Splette's Travel Blog
  • Germany
  • April1st

    The last few days have been crazily busy and stressful due to work and last minute preparations. I’m renting out my room for the month to some Estonian girl. Perhaps I should clean it before I leave?
    But I didn’t want to do all the packing in the very last minute since I’m pathologically forgetful. So for the last few days, whenever I thought of something important that I definitely have to bring, I would just find it and throw it on the black carpet in my room. My diving license, that camera charger, the proof of my yellow fever vaccination, nose hair trimmer etc.
    Slowly the carpet filled up but when I actually packed everything into my backpack and hand luggage an hour before I left, it really didn’t seem so much.

    Here, have a look for yourself:
    Backpack contents
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  • February20th

    Pasta salad

    Posted in: Germany

    It’s been three and a half months since I got back to good old Germany. I do love Berlin. And I do hate the winter. All day gray sky, freezing cold and depressing. Berlin has a reputation for being one of the ‘in’ cities in Europe, so perhaps this sounds odd but truth is my life has been pretty uneventful ever since I moved here. Then again, what did I expect? Backpacking across Latin America for almost 2 years is hard to beat in terms of excitement. Which reminds me of all the stories I did not blog about. I hope I can fill some of the gaps in the future. So, don’t stop checking for new posts…

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  • June24th

    Zum Goldenen HirschenA few years ago, during my PhD times, I got very excited about filmmaking. I bought a high definition digital video camera and learned how to use editing and post production tools such as Adobe Aftereffects. I started realizing small film projects which is great fun.
    One of those projects which I made with a friend was about a gun rampage. The idea was to criticize gun ownership. The final video was meant to be uploaded to YouTube and spark some debate. But we never got that far. During the filming of some test footage a little incident happened: Someone saw us handling the (fake) gun and called the police. When they arrived the camera was still rolling. After the trouble with the police we never finished the actual film project. Instead I used the material to do a video ‘Filmmaking gone wrong’:

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  • April7th

    Europe Visit MapAfter spending the last months in Costa Rica, it’s about time for some more traveling. I’m coming to Germany to check if everything is still the same way I left it. On the way, I’ll stop by in the US and Spain. The dates might change slightly because I am flying on standby:

    23-30 April – San Francisco
    1-7 May – Chicago
    7-15 May – Madrid
    16-23 May – Barcelona
    23 May – 3 July – Germany (Berlin, Strasburg, Münster, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Tübingen, München)
    3-10 July – New York
    10 July – San José, Costa Rica

    I don’t know yet, in which order I will visit the different cities in Germany or for how long. If possible, I’ll also stop by Wien.

  • April13th


    Posted in: Germany

    The first part of my trip is over. I’m back in Germany. It feels strange because I didn’t expect to be back so soon.

    Like so many other things in this trip me visiting Germany again so soon was not part of the plan. But I am very happy I did.I had to leave the U.S. because my 90-day visa waiver expired. I hoped to extend it by going to Canada and re-entering the U.S. bus as I learned going to Canada doesn’t count as ‘leaving the U.S.’ in terms of visa issues. Interesting. Instead of cutting my trip short (skipping the West coast) and flying directly to Mexico, I decided to fly back to Germany for a little vacation.

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  • March6th

    After Toronto I went back to New York. At the border my concerns about my 90-day visa waiver turned out to be justified. I did not get a new visa waiver when I entered the US. Therefore I will have to leave the country within a few weeks. There’s also news from Sony about my laptop. They replaced the screen. But they managed to break the harddisk. Apparently now all my data on it is lost (I got backup of the most important stuff).
    So, I made the decision to come back to Germany for a little vacation and relax from all the chaos. I’ll need to reinstall all my software and finally take care of my taxes. I will be flying to Berlin in a few weeks and also spend some time at home. I probably won’t come to Heidelberg though. I’ll let you know when I know the exact travel dates…

  • January14th

    Vaccination List

    Hmm, that’s going to be a lot of shots…

    Vaccination time, yeah!
    As the perfectly-organized German backpacker that I am it will come to you as no surprise that in preperation to this trip I went to the Institute of Tropical Medicine of the university to get my vaccinations sorted out. Vaccinations are great. They are like a firmware upgrade. Splette V1.04 to Splette V1.06!
    When I went to the tropical medicine institute I was hoping for vaccinations of some really exotic diseases such as dracunculiasis (creepy, he?). But the most exotic one I got was just yellow fever. And then there was rabies (in case I get bitten by that Anaconda during a stroll in the Amazon rain forrest…).

    One of my vaccination shots. I was such a brave boy...

    Me getting a couple of shots

    However, I shockingly realized than many of my regular vaccinations had expired over the years. I was especially concerned about Tetanus and Hepatitis B. But also Diphtheria, typhoid fever and polio had expired. Eventually I ended up getting some eight shots or so in three sessions. I feel all upgraded now…

    Vaccination Record

    All done

  • January7th

    Away from Germany for only two days and already missing it? Err… no, thankfully not. I never experienced homesickness (in fact I rarely ever get sick in general) and usually I’m way too excited when traveling to miss things from home. But over the months there may come a time where I will miss certain things. Probably something silly like Nutella… Oh, and I can already hear certain friends telling me “So, Germany isn’t so bad after all, is it?” Oh well, here is my list of things I think I may be missing at some point:

    Yummy: German potato salad

    Hmm, German Potato Salad

    • #1 My own bed
    • #2 A hot shower (meaning really hot)
    • #3 My privacy
    • #4 German bread
    • #5 My desktop computer with 22″ screen

    No, German potato salad didn’t make it onto the list.

    Let’s see how I will feel about this in a few months…

    Update: Not surprisingly, the potato salad was rather awful….

  • January6th


    Checkout from Germany

    Today is special. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. Right now, I’m on flight Delta 79 from Berlin to New York. My sixth time in the US but this time is different. I am not on vacation. I’m leaving Germany for good. For about 10 years now I’ve wanted to move abroad. Now, that I finished my PhD I am finally free to do whatever I want. I canceled my contracts, moved out of my apartment in Heidelberg, stored my things somewhere, said Goodbye to friends and family and now I’m on my way to do that pan-american backpacking tour I’ve been dreaming of for a couple of years. (In fact, I created this website already 1.5 years ago.) The first few weeks of this trip I will spend in Knoxville, Tennessee where I am again visiting the Oak Ridge National Lab. During my last stays there, I made quite a few friends. Therefore, Knoxville feels a bit like a second home to me, although ‘parallel universe’ may be a better desciption as Tennessee is not from this world… (If you’ve ever spent some time there you know what I am talking about.) After that, I’ll be backpacking to Canada first and then Central and South America. As of now, I have not made any detailed plans about when I’ll be in which country and for how long. No pre-booking, no constraints, just a rough idea about which countries I want to see. Currently, the plan is to travel for about a year before settling down somewhere but that too may change…

    So, join me on my journey. I’m hoping for adventures, amazing places to see, new things to learn, and much more and I’ll be blogging throughout the trip to keep u up to date.