Did you miss me? Here’s a glimpse at what I’ve been doing these past few weeks at home. Leave me a comment below letting me know how you’ve fared!
Hi! Remember me? The past two months have been quite a doozy, haven’t they? As you may have noticed, I’ve been rather quiet for a few weeks and the reason for that is simple: I’ve been too stressed to write. Which I find kind of astonishing because the semi-lockdown / social distancing we’ve been dealing with here in Berlin have given me so much extra time to write! And yet, I haven’t been able to sit down and form coherent sentences for a while and after week three of isolation I realized that I needed to just chill out and accept the fact that there are currently more important things I need to address than blogging. You know, things like cooking for myself, pumping out work for clients in case freelance work putters out in the coming weeks / months, and so forth.
I’ll admit, I’ve felt incredibly guilty for not posting much on Tall Girl Big World during this pandemic. So many of the bloggers I follow have been stressing the importance of “engaging your audience” and “adding value” during these “unprecedented times.” I wracked my brain for topics to write about besides my usual travel content, but all my ideas felt flat to me. And I know myself well enough to not write posts for the sake of writing, because those always wind up being ones I look back on later and dislike because I know I wasn’t in a good mindset when I wrote them. Am I making sense here?
Basically, I’m sorry for falling off the face of the planet. For not providing you with fun / interesting / useful posts these past few weeks when the world turned upside down. But also, I’m not sorry, because trust me when I say that anything I’d have written these past few weeks would have not been fun to read since my mood has fluctuated so much lately!
However, now that the end is in sight I’m feeling more inspired to write and I thought it best to jump in and say hey first before resuming my usual posting schedule. Berlin recently announced that stores are allowed to reopen this week, and people are now out shopping again. We still have to practice social distancing and are supposed to remain 1.5 meters away from others in the supermarket, etc. but two people are allowed to meet up now in public spaces, which feels huge after two straight months of isolation. But plans are slowly rolling out to reopen Berlin and I’m hoping to travel through Germany this summer.
We may be allowed to travel to other European countries later this summer, but I’m not getting my hopes up too much. At this point, I’m just excited to see my friends who live on the other side of Berlin! And in a way it’s nice to have an excuse to explore more of my adopted home country. I don’t feel pressured to explore all of Europe’s best known cities since I’m not sure if that will be allowed anytime soon. For now, I’m looking forward to summer in Berlin and taking weekend trips with friends to neighboring towns.
In case you’re curious, here’s what I’ve been up the last two months:
What I’ve Been Doing
I wish I could say I’ve used this time at home to prep blog posts, get fitter, learn a new skill, or something like that. Alas, I’ve been chugging along pretty much as I usually do. I wake up around 7am most mornings, drink a steaming mug of tea while watching YouTube videos, then bang out my to-do list for the day. And then I usually contemplate doing something productive and / or creative … and then wind up watching Netflix instead. I have been watching lots more shows auf Deutsch though because I want to keep my German up to snuff. I’ve also been reading books in German (I’ll share my recent reads in a bit!).
Here’s a glimpse at what’s been keeping me busy lately:
Freelance work. I’m an SEO specialist and I work primarily with food bloggers.
Deep cleaning my kitchen. So awful, yet so satisfying when it was over.
YouTube and Netflix. An embarrassing amount of TV has been consumed.
Online shopping. Yes, I caved. I bought a mirror for my wall, a pair of shorts and a summer dress. I only needed one of those things — you can decide which one.
Organizing my wardrobe. German apartments don’t have built-in closets, which means I have to shove all of my clothing into a wardrobe. I finally got smart and stored my winter clothing inside some vacuum bags, which then got stored inside my big suitcase. Win!
Skyping with friends and family. The one major perk of this whole lockdown sitch is that my friends and family have nothing but time to chat. I’ve had weeks where I’ve Skyped friends every single day, and those were the best days of the lockdown! My mom also has been getting regular calls from me, which reminds me of when I was in college and I’d call her or my dad literally every single day.
Cooking and baking. I didn’t jump onto the banana bread train, but I did make these bomb chocolate chip cookies, a strawberry rhubarb crisp, the world’s best pot of chili (of my own creation, thankyouverymuch), homemade Bolognese sauce, and other comfort food dishes. I put on jeans for the first time in two months yesterday and they were quite tight. I regret nothing.
Walking in the park. If Berliners weren’t allowed out of their house for exercise, I would’ve cracked weeks ago. The spring weather in Berlin has been amazing, and my daily walks have been my lifeline lately. I went out the other week in shorts and a t-shirt. Brilliant!
What I’ve Been Watching
I refuse to feel guilty for the obscene amount of YouTube videos and Netflix I’ve consumed lately. I know you’ve done the same! If you’re in need of recs, here are some shows / movies / YouTube channels I recommend:
- Dark — German TV show (with subtitles) that features missing children, time travel, and family drama. Keeps you on the edge of your seat, but isn’t scary.
- Elizabeth — Blast from the past! This came out in the late ‘90s and is a biopic of Queen Elizabeth I’s rocky rise to power. Cate Blanchett is phenomenal in this.
- V for Vendetta — I put off watching this for so long because I thought it was a horror movie. It’s not. It’s a dystopian story that features an England gone crazy and one man’s quest to put down a totalitarian government.
- Pride and Prejudice — Need I say more? Mr. Darcy will forever have my heart.
- The Last Kingdom — Hot Vikings in 9th century Britain. It’s not cheesy and the acting is amazing.
- YouTube videos — My go-to YouTubers are Laura in the Kitchen, The Anna Edit, Lilly Pebbles, FleurDeForce, Grace Denny, Annie Jaffrey, Alexandra Gater, Zanna van Dijk, and Sarah’s Day. A mish mash of cooking videos, workouts, lifestyle, and home décor!
What I’ve Been Reading
I’ve been reading more books in German lately, and I get so excited every time I finish a chapter without having to look up any words. My German has come so far since I began reading more auf Deutsch and I plan on getting a Berlin library card ASAP so I can check out more books since all of the books on my shelf are in English.
Here’s what I’ve read during lockdown:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (in German, I might add!)
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (also in German)
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillippa Gregory
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Okay, wow. I thought I’d read so much more than that. But in my defense a couple of those books were almost 500 pages! I just updated my Goodreads account with close to 50 books I’d saved to a “to read” list on my phone, and I’m excited to dive into those soon.
I know this post has been all over the place, but I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless. Please let me know if there’s anything you want me to write about in the future — travel or non-travel related!
Tell me: What have your days looked like in lockdown?
PS. I snapped all these photos on my phone and didn’t edit them, hence their *ahem* unprofessional nature. But we’re all friends here, so I didn’t think you’d mind since this post is a little different already 🙂