December 23, 2012

Preparing for the move

Preparing to move

Bretagne -
Preparing for the next chapter of my life is not just about preparing the practicalities, looking up a school, preparing the visa, getting a new passport, deciding where to move (which city that is), deciding what to bring, how to ship it, what to put into storage, what to get rid of and how to work everything out at home.

Preparing for a move is also about saying farewell to family and friends that it may take time before I see again, and it is about saying farewell to familiar places, as well as realising that there are places I want to see but won't be able to get to in a while, because once I have travelled on, once I have left Düsseldorf behind, and stopped working to study, then I will not be able to pop over to Gothenburg for a weekend, nor will I be able to take the train over to Paris, pop over to London, get on the plane and go to Zürich for a weekend.

December 06, 2012

So what IS my decision then?

As mentioned in the previous post, the thought process started with my broken foot.
It continued with me listing what I was interested in, and what I wanted to do, as well as what I was missing, and I came to the conclusion that is was time to do something about it - the one thing I regret so far is that I haven't studied more languages, I want to communicate with people, I want to see and do more in the world, and therefore, languages are the one thing that I really miss - I do speak fluently English and Swedish, I speak German, I can speak French (although don't ask me about grammar, my grammar is not very good, even if my pronunciation is said to be - but I am working on that), I understand some Spanish (and I speak a bit too, enough to get buy as a tourist), Danish and Norwegian is not an issue. But I didn't study enough languages. I want to fix that.
Hong Kong island, November
Also, I have been in Germany for a number of years, and although I love it, things are starting to go a little bit too much routine, and I am also starting to feel restless, something I think I may have mentioned before. Düsseldorf is a great city, I have a great network of friends, and I enjoy what I do here, but there is something missing.  Things are becoming a bit too much routine, I know where to find people on Wednesdays, I know what is going on every third Thursday of the month, I arrange my events, I go to similar events again again and again. It is great events and it is fun, but I know pretty well what is going to happen and who is going to be there.

December 04, 2012

How the thought process started

What triggered it all?

The first of May 2012 I went to the hospital after having had pain in a foot for weeks. It was not getting better, but rather worse - more and more swollen, and it got more and more difficult to walk on it. The doctor took one look at it, it was X-rayed, and it was confirmed that it was broken.
Coffee, a part of the thought process
I was given crutches and told to go home and rest. To me it was a disaster, or so I thought - I have never been known for sitting still, I love to move and I live a very active life. Now, the broken foot didn't quite immobilise me, I was simply too restless (and far to worried about deep vein thrombosis) to just sit still, but it definitely forced me to be more still than normal. And that's when the route towards what could be considered my new life started...

During the weeks after I was diagnosed, and also the weeks after I got of the crutches but still had to take it easy, I started to think. I was contemplating life as it is, I was thinking about what I have done and about what I want to do next. I was pondering what was and is important to me, and how life has changes, because (thankfully!) it has, I am no longer the same person I was five years ago, or not even  the same I was two years ago - with new experiences comes new development.

And while I have had a really great life up until now, there are definitely things that I am curious about, things I want to see and do. I am also not a person who will just settle down and be satisfied with what I have, I do need to keep on developing and I do need to keep on moving, learning about myself, and learning. It is what I am and it is what I do.

November 24, 2012

And then there is that thing about travelling...

On the road. As always

Yes, and then there is that other part of me, the one about travelling...

AK-thenextchapter.blogspot.comI travel. I travel a lot. Probably more than most - maybe anyone? - you know, except for people who travel for a living, something I haven't done yet, part from the occasional business trip, the business trips that once were far more common once but now are more of a commodity, at least in my current job and with everything you can do over the phone and via video calls. But luckily you can travel privately, and I do, I travel least once a month, mainly in Europe - because that is where I live but also because  there is so much to see and do in Europe, just board a plane and within an hour you are in a new culture, where a new language is spoken, and where people have a slightly different attitude and the markets look a bit differently, but I also travel to Asia, to US and to other places. I am simply addicted to travelling. Love being on the road, there is nothing better.

Give me a good book, a note book (the paper format, not a computer), give me an interesting place to visit, and life is good.

November 20, 2012

Me and food

To be able to understand this blog and how it will develop, you will need to understand a bit more about me. I already mentioned that I am a foodie, but what does that really mean?
Well, food is my true passion. I cook, I eat, I scout out interesting places to eat and interesting food to try; I learn, I develop, I test, I experiment. I have no formal training when it comes to cooking, but I have a lot of experience.

The first "meal" I cooked was maybe not that exciting, at least not looking back at it, but to me then and there it was. As a small kid, long before I started school, I would make oatmeal porridge and my parents would be served breakfast in bed. I can't recall any more if it was my father or my mother that taught me how to make porridge, but I do remember that my dad and I talked about it. On the other hand, part from the porridge discussion with my father, it was my mother who was the one active in the kitchen, it was her cookbooks that I, before I could walk, would crawl up to and flip through until the pages started to come out, and it was my mother that I watched in the kitchen, preparing much from nothing, and experimenting, it was my mother who always said "did you like the bread? Well, enjoy it, because I can never make it again, at least not exactly the same."

November 16, 2012

Welcome to this brand new blog

This is the very first post here on my new blog - AK - The Next Chapter. My name is Ann-Katrin, I am today living in Düsseldorf, Germany. Born and raised in Sweden, moved to Germany a number of years ago, with the company, and now I am about to embark on a new journey, a journey that will take me new places, in many ways. I will write more about that journey but first I want to tell you a little bit about who I am.
Düsseldorf, a fascinating city on the river Rhine (Rhein)
My name is, as already mentioned, Ann-Katrin. I am a travel addicted foodie, I travel the world, and I eat food. Lots of food. Local food. Good food. Not always gourmet food, but always good food, if I can help it. I love to cook, and often cook for many - I grew up in a big family I find it far easier to cook for many than just for a few.

I have spent a few years living in Düsseldorf (see link for info from the city itself), the capital of Nordrhein-Westfahlen - (North Rhein Westphalia, NRW), the most densely populated state in Germany, bordering on Netherlands, close to Belgium, and close to France. Düsseldorf itself is an international city with a really big ex-pat community, and people from all over the world. Cologne (Köln) is a bigger city, but Düsseldorf is the capital. Being a foreigner I can however tell you that both cities are great cities, something that you rarely hear otherwise, there is some old competition and the people that love one is not allowed to like the other. But I am a foreigner so I am not expected to fit in and chose to like both; But they ARE very different, I give the Germans that.