zu werten und baue das Ganze umgehend ein. Jedes der Tischbeine hat eine Traglast von 50 kg, die Verlängerungsschrauben halten ebenfalls 50 kg und die kleinen Mini-Schrauben zwischen Bein + Tischplatte sind immerhin zu viert. Natürlich lässt sich der Tisch jetzt nicht mehr in die höhere Kederschiene einhängen, aber wer braucht schon einen Esstisch wenn er eine Couch haben kann?!

Finally, a wild mixture of screws, legs and nuts build not entirely, but almost the right height. I call it a fit and install it immediately. Most of the components enable a payload of 50 kg – I suppose it will do. With the new legs, a higher aim with the table used as such is systematically disabled. But anyway, who would ask for a dinner table as long as the couch is in reach?!



Jetzt fehlen nur noch Verzurr-Ösen die dafür sorgen, dass das Rad auch bei Linkskurven in seiner vorgesehenen Parkposition bleibt. 8 Schrauben und einen Spanngurt später ist das Ziel erreicht und mein kleines Heimwerker-Wunder vollbracht.

Next move is the fixing of the bike. I would rather have it stable not only when driving straight or turning right, but also during curves to the left. Clever girl that I am, I screw steel loops to the side walls of the benches, holding the bike in its parking position.


Hector’s official Bike Compartment

Vor lauter Schwung schraube ich noch schnell die Halterung für die Ukulele in’s Bad und dann ist für heute genug gebohrt. Ich freu mich schon darauf, alles einzuräumen und voll ausgestattet loszufahren – zunächst per Diesel, später dann per Fahrrad!

Going with the flow, I quickly mount a clasp for the ukulele at one of the bathroom walls and that’s it with today’s DYI tricks. I am so looking forward to packing up Hector and get going soon – first by diesel, later by bike!

Ukulele_A  Ukulele_B


Countdown: 10

… und plötzlich stehen wir mitten im Jahr 2020 und die nächste Reise ist nicht mehr weit. Große Fragen werden aufgeworfen, deren Beantwortung meine Aufgabe sein wird.
… and, all of a sudden, it is 2020 and new adventures are waiting in line. Substantial questions will require empiric studies and lead to a rough plan and great expectations.


  • Werde ich in Sri Lanka zur rechten Zeit am rechten Ort sein, um mich von der Queen oft the Whitewash zur Queen of Waves zu entwickeln? Hoffentlich lenken Kultur, Ayurveda and überbordende Natur nicht zu sehr ab…
    Will I find and successfully surf big waves in Sri Lanka, becoming (finally!) the new Queen of Waves? Or will culture, Ayurveda and rich nature distract from the journey’s main aim?
  • Wird Hectors Lounge-Sofa zusammenbrechen, nur weil ausgerechnet ich neue Tischbeine angebracht habe?
    Will Hector’s couch tumble and fall just because it was me who has built the new table legs?
  • Finde ich in der Bretagne mitten im Frühjahr schon geöffnete Campingplätze? Oder werde ich improvisieren, hoffen und bangen dass meine Ressourcen ausreichen für Heizung, Außendusche, Kühlschrank und Erleuchtung?
    Will there be enough open campsites in Brittany, even in spring time? Or will I hope for the best with my limited resources for heating, outdoor shower, fridge and enlightment?
  • Ist Hector rebellisch genug, um einen ganzen Monat lang auf der falschen Straßenseite zu fahren? Und wie eng sind Englands Straßen im Vergleich zu Siziliens Altstädten? Heißt nicht das ganze Land “Eng” wegen der schmalen Wege??
    Will Hector’s inner rebel be wild enough to take the wrong side of the roads for a full month? And how narrow will be the roads in Southern Englang compared to those in Sicilian’s historic villages?


Besonders stolz bin ich auf meine Lernkurve. Als Hectors Reifen vor einigen Jahren schwedischen Boden berührten, stellte ich just in dem Moment fest, dass mein Navi keine Schweden-Karte enthält. Wenige Jahre später will ich testen wie gut sich englische Campsite-Adressen finden lassen und merke: an der französischen Küstenlinie ist Schluss, Großbritannien ist nicht vorgesehen. Jetzt bin ich gespannt, ob mir mit dem reflexartig bestellten neuen Navi wertvolle Abenteuer-Momente entgehen (nämlich dann, wenn das Navi auf den letzten 15km vor Zielankunft ausfällt) oder ob es ähnlich 98%-zuverlässig ist wie das alte.

Meanwhile, I am proud to be such a smart girl. While years ago I realized the missing Scandinavian maps in my navigation system only when reaching Swedish ground beneath the tyres, it now is different. I have realized the missing GB maps way earlier, when trying to look up randomly a campsite: obviously, my current TomTom’s horizon is limited to the French coast line. We will see if we miss adventurous moments with the upgraded version I immediately ordered. Only time will tell if it comes with the same 98% reliability, working well for hours and suddenly breaking down 15km before the destination will be reached.


Kurz: Hector nimmt schon mal Anlauf, der Flug nach Sri Lanka ist gebucht und ich übe wohl besser noch etwas Ukulele, damit ich nicht wegen akustischer Mängel von den schönsten Stellplätzen vertrieben werde.

While Hector is all keen on getting started (already), I rather get some more practice with my ukulele. Otherwise I might endanger peaceful times on the most beautiful spots, due to the strangest noise that I tend to call music.