on the road at home

It's not even an open secret, it's actually very obvious. It's just that sometimes it is overlooked precisely because it is so obvious: Beauty is nearby.

I want to explore, travel and discover my near surrounding; to consciously see and appreciate what is so close - just as I do when traveling to other places, cities, regions, countries.

This is the result of various thoughts and a lot of time to analyze them step-by-step.

A list, time passes by, one move

I moved. And looking back, one is always smarter. There's one thing I regret a little: in my last place of residence, Dresden, I proposed myself an undefined later for whatever I wanted to do in Dresden. Later was said again and again; until later became now and now is time to pack moving boxes. No more time for short or long walks and no more time for half-day trips to the hiking region nearby. later became too late. And many things that wanted to be seen and checked out remained unseen and unchecked.

I did do things in Dresden, enjoyed them and experienced life there; I did matter of the heart, such as the biking tour through district libraries - it's not like that I missed everything. I already had a similar thought when I moved to Dresden. I had learnt my lessons from the pre-Dresden city and had done better in Dresden. In the end, there were still a few open things. I know there's always something to do and to discover and there's never enough time anyway. However, what I attribute to myself is to underestimate how fast this later would come and to having the optimism that things would work out by themselves. It didn't.

For the new place of living, Hochheim am Main, a small town between Mainz and Frankfurt am Main, I want to motivate myself more to not put things off and actually get on them.


Very closely related to moving and yet different: arriving here. I moved from one region to a completely different region that is new to me. Everything new. And I want to have that feeling of having arrived . I don't know what this feeling is made of in detail. Surely, there's a bit of the first reason in here. By exploring the area bit by bit, I hope to discover the facets of the feeling of having arrived.

on the road at home, traveling at home

There's one thought that has come up again and again in recent years, waved briefly and then disappeared again. On my trip to Japan, this one thought came very early on (which surprised me):

Why am I looking for beauty so far away? Why do I photograph so much here, away from home, and get so excited but do not feel this way at home?

It's obvious: in a faraway country, like Japan, or in any other place (city, region, country) - you may only get there once and have a limited amount of time. You want to see, experience, absorb and remember as much as possible. You prepare yourself for the trip and feel great anticipation. In most cases, it is also a long-awaited change, a holiday from everyday (working) life.

What I have on my doorstep at home (more or less on my doorstep) is no less admirable. I just don't notice it as much because it's just my everyday life. I also just don't think of my home as a place to travel, for the same reason. This automatically eliminates everything that is part of traveling.

Thus, change of perspective: Consider the place of living and the surrounding area as a place to travel. Doing it really consciously. Being a tourist.

That's nothing new. But the conscious change of perspective is good and important for me to be able to change my perception.

The art of noticing

On most days, I won't make it far at all because time doesn't allow it and I'll just go for a walk around the block. But that's when "the art of noticing" becomes much more important. Basically, the art of noticing, recently introduced by a video by Teo Crawford, is being mindful and being aware of everyday life. What would I take note of, what would I photograph if I didn't see this every day?

Now to the nitty gritty: How far shall it be? The distance and the time

The scope (time/duration and distance) will and can be very different. It is difficult to me to draw a line. The amount of time and distance correlate: The further away from home I am, the longer I am likely to stay away. This certainly depends on the actual journey time rather than the linear distance. Thus, it can be anything from a 10-minute exploration trip (one round around the block) to a whole weekend away from home.

For me and myself

At first I thought that a camera and my blog would accompany me. But then a strange feeling crept up on me and I realized: I'm doing this for myself. I want to experience things, I want to be here. Not to create something which can be presented in the end.

Whatever makes it into a presentable memory, be it a photo or an anecdote or a mini travelogue - we'll see. With this post, I mainly wanted to share my thoughts on this. Because I have starting a bit of all of this - this idea has coming down for some time already he he.

I know this is nothing new (I'm repeating myself). Lots of people do this (I've discovered some great blogs about this recently!). But I needed to collect and sort it out for myself and this is what came out 😀

Anticipation, oh, anticipation

I'm really looking forward to this! Looking forward to feeling a bit like a tourist with travel tips in my bag, strolling around and finding favourite places; and on other days, finding out what there is to see and observe in my very close surrounding. I'm hoping for lots of (beautiful) unexpected things, surprises that you encounter when one is out and about. I already know that I will learn a lot about what is around here, but also and above all I will learn things about myself.

Picture 1: TU Dresden in Dresden, 2022 | Camera: Olympus XA2. Film: Agfaphoto APX 100. Development: self-developped. Scan: Charlie Engel Lab 2.0

Picture 2: Vines in Hochheim am Main, 2023 | Camera + lens: Minolta 9000 AF + Minolta AF 50 mm f/1.4. Film: Agfaphoto APX 100. Development + scan: ON FILM LAB

Spring peels off

As spring arrives, I slowly but surely peeling off. This observation amuses me. I leave my winter jacket behind and reach for the between-seasons jacket next to it instead. To be on the safe side, I take the knitted scarf with me - as far as my neck is concerned I do better safe than sorry. The choice of shoes changes - same style but now it's the pair without the lining. The number of clothing layers decreases, finally no more four layers on top to keep the centre warm. The tights which has protected the lower part of the body from freezing can also be removed. The onion look is wonderful, nevertheless it's very pleasant not to have to put on and take off so many layers.

It's nice to have you, spring - even though you let April do what it wanted to do - which was snow dropping one day eventually.

December 2023

The last month of the year.

I had discussed with a friend: In the course of a conversation about a reflection tool for 2023/2024, we thought we wanted to reflect more in general so that we could see and appreciate what the passed time had given us. I realised that the monthly review on the blog which I am doing for almost a year had led me to this direction. To help me remembering many moments and days that would have disappeared too quickly into the recesses of my memory otherwise.

I only show a fraction of my life on the blog. For me, the final text here is only an excerpt and I think that’s a bit sad for myself. So after the discussion I recapitulated December 2023 for myself quite detailed. It was a lot and it was worth it! I was pretty happy afterwards. As a result, however, I’m now tired of creating a slimmed-down version for the blog.

So I don’t know what else remains for the blog right now?

Photo is not from December

Nevertheless, a few words

December was full of life: There were various parties I went to. Birthday parties, wedding parties, Christmas parties at work and at home. I met people, spent time together and enjoyed the time. It’s not necessary the case that the time spent together is also enjoyed.

I have learnt that after a workday, it feels different – better! – when I’m not fiddling around on my mobile phone first, like „from the work screen to the mobile phone screen“. Instead, I do something „practical“/“manual“/“haptic“ such as cooking, tidying up, looking after plants. The feeling afterwards was rewarding, saying „I’ve done something!“. It’s not that big of a secret. Apparently I needed to experience that nonetheless.

What else happened:

Keyword „sorting“:I have organised my negative films and prints into a system. Through further conversations with people close to me, I finally realised that „sorting“ is one of my hobbies.

A few months ago I bought a digital camera (full format)that is compatible with my existing lenses. During my week off at the end of December, I took it with me and tried it out. I’m a bit lost.

Fiddling with the blog I: I keep my blog bilingual and this is implemented quite „pragmatically“: there is a blog post, at the top is the German text, at the bottom the English text. Other blogs have implemented this in a more sophisticated way by clicking on a button and the whole website changes into the other language. I wanted to have that, too! In December, I finally took the time to look into this topic and tried out two plugins. One of them convinced me. Now I „just“ have to implement it. I estimated that this would take quite a bit of time, at least a weekend. That’s why I wanted to do it all at once, so that it would be finished, not drag on and the blog wouldn’t be in an intermediate state for a long time. But in the meantime, I think I’ll find it very difficult to find a block of time like that. So it’s possible that I’ll actually do this bit by bit and the blog will be in this kind of limbo for a while eventually.

Fiddling with the blog II: I’ve also been looking into the question of how I can create the option for a „quick reaction“ a.k.a. Like button. Here, too, I have found a potentially suitable plugin. But the implementation of this is pending until after the technical conversion of my blog to multilingualism is done.

During my week off at the end of the month, I also had a lot of time to work on a few texts for the blog and changed my system to create and keep an overview of what I actually want to post and how far I am in each case. I’m really happy about that.

2023 in a nutshell

I won’t do a separate annual review on the blog. But at least I can say a few lines about it here: It was a very nice year personally, with lots of lovely highs and I’m so so grateful for that. As far as the blog is concerned, I’m on a path that I really like at the moment and hope that it continues at least like this. Both in terms of my blog itself and how I move around in the blogosphere. Despite the many construction sites I do see. There have been a lot of great things!

With that in mind: wishing you a happy and prosperous new year – 2024!