Hello!

Thanks for clicking on the “About” link – I can see you are really interested in finding out more about Happiness and Things and the person behind it. I really appreciate that!

My name is Silke, pleased to meet you! It is my mission to help you find the perfect vacation because I know what it’s like to have only very little time to travel. I am limited by school holidays, annual leaves and certain brackets in the business schedule. Over the years I have made it an art form to get the most out of a holiday to achieve my specific travel goals.

On my blog I want to help you do the same. I want to inspire you to experience a destination with a whole new set of eyes, engaging all your senses and using the time that you have in a smart way.

I want to show you that it’s ok to sneak away for a quick escape, that you can have great experiences even when travelling with kids, and that beauty can be found in the smallest things.

But let’s start at the beginning

Travel has always been part of me.

Some of my fondest childhood memories revolve around our annual six week long family trips to Spain.

Back then we didn’t have a lot of money, so the five members of our family would squeeze into our loyal second-hand Mercedes and drive non-stop all the way down to the south of Spain.

No air-conditioning, no electronic games to entertain us, and worst of all, terrible car sickness on my part.

Yet, my love affair with the big wide world continues now that I am well in my thirties.

With a family of my own I still continue to travel the world, albeit in an admittedly more comfortable fashion. These days, money is not the issue though, it is time. 

I am just a regular traveller like you

I am no ‘digital nomad’, I hold down a regular job. The kids go to school, I have a house that I love. Travelling is something that I do during our annual leave, on weekends, on public holidays. Sometimes we take the kids, and sometimes we sneak away for some couple time. Either way, I make sure I make the most of my trips as time is precious.

Does this sound like you?

I travel to learn new things.
To experience a new culture.
To push my limits.

And that’s me: Whenever I travel, a severe case of itchy feet kicks in. I cannot spend lazy afternoons around the pool or on the beach. I am a restless explorer, a photographer and a thrill seeker. My personal happiness comes from these experiences, it is my way of recharging my batteries for the ordinary life.

How I came to blogging

I wish I could say that there was an a-ha moment that triggered me to becoming a travel writer.

As a matter of fact, writing has always been a part of me, and I have been writing stories from an early age.

To me writing is a highly satisfactory process that floods my system with endorphines in a way that only travel can surpass.

I always find it quite surprising how things always seem to fall into place once I start writing a story, as if the connections have been there all along and as if the writing process was meant to bring it all together, not just for the reader but also for me.

However, never did I think that writing could be the foundation of a career for me.

I am not new to writing. My first online publishing started in 1999, back when there were no social networks, no WordPress, and Google was still a baby.

Back then I received angry emails questioning my brazenness at publishing stories about my life. Think about Youtube, Facebook and Instagram today – I really was a pioneer back then.

This is Silke

My strange and unusual name suddenly appears far less strange and unusual when you learn that it’s a very common German name. Because this is where I come from, and this is why I sometimes say things in a funny way and why I sometimes use incorrect grammar.

Most of my first 26 years of my life I spent in Germany, with a short and painful stint in England in my early twenties. I lived in a boring and rather dull city called Dortmund, embarking on regular trips all around Europe, from London and Paris to Barcelona, Prague, the Canary Islands, Morocco and Turkey. Then I moved with my partner, now husband, to Berlin.

Berlin is a wonderful city, and the only place in Germany I would ever move back to. It’s buzzing with activity and creativity, it’s cheap, it’s steeped in history. We used to do lots of road trips around the city and the surrounding countryside, exploring castles and palaces in all different stages of disrepair and glory.

Living in Berlin was living history. A city that was redefining itself with every turn. I really enjoyed living in this vibrant city.

But then the opportunity came up to change continents, if only temporarily, and we couldn’t resist the lure of the great unknown. So we gave away our cats, sold our car, stored our furniture and left Germany for Sydney, Australia. This was in 2004, and we haven’t looked back since.

Today we are a pretty ordinary Aussie/German family with two school-aged kids living on the Northern Beaches in Sydney.

I get it

This blog is from a real person and it’s written for real people.

This blog is not about how to stretch your travel budget. It is not about quitting your job or risking your life for the next big adventure. It may sound like a dream to many of you but the way I see it there is whole lot of unknown factors that can spoil such drastic steps pretty quickly.

Once you have children and you are settled you may want to be on the safe side. Call it boring but I actually sleep better knowing that there is a safety cushion for my family should things go wrong.

I believe you don’t have to ‘go all in’ in order to make your life special.

Instead, this blog is all about making use of the free time you are given, about seeking the extraordinary in the scope of ordinary travel experiences, noticing the details, making the connections.

I blog about my trips to share my stories. To inspire my readers to go out and explore for themselves. To challenge them to make it count.

Why you should follow the blog

  • I want you to get inspired to travel the world regardless of time constraints, family commitments or budget
  • I want you to look beneath the surface, to ask questions and find out more about a destination
  • I want you to see the beauty in all things great and small
  • I want you to experience a destination with all your heart and with all your senses

You too can have great experiences when travelling. You don’t have to be an expert to fully ‘get’ a destination. Let me show you how to make smart decisions around selecting worthwhile destinations and attractions, modes of transport and accommodation.

Sign up now to the Happiness & Things Newsletter for your weekly dose of travel inspiration for the smart traveller.

Next trip: Melbourne for Australian Open, Germany, Spain.

Want a postcard from Sydney? Send me an email to silke@happinessandthings.com or use the contact form on the bottom of this page.

PR and media, please click here to find out how to work with me: Media & Advertising

Check out also my German language blog for family travel Miniglobetrotter.de

Feel free to contact me for any questions, suggestions, or offers I cannot resist 🙂 Or maybe you would like a postcard from Sydney?

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