I am Anja! Thank you for visiting! Holiday Golightly is, of course, just a screen name borrowed from one of the greatest writers in history.
This is my little retreat, my luxury, and my place to wallow in Wanderlust, Fernweh and Curiosity. I work full-time and just use my annual leave to travel, so I am pretty good at planning and utilising the time most of us have to roam the globe.
I am a German ex-transplant to Great Britain (and the United States, for a very brief period). With advancing middle age, I remembered my roots and returned to the fold of the fatherland. My English is going down the drain, and as I got asked a lot about good places to visit, as I was the only one of my peers to go off with a backpack beyond my Twenties, this blog was born out of a desire to share good trips, to stay literate in the English language and do do something useful with my photographs.
It also serves as a home of travel tales, travel tips, and photographs. I try to minimise junk but I love abandoned buildings, old aircraft dumping sites, shipwrecks and stuff like that, so they may find their way in here.
Suffering from homesickness as a child, I was not a born traveller – and growing up in the Eastern Block, my choices were somewhat limited. But growing up in Germany also meant the great privilege of free school and university education, and later on, a scholarship. So I am never going to waste this for anything and I have always worked in my trained profession full-time and like most of us, I have to earn a salary to go travelling!
I did my first “big” trip only between university and my first job – fourteen days of backpacking in Thailand – I felt like I was conquering the world! And I still like that feeling of setting off, seeing new places, not necessarily keeping the comforts of home, but seeking out new places and experiences takes priority over luxury and holiday vibes. I tend to stay off the beaten track and look for little-visited places with history and culture that deserve more recognition, eat and buy local and not have a huge carbon footprint.
But what’s with the Holiday Golightly title?
Well… Breakfast at Tiffany’s reference, obviously! This is one of my favourite films since I was 10. A cute classic. You could even buy the book in the German Democratic Republic. Its witty bittersweetness was cunningly disguised as a weirdo avant-garde Gothic-styled “Spectrum Library Short Prose” Edition of 1974. The edition was an odd mix of mainly Soviet authors and some less regime-conformist works – such as the first ever print of anything by Sigmund Freud in Eastern Germany (“Mourning and Melancholia”).
Post-1989, I was finally able to read more Truman Capote works, although, compared to the heavily subsidised books in Eastern Germany, books seemed terribly expensive, and I grew to love his works. Like others collect “Le Petit Prince” in different languages and different editions, I have a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” shelf. I only have this obsession with Evelyn Waugh, Patrick Hamilton and T.S. Eliot, but they all have heroines less likely to go with leisure travel. Is it wise to name this blog after a thinly disguised Callgirl? Or, as Capote would say, an “American Geisha”? Probably not, but I don’t care. I think it’s genius to have a first name associated with leisure and travel, and a second name associated with an intestinal cleaner. Long may it last.
My style of travel
I have always either studied or worked full time. At present , I get 35 leave days per year – which I think is pretty generous! I also work 1-2 weekends per month. I try to go on 1-2 bigger trips per year, and about 2-3 shorter ones. I book pretty much everything, from flights to hotels to rental cars, independent form each other, only sometimes a package deal. I usually travel with a backpack or a small carry-on. I fly and although I’m aware of environmental implications, I am not going to stop flying a few times a year – I usually fly packed budget airlines. They might be the root of all evil, making frequent cheap travel available for everyone. But better a packed low-cost flicht than flying business with all its space, alright. Within Europe, I try to travel by train as much as I can, and when away, I almost always use public transport. So I try to keep the emissions within reason, but green thinking won’t stop me from from travel. I recycle, compost, hardly buy new stuff and and haven’t eaten meat for 30 years.
Despite never having the luxury of unlimited free time, I managed to visit 55 countries, and slowly write my own travel story. I work in a job I love, and I do academic research and animal rescue in my free time. This won’t leave me a lot of time to travel the world, but I would not have it any other way!
I’m writing this for fun, and I will keep this free much selling stuff. Yes, it’s fun to do a bit of advertising – if I tell you “whoa, this restaurant is great” it’s advertising, right? but if I receive any benefits out if it, I will clearly mark such content as paid advertisement, and trust me, it’s not going to happen too often. A few articles may contain affiliate links but I work a full-time non-travel, non-marketing, non-blogging show for income – it probably shows, and this isn’t the place for slick photos and sponsored content. All trips are booked by and paid for by myself, so will always be completely honest about a place because I can afford to. If I remember the prices for things, I will tell you, too, and all prices are accurate at the time of writing, but please remember, most of our planet had applied the Capitalist system, so prices are likely to go up over time. If I stay anywhere without paying because I may have tagged along with my partner or went on a business trip and post pictures, I will say so.
Feel free to drop me a line at mail (at) holiday-golightly (dot) com.