Happy 2016 – Year of the Monkey

Happy 2016 card with monkeys

Travel-work balance and travels 2015

Again, 2015 has been a very busy year with a lot of research work and tour-guiding work. As for travels in 2015, we managed to fit in a few private trips in between. Three guide books by us came out in spring 2015, the Reisehandbuch Usbekistan, Dumont Direkt Mecklenburgische Seenplatte and Stefan Loose Japan. During summer we did a lot of research in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan for a new Central Asia guide book and autumn brought a fact check on the new edition of the National Geographic Guide Book Japan, which will be published in spring 2016.

Prior to Central Asia and in order to qualify for a transit visa for Turkmenistan we travelled in Iran for 15 days for the first time and it was our absolute travel highlight this year. Especially Persepolis, the 2500 year old capital of the Achaemenid Empire, impressed us. Isa also tremendously enjoyed celebrating her birthday in the fairy-tale city of Isfahan (despite the no-booze policy and the fact that she had to wear a scarf!). Another highlight was our camping nights under the stars high up in the Swiss Alps. Finally we found another Eastern Europe gem in November: Lithuania.

And we also went to Basel/ Switzerland to experience the famous “Basler Fasnacht”, a unique Carnival tradition.

Countries we travelled in 2015

Egypt – we did a scuba diving course in January in Soma Bay at the Red Sea Coast

Switzerland – went to see the “Basler Fasnacht” in February and spent a bit more than two weeks hiking in the Alps in summer.

France – we started our hiking trip in the Swiss Alps from Chamonix in France

Japan – two months of tour guiding work.

Iran – first time, but definitely not the last time we visited that beautiful country

Turkmenistan – crossed on a five-day transit visa.

Uzbekistan – catching up with friends and some research work; Natascha also went with a tour group.

Kazakhstan – we spent a few relaxed days in Almaty, where we sought out gorgeous Soviet architecture, walked around a lot and even went to see a Kazakh opera.

Kyrgyzstan – together we spent a few days in the capital Bishkek and surrounds, and Natascha also went longer for tour guiding work.

Tajikistan – part of the Pamir tour

Lithuania – private two-week trip in November

Austria – we went to Lienz / East Tyrol to see the Krampus rally in December 2015.

Outlook for 2016 – 10 years of travel blogging!

In 2016 we are researching and writing a new guide book about Tyrol in Austria. So the better part of the summer will be spent researching (including a lot of hiking and climbing, yes!) for this guide book. As a new edition for the Uzbekistan guide book is also due, we will travel to Uzbekistan as well. And as usual there is tour guiding in Japan and Central Asia (here are the dates!)

And in 2016 we will have our 10 year travel blog anniversary! Back then in 2006, internet was slow and pictures were loading even slower. That was the reason why our earlier posts had only one or at most two accompanying pictures. The blog was meant to keep in contact with friends and family during our one year overland travel back from Japan to Germany (read more on how we got into the travel business). People we knew were shy about using the internet or commenting on blog – so the first version of our blog was password protected. For 2016 we will revamp some of the earliest blog posts with additional pictures and feature them on the blog.

We wish you a fabulous Year of the monkey 2016 filled with joy and happiness and of course a lot of spectacular travel experiences.


  1. Sounds like you had a very exciting year! I didn’t realize you had been blogging for 10 years. That’s fantastic! I’m looking forward to seeing the early posts. Happy travels in 2016 and Happy New Year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *