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VAL THORENS, France | skiing winter holidays in the French Alps

Katja FAMILY HOLIDAYS, FRANCE, WINTER SPORTS Leave a Comment

The best ski place in Europe? For me, definitely in France. Surely there are many other awesome spots in Austria, Switzerland, Italy and elsewhere, but the French Val Thorens and Tignes are right at the top of my list. I have visited both French Alp resorts several times and I can say that I know them quite well. However, with each visit I still discover something new as it keeps developing and expanding. After about a decade (due to living in Germany, the pandemics and my second pregnancy), I finally got the chance to return to Europe´s highest ski resort in March 2022. Val Thorens lies on 2300m above sea level and it was absolutely amazing to wake up surrounded by all those mighty mountain peaks covered in snow once again. Even though Mila was only 9 months old at the time and I obviously couldn´t ski as much as in pre-baby times, I made the best out of this week and had 5 wonderful half-day ski days. The content of this post is based on this year´s and all of my previous visits to Val Thorens, read it to find out more about the village itself, accommodation possibilities, ski slopes in the largest ski system in the world, 3 Vallees, which also includes Meribel, Courchevel and other areas.

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WILDKOGEL ARENA, Austria | 1 week skiing holidays in one of the best Austrian family ski resorts

Katja AUSTRIA, FAMILY HOLIDAYS, FAMILY TRAVELS, WINTER SPORTS Leave a Comment

At the end of January this year the stars finally coincided and we were able to enjoy a proper week long ski holiday after a two years long break due to the pandemic and later on pregnancy. Going away for skiing was something I used to do every season since I can remember but after I moved to Germany in 2010 this became logistically difficult so I only had a couple of ski days here and there in the last decade. Therefore this getaway to Austrian Wildkogel ski are felt even better. Unfortunately Lu could not join us, as German schools are too strict for days off outside of official holidays and the state he lives in actually doesn´t even have winter holidays except the holiday days around Christmas. So it was Charlie, me and Mila then. And our friends from abroad. Two more families, so there were a total of six of us adults and five children, ages 8 months to 8 years. While staying in a beautiful chalet we had a little bit of everything regarding weather conditions – from wonderful sunny days to a real snow storm. Read more about our chalet and the excellent family ski resort in the Austrian Wildkogel Arena in the continuation of this article.

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SOUTHERN SWEDEN | autumn wild camping trip with a LR Defender camper

Katja DEFENDER TRIPS, OVERLAND, OVERLANDING, SWEDEN, WITH KIDS Leave a Comment

This year´s October trip took us to the south of Sweden. Why did we chose to go there in October? Because Lu has two weeks of autumn vacation at his German school at the time. And why Sweden? Because we found a cheap ferry ticket from Rostock, Germany, and because wild camping is allowed there. Just right for our Defender, which we converted into a camper alittle over two years ago. We didn’t have an exact itinerary, but in the end I think we managed to experience the best of the southern part of the country, camp at a couple of really great spots, admire countless lakes, red wooden houses hidden among fragrant pine forests, chill at beautiful archipelagos and check out a few modern cities. All this and more completely without tourists, we were alone almost everywhere. Sure, it was a bit colder and windier, but we enjoyed the beautiful nature in complete peace and quiet. Spontaneously, we chose to drive up the west coast from Trelleborg, to the last major town before the Norwegian border, crossed via Jönkoping to the east coast, to Kalmar, and slowly descended back to Trelleborg. A great circle route with something for everyone´s taste. Read more about what you can see and experience in this part of Sweden, and a little more about our wild camping in this new blog post. With extra lots of photos for those who lack time to read it all.

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Up and down around Europe and what is new since June

Katja Uncategorized Leave a Comment

It’s not true, but it is. I took a look at the blog today and found that it’s been almost three months since the last post. Oops. Despite this, you all did a great job at clicking and reading the posts over here – the stats tell me there have been more views than ever before, so thank you for this! But I guess now it´s really about time to post something and let you know what´s been going on the last months, especially since not everybody is following the stories and posts on our social media.

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Welcome, Mila

Katja ADVICE & TIPS Leave a Comment

She is finally here, our little Mila! Soon, we´ll blow the first candle on the mini cake. Celebrating monthly baby anniversaries might have seemed slightly ridiculous to me before, but right now I think it´s just fantastic. What I find less fantastic though, is the fact that it´s already 4 weeks since we drove to the hospital. It´s about time I write something about the past month.

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EAST FRISIAN ISLANDS, Germany | Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog, Wangerooge

Katja GERMANY Leave a Comment

The German East Frisian Islands consist of seven inhabited and five uninhabited islands and stretch in the North Sea all the way from the border with the Netherlands towards the east, in the German province of Ostrfriesland, in the federal state of Lower Saxony. The islands lie in the UNESCO-protected Wadden Sea National Park, which stretches between the mainland of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark and the Frisian islands of the three countries. In this post, I focus only on the German islands of Borkum, Juist, Norderney, Baltrum, Langeoog, Spiekeroog and Wangerooge, most of which I have had the honor of visiting in the last 10 years of my life in Germany. They are really something special, some more developed and populated, others more wild and peaceful. Most are car free zones, so they are ideal for anyone who loves cycling and walking. Leave your vehicles in ports on the mainland, where larger parking areas and camper stops are arranged everywhere. Because the islands are all relatively small, we can also visit them during a day trip, otherwise it is usually really wonderfully quiet and peaceful in the evenings when all the day guests leave. The northern shores of the islands are marked by long white sandy beaches, while the brownish Wadden Sea dominates the southern shores. Here we can do different organized mudflat hikes, which is definitely the most unique thing to do in the area. In Germany, such hikes are called Wattwanderung, you can read more about it in this post too. Besides the beaches, which are dotted with typical Strandkorb beach baskets which protect us from the wind, you will find areas of hilly sand dunes overgrown with fluffy grass and lots of great spots for water sports like kitesurfig and windsurfing. Are you interested in what the mentioned islands look like? Read more below.

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10 TIPS FOR VANLIFE COUPLES | vanlife & relationships

Katja CAMPING, TIPS, VANLIFE Leave a Comment

The already popular vanlife lifestyle has literatelly exploded recently. Not surprisingly though, due to the situation we are in since the global pandemic started in spring 2020. DIY projects of converting vans and cars into camper vehicles, purchases of larger vans and motorhomes, as well as caravans, off-road and overland vehicles are on the rise while many of us believe this is the best way to travel considering the current overses travel restrictions. Spontaneously, independently and as free as it gets, travelling with vans of all sorts can also be significantly cheaper than plane travel. Since many of you are facing this new way of travel for the very first time this summer I think it´s a great time for sharing my thoughts on this topic. Is it all really as romantic as everyone says? Do all those Youtube couples and families really have such a great time spending weeks and months together in those tiny spaces of 5+ square meters? Are you sure that you and your partner will spend this kind of vacation without ending up fighting every day? Well, it’s really not that dramatic, but as usual – not every thing is for everyone. So, here are my 10 basic tips on how to survive vanlife as a couple. Of course, based on our own experience of our previous trips and excursions with LR Defender, which in 2019 we converted into a camper vehicle and used as our home on wheels for quite a few trips so far.

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TIPS & TRICKS FOR TRAVELLING WITH KIDS AS SINGLE PARENTS

Katja ADVICE & TIPS, SINGLE PARENT TRAVELS Leave a Comment

While we are really looking forward to a new family member arriving any day now, I decided to make the best of this extra time to remember one very special period of the last decade, namely the time when Lu and I were left alone and I suddenly had to find myself in the new role of a single mom. Although I am obviously in a completely different situation now, I am happy to look back and I feel like this topic should be discussed more in the media. Because not everything is necessarily as bad as it may sound at first, and because for all those who find themselves in such a situation unexpectedly, a little encouragement is always good. Since this is a travel blog, we will only focus on the travelling aspect when it comes to being a single parent. Si travelling with kids as a single parent even possible? It sure is! First a few words about how me and Lu did it and then we move on to the 10 tips and ideas for carefree travel as a single parent, which are in my opinion the most important. This post might be interesting for everyone who is in a similar situation, for those who may know someone who is, as well as all those who are simply curious about this topic.

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PIRAN, Slovenia | things to see and do in Piran and Slovenian coast

Katja SLOVENIA Leave a Comment

Piran, the pearl of the Slovenian coast, one of Slovenia´s most recognizable locations among international tourists and a popular spot for a short trip to the sea among domestic visitors, has stolen my heart as well and I am happy to return whenever I can and at any time of the year. To be fair, my favorite time are the months of May, September and over the winter, when the atmosphere is a bit calmer and the climate is milder. Although I’m not originally from Piran, I’m yet not a complete stranger to it and I feel at home here, so it’s really about time I dedicate one longer blog post to it. So, what are the best things to see and do in Piran? There is definitely a lot more to it than just the famous Tartini Square and the picturesque punta, and although much can be seen in just one day, I still recommend at least one night. This gives you the opportunity to experience Piran in the evening and early morning hours as well. But to be honest, even if you come for a whole week, you will not be bored, Piran can also be a great starting point for day trips to other parts of our coast.

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TRAVELLING WHILE PREGNANT | when, where and how to travel during pregnancy

Katja ADVICE & TIPS Leave a Comment

Regardless of whether you have been planning your pregnancy for a long time or it all happened rather spontaneously, you will certainly have a bunch of questions once you see a plus on the pregnancy test. Those of us who like to travel or are regularly involved in certain sport activities might even be intimidated at first, questioning whether this new adventure might drastically change the way we spend our free time. Of course, we all want a healthy baby and a nice pregnancy without complications to start with, but we could also feel like we have to make the best of this precious time we still have left as a couple. Even if you already have children, you may want to experience something special with them before they become big siblings. After all, soon they will have to share your attention with someone else. And there is nothing better than one or more great trips and vacations before the baby arrives, well at least for those of us who like to explore the world. Now that I´m almost at the end of my second one I can say I have had two very different pregnancies which have left me with sufficient experience in order to write such a post. Since I am not a doctor, I advise you to consult one before taking a trip yourselves and consider this post to be just another source of additional information, based solely on my personal experiences. So when, where and how to travel during pregnancy and what do you need to pay special attention to when planning trips during this special period of your life? Read more below.

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