On my trips around the world I learned so many different things, not only about other cultures, but also about myself.
If you ever have the chance to travel - take it and just do it!
You will meet so many different kinds of people, you will get new impressions and ideas and you will probably be more grateful for things we sometimes take for granted.
Here I want to give you some short tips from my trips around the world.
I hope I can help you and to get the chance to meet you somewhere - somewhen.
My second trip to India is slowly coming to an end. After another two months traveling in this beautiful country, I would like write down my impressions about life in India to help you to explore it on your own.
First of all I want to say that there was no single moment during both of my stays in India (total 4 months) where I felt any kind of danger or discomfort.
The people here are very very friendly and supportive! They start talking to you, are curious about your life, always happy to help and love to take selfies with you. Just be careful with the rikshaw drivers – they are trying to rip you off (like everywhere on this planet :P )
I had so many beautiful conversations with waiters, shopkeepers, fishermen, students and kids and had the chance to get new impressions about the life in India.
That’s the beautiful thing about traveling, you don’t only gain knowledge from books.
I remember after my first arrival here I wanted to order breakfast in a local restaurant. They hardly spoke any English. When it came to my order the waiter was shaking his head from side to side like saying no, so I thought the “pancakes” I wanted to order are not available. I tried to order something else. But again he was shaking his head with a smile from side to side. I was confused. “What should I eat?”
I asked what is available and he laughed and said “both sir.”
So the people here are gently shaking their heads to say “yes, ok” or “everything is fine”. It is also a way of saying hello.
The Indian cuisine is in my taste one of the best in the world. Especially if you are vegetarian it is very easy to find affordable, delicious meals. You can find places to eat from 50 rupee (60 cent) in a local “hotel” or around 150 – 200 rupee (about 2€) in a clean restaurant.
Palak Paneer (spinach with cottage cheese) or Dal Rajma (curry with beans) are definitely my favorites. I totally recommend to try the fish on places close to the sea. They are deliciously cooked in the traditional tandoori oven. You should try a red or white snapper grilled in lemon garlic sauce.
The only thing which happens in most of the Asian countries I have been to, is that they use a lot of oil to cook their meals. Even if I added “please not too much oil” it was still very oily. To avoid it I ordered plain rice instead of fried rice and plain roti instead of garlic naan.
The places I have visited are Agonda and Palolem Beach (Goa), Varkala (Kerala), Kovalam (Kerala) and Mysore (Karnataka). I also spent a few days in two different ashrams, more about it later.
Agonda, Varkala and Kovalam all have nice beaches.
Agona reminded me a lot like Bali. There are vegan restaurants, you can get smoothie bowls and soy cappuccinos and find clubs/bars with live music and possibilities to dance. I can totally recommend the headphone party / silent disco in Neptunes. In this area they are not allowed to play music longer than one o’clock, but as they are using headphones the party goes on till late!
I did my 300h Multistyle Teacher Training in Goa with Trimurti Yoga and highly recommend this school.
Varkala is a place along a cliff, where you can find different shops and restaurants. The beach is nice. It is a little bit calmer than Agonda, but I really enjoyed the energy there. I did my first teacher training there at Abhjina Shool of Yoga, so I came back to visit my guru.
Kovalam is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in India. There is a lighthouse where you can climb up to the top for 50 Rupee to have a stunning and endless views. I had the feeling that there were many tourists from the west spending their retirement there, so this place is very calm at night. I used the time to relax so it was a beautiful place to be on my own.
Mysore is very famous for Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Here are so many different yoga studios that it is difficult to choose one. If you want to visit classes with famous teachers like Iyengar, you have to book in advance. Often they don’t do drop-in classes, so better do some researche before you visit Mysore.
I was staying in a Hostel called Sonder, where you can get a bed in a dorm for 400 Rupee (5€) per night including breakfast. But honestly, there is not much to do beside yoga.
India is a very big country so it takes a lot of time to see all of it. I avoided to visit big cities like Mumbai and Delhi. In my opinion it is too hectic and not the purpose of my visit in India.
I was traveling India in January and February, so it is slowly getting hotter in the south part. That’s why I preferred to stay close to the beach and enjoyed the time swimming, surfing/body boarding, reading a lot and learning more about yoga and meditation.
If you have time between April to June you should definitely visit the north of India like Rishikesh, Dharamsala and other places close to the Himalayas. There are many good places to learn about yoga. Sadly there was winter when I was in India so I did not go up north, but I will go there for sure next time I’ll visit India.
I received many questions about my stay in the two ashrams and the only thing I can really say is – make your own experience.
But this is what I felt:
For me, as a free spirit who loves to travel and to follow my own routines and beliefs, it is very challenging to just go with the flow. For other people it is beautiful to be part of a community which is something I can totally understand and respect.
My friend Megan and I spontaneously decided to visit the Amma ashram. It is located in Kerala so we took a 14h night train from Goa to Kerala.
This spiritual place is founded by a guru called Amma.
When we arrived there, we did not really know what to expect. I have never heard of this lady before and we did not do any research before so we were totally open for any kind of experience.
After some conversations with other people, who were already staying there for a longer period of time, we were told that we are very lucky to be here while Amma is around and we should use this chance to spend time with her.
We went to the main hall, were Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma) is sitting on a stage and gives hugs to people. There are big screens like at the public viewing for the football world cup and people from all over the world are sitting there to watch this phenomenon.
Of course Megan and I took the opportunity to get a hug and we received a number. In total we waited 10 hours (8h passive – chatting and drinking the best cappuccino I could get in India; 2h active – waiting in a queue).
Around 11pm we received our 10 seconds-hug from Amma.
The following day we visited one yoga class and then left the ashram.
The second Ashram I visited was Sivananda. This organization is founded by Swami Sivananda, a very popular teacher in the 20thcentury.
In this ashram you wake up at 5:20am, you do chanting and mediation for 90 minutes twice a day, you have two 2h yoga classes in Hatha Sivananda style (12 fix postures) and a yoga philosophy class. All the classes are mandatory. You get two really tasty meals per day, sitting in silence on the floor and you use only your hands (which I really enjoyed).
I think this can be a really nice place to learn more about Sivananda Yoga and yoga philosophy.
I just don’t resonate with this style. I believe more in bio-individuality, different modifications for different types of people, giving more cues and I did not enjoy the singing instructions.
But this is just my opinion as a teacher and practitioner, without any offense.
All in all, India is a very beautiful country and definitely a must-visit. No matter if you are looking for a yoga experience, mediation or spiritual knowledge, you want to go hiking in the Himalayas or you just want to spend time at beautiful beaches eating delicious food – India is the right place to go.
If you want to see some places I have visited, the beautiful beaches and an interview with an Indian fisherman, just watch my Vlog below :)
This October 2018 Julie and me flew to Berlin because I had a collaboration with Nike and hosted a Workshop at Enso Yoga Berlin.
We spent five cold but still beautiful days in the capital of Germany, we had two photoshootings, we visited different Yoga studios and many many cool coffee shops and veggie / vegan restaurants.
I just want to let you know that we are not the type of tourists who are visiting all the sights and museums. Of course we took a picture in front of the Brandenburger Gate - but we are more looking for cozy & fancy places, to get the vibe of the city and meet cool people!
Here I would like to sum up my favorite places for you so you have a little Berlin guide.
Delicious Food and cozy place
Best coffee I had in Berlin
Beautiful design - we spent hours there
Great place for work, meetings & tea
Cool guys and tasty sandwiches
Delicious brunch with different types of hummus (pic 1 & 2)
Asian food & Burger right under the tv tower
Lia's Kitchen 100% vegan
Cozy little restaurant with delicious vegan burger
One of the best I ever had!
Different kinds of porridge, sweet or salty
Zeit für Brot
real bread - real taste
Yoga Studios I checked out
Yoga für dich
Every Sunday Street Food & Vintage clothes at Mauerpark
Bali is definitely a must-visit!
I have been already three times on this magical island, 2017, 2018 & 2019.
Beautiful beaches, delicious food, perfect waves and friendly people – everything you could wish for!
My favorite place is on Ubud definitely Canggu!
So many cool restaurants & coffee shops with veggie and vegan dishes, everyone unique on their own.
You can go surfing or just hang out at one of the beaches.
Especially if you are a digital nomad, there are many co-working spaces and nice coffee shops where you meet cool people to collaborate with like photographers, web designer, etc.
Ubud and Uluwatu are some stunning places too!
I loved the monkey forest in Ubud and the whole area is a hot spot for spiritual people and yogis from all over the world. That gives Ubud a special vibe.
If you are in Uluwatu you have to watch the fire dance on the cliffs and grab a drink at single fin on Sunday.
Kuta is the only place I would avoid. Too many nightclubs and intrusive people, not the Bali vibes I am looking for. I did a scuba dive there once, and already regret the booking right at the ride to the scuba place.
Some tips for your visit:
- always get a travel insurance, you never know what will happen
- always lock your scooter. One night I forgot to lock mine and the scooter was gone. I am pretty sure the owner took it, because after some arguing (he argued, I stayed calm) we found the scooter in front of a restaurant.
- use MOSQUITO SPAY especially in the raining season. I got Dengue Fever and had to stay in a hospital for a week. It took me one month to fully recover.
- explore new places, meet locals and eat at local restaurants
- get a scooter with a surf rack and rent your your board somewhere on the street for a full day or a week. At the beach you pay the same price for an hour.
- enjoy every minute :)
If you want to practice Yoga I can highly recommend Serenity Yoga in Canggu. Ask for Lira or Diaz - they are amazing teachers!
For the Fitness training i went to Canggu Nest - they offer group classes and an open gym.
I did my aroma oil therapist certification at Reeva International Spa School and can totally recommend this place for learning different types of massages.