Just like that, the new year has begun. Reason enough to look back on some of 2016’s highlights. A lot of travels, a lot of work, a very busy year. Yet, it was filled with great moments and produced good memories. So many things have happened and changed in my life and around it.
There are several nonstop TGV connections every day from Bern that take you to Paris in no time. Yet, I had only been in the city of love once – and very briefly. So it was long overdue to go. Seraina and I bought a train ticket, booked a very lovely Airbnb and spent some wonderful days in Paris. We ate some of the best food ever (fish tacos!) and drank some of the best coffee. It was a very early highlight of that year.
A city I’d wanted to visit again in years. I finally made it in 2016, and it was well worth it. Eating pastel de nata all day, I wandered up and down the hills the city is built on and admired the beautiful houses on every corner and the funiculars going up and down. Also, I participated in the European Jiu-Jitsu Championship for the first time, which was a good experience.
Lisbon is a really beautiful city with lovely views and always worth a visit. I still want to go back.
Another short trip to Turin for another BJJ competition, before I traveled to Sweden in March to shoot a web series called fika: to have coffee. The final project of my studies in Audiovisual Media, the project was an insight into the Swedish fika tradition. I got to meet lots of great coffee people and visit some of the best coffeeshops on this trip. I also happened to be there for the Swedish Aeropress Championship at Koppi. Because I was flying back from Copenhagen, I was able to spend a day there too. A few weeks later I was to participate in the Swiss Aeropress Championship at Auer & Co and reach the semifinals.
My first Leica
I bought my first Leica, the M6, and learned how to shoot it. I love it.
My stepmother celebrated her birthday in the Alsace region in France and my parents invited Seraina and me to spend the night at a spa hotel after the birthday dinner. The following day, we ignored the terrible weather and visited the beautiful city of Colmar, ate some tarte flambée and tasted some wine at a local winery. Very Alsace!
In summer, I graduated from Zurich University of the Arts with a BA of Arts and started working full-time for my own little 1-man company. The first big project as a full-time freelancer was a short film (not published yet) about the World of Coffee 2016 in Dublin, accompanying the Swedish competitors participating in the World Barista Championships, the World Brewers Cup, the World Aeropress Championship, and the World Coffee Throwing Championship. It was great to gain insight into the coffee industry and meet the who’s who of coffee.
Being self-employed is nice in many ways, but obviously it’s a lot of work and often very stressful – especially if your office is your bedroom in a shared apartment. So far, it’s been getting better and better, though. We’ll see what 2017 brings.
After a week in Bournemouth for a BJJ camp and a day and a half in London (and a lot of long working days at home), Seraina and I made a super short road trip to Italy to visit our friend Manuel in Siena. We were sitting in my parents’ car a lot, but it was still very worth it. The cities we visited were very beautiful and Manuel’s childhood house as well as his parents were lovely.
New York City
Besides my hometown Bern, New York City is my favorite city in the world. Ever since my father first took me there in 2008, I’ve kept going back very frequently. Hence, I was very excited when Seraina and I decided to go to NYC in September for two full weeks. Also, I was able to schedule the trip so that I could attend NYCWLK 2.0, which was great. I learned a lot in Johnny and Rebecca Patience’s darkroom printing workshop and I got to meet lots of fellow film photographers from all around the world, some of whom I’d been following online for a while.
Hawaii was amazing in many ways: the nature, the landscapes, the weather and the beaches, the many climates, the contrasts. But also because I got to know coffee much better and learned so many new things about it. I stayed at my uncle’s farm in Kona, where he runs all sorts of projects – usually around the subject of sustainability – together with his wife. Besides coffee, I also learned about sustainable energy production and recycling and got a lot of inspiration for future projects and for life in general. I loved the Big Island’s scenery, peacefulness, the views and the sunsets, but I also enjoyed Honolulu as a city and how the city blended in with the beach in Waikiki. Many great coffee shops too.
As wonderful as my time in Hawaii had been, I was really happy to leave the island and fly to Korea after five weeks. First, I got to see my older brother Dennys, who lives in Seoul and whom I hadn’t seen in months. A few days later, Seraina arrived, whom I hadn’t seen in five weeks. We had a two-week vacation ahead of us. Korea was great, the people were super stylish – and very friendly, the food was delicious and cheap, the culture and everything seemed modern yet very old.
After a week in Korea, we flew to Tokyo, another truly amazing city. I instantly fell in love and added it to the list of cities I want to live in. Even without speaking or understanding Japanese, it was super easy to get around, everything seemed to be organized incredibly well and everyone was so nice and helpful. The food was divine, the coffee was delicious. Also, this city is just SO beautiful.
For New Year’s Eve, I got to join Seraina’s family visiting her grandfather in Sarajevo, Bosnia. It was way too cold to be attending an openair concert (which is what we did), but it was lovely despite the weather. The air quality was very bad at times because most people still heat with wood in Bosnia. And inside everyone was smoking cigarettes, of course. Anyways, we had a good time. We even found a third wave coffee shop (which had probably just opened the day before), so I didn’t have to drink Bosnian/Turkish coffee only.
No picture here because I don’t have any scans yet from the one roll I shot in Sarajevo.
Lisbon, Paris, Turin, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö, Lund, Helsingborg, Copenhagen, Colmar, Dublin, Bournemouth, London, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Como, Mönchengladbach, New York City, Astana, Kona, Waikoloa, Hawi, Hilo, Haleiwa, Honolulu, Seoul, Tokyo, Sarajevo and many more places.
I visited 13 countries, was on 28 flights – 16 of which within the last 3 months, and spent one third of 2016 abroad. While I’m very thankful that I got the opportunity to go to all those places and though I really enjoy traveling, I’m aiming for a somewhat calmer 2017. I want to spend more time in Bern, a city I love very much. I want to travel more within Switzerland and enjoy this beautiful country, something I haven’t done very often in the last few years. I want to do more personal work and work on projects that I enjoy working on. And I want to be doing nothing every now and then. I haven’t been bored in ages, I can’t even remember what it feels like.
Finally, this post is not only a flashback, but also sort of an outlook of what’s next on my blog. I included photos from Hawaii, Korea, Japan and wrote about Bosnia. These travels will be featured in the next few posts. I’m also looking forward to share some new pictures from Switzerland.
Happy New Year.