One year ago to the day

It’s unbelievable! But it has already been a year since I finished the last big adventure of my “break”. On Thursday exactly one year ago I came back from Canada to Germany. And only a few days before that I finished the Pacific Crest Trail and arrived in Canada – 22. October 2017. After 2,650 miles, tons of snow, water and many fires we crossed the border in the morning and were “done”.

At this point of time I had no clue what was going to happen next. No clue. The only thing I knew was that I just fell out of my new comfort zone. Living in a tent, just getting up, a few granola bars to get started, hiking all day, finding a spot to pitch a tent and only caring about the very essential things was my new comfort zone. And I had decided to leave it again. Not because I didn’t like it. Not at all. But you probably all remember this one:

Where the magic happens.jpg

Let’s start out with the day I arrived in Canada. One year later to the day I woke up exactly the same way as on the trail – in my tent. A bit of a different set up on our annual “Guys Adventure Weekend” but still in a tent on a sleeping pad and in my sleeping bag. Awkward. Pure coincidence? I don’t know. But I did have a lot of thoughts and memories flowing through my head this morning.

Many things have changed. Many things have not

I knew that I had to move on, and not to a different trail but somewhere completely different to keep on growing. Many things have happened since then. Many things have changed. Many things have not.

I have thought about what has happened during the last year a lot. I have also been asked about what has changed, what has changed back “to old” and what I was able to keep. Time to look back and see. I went back and read the articles I wrote in the weeks and month after my return trying to capture my thoughts, reflections, ideas for the future and checked myself what turned out to be true and false or developed differently.

Sharing a place to live

Well, where am I now? I am still living in a shared apartment which I truly enjoy. My plan not to be able to withdraw into my own four walls and maybe fall into old habits worked out. Living together with others rewarded me with two things. Firstly the need to share and make compromises which helped me in not falling back into old habits, in not getting cranky and training my tolerance on a daily level. And on the other side purely enjoying community spirit of give and take and fantastic people around you enriching my life with stories, laughter and good food 😉



What I have not accomplished so far is to be living closer to the mountains. Due to my obligation with our startup company campo I am and will be staying in Mainz for some more time for sure. So for now it’s only a few escapes back into the mountains and the outdoors for a few days. But it shows that they have kept their unbroken fascination on me and I always feel home seeing and getting into them.


Can I escape all-day-life? No.

Yes, an all day life has arrived. I do live in a (shared) place since April. I do go to our office in a Coworking space pretty much every day. Sometimes on the weekends but in the last weeks the weekends have been kept “work-place free”. Not that we are not also doing stuff on the weekends but life has adopted a bit more to our surroundings and their schedules as well.. And we do have regular things going on. We have breakfast together in the morning. We have ordered an organic box of veggies every week from a local farm for our lunch-cooking sessions every day. Yes, it is a routine. Also work does not have real boundaries to “the private life” anymore. They mingle, go together and just happen parallel. But therefore – for most of the days – work is always mixed with a lot of joy and fun activities. May it be the cooking or the night-shifts of GTA 5 in larger-than-life size. It is not a work time and then private time. They go together hand in hand. So fun during the work seems as right as work during the weekend. Even though – I have to admit to myself I guess – that work has the majority and the fun events have been a bit to little during the last weeks.

Work-Life-Balance? 100% left and/or right is my balance. That’s it.

This leads me to another finding. I asked myself the question already once. Can I balance work and life better like others. Like one of my good friends maybe? I think I can’t. And I accepted. I can’t go for 80% and relax. At least not now. I always do things 100% or more. I guess my balance lies in the extreme 100% but not the chilled things. If there is something to do, an opportunity or whatever I will go for it. Either until it is done or until I am done. And only then I move on. I do accept that this has and probably will not change.

I have become softer and more mellow

But other things have changed. I have been asked many times already what has changed the most or at all after my travels. And also what has changed back to “old” now. What has been the biggest change in life.

Right now I always reply that I don’t have changed in general. I am still the same personality. My core values are still pretty the much the same. But I have evolved and developed in many areas. I tend to say that I have become softer and more mellow. I am the same but with polished edges.  How does this show?

I am still resting within myself. There are no things that really kick me off the balance anymore. And if I start loosing this balance using my “Koru” as anchor still works. Just looking at where it is immediately puts me back into this balanced state of mind. I hope I can kept this forever (or at least for a long time). Things that would have annoyed or upset me early don’t get me that easily anymore. My resilience is a lot stronger.

I am still very happy. Happy with my life. My setting. My surroundings. My everything. I still catch myself smiling out of the blue in public. I kept the attitude and the mental freedom of being able to just change things which I don’t want to continue. With this all things become a conscious choice. Being conscious means that they are wanted and chosen. And if – at one point of time – they are unwanted they can be changed. With this even tough days are easier to deal with since they feel part of a wanted greater.

With this I have become more tolerant as well. Things that would have droven me nuts a few years ago I do see them as a different way of doing things. People have different priorities and different ways of doing things. Accept things you can’t change and see if they can somehow put a smile on your face. I am also still very careful with my judgements. After being called judgemental by someone who I really admire I have been very careful with this discipline. I still judge. Pretty quickly. But I have trained myself to always start a second thought with something like “What’s the story behind that it has come to this point?”, “That’s the easy call but what’s behind the obvious?”. This leads to more understanding, more openess and many interesting encounters. Still.

When it comes to material things I have been extremely good. I have not accumulated any additional stuff. Contrary to what I was afraid of I have reduced even further. Whatever has not been used or touched for a while had to go. Nothing has been sourced in without something else sourced out. I really enjoy not having a lot of responsibilities at the moment. I don’t have a lot of stuff, I don’t have (a real) rental agreement to take care of and I don’t even have a single plant to take care of. I am pretty sure it will change at one point of time again but for now it feels good. Probably since it is such a dramatic contrast to how it was before.

On a side note – I still greet the bus drivers. Maybe not with the same enthusiasm anymore screaming from the last door to the very front but always when I leave or entere the bus through the front door. Maybe something I have to re-focus on.

One thing which annoys me massively is how much time I spend on my phone again. And I am not talking about talking on the phone. Partly it is a result of having one phone and mixing private and work life so borderless. But if I am honest to myself I also spend a lot of unnessary time on it. I definitely improved on the no-go-times. During meals, in conversations with other or any kind of interaction my phone is gone. But between these phases I am not very disciplined anymore. The “time to refelect when waiting for a bus” doesn’t really happen anymore. Something which has caught me quickly.

There are probably many more things which I can’t fully capture at this point of time. But in general I have the feeling my ressilience to influences from the outside is a lot stronger. Sitting in Munich with sneakers, shorts and hoody while everyone else is wearing good shoes, expensive watches, purses, button shirts and expensive labels everywhere else I couldn’t care less.

And I have come to the conclusion that some things have changed for good. I don’t think that I will be able to ever ignore or deny them anymore. They have just changed.