The Game – Recap

Less than 2 weeks ago I started this project called the Game. While I had vowed to ask at least 10 people for their insight into the world that is not always conveyed to us readers, I hardly made it to a handful. I know, bad bad me. So even greater was my surprise when I found out that the few bloggers I had selected almost all came up with a great post. From 6 writers, 4 wrote an actual essay and 1 commented lengthily on the question I had posed. What a success the Game has been!

Of course I don’t want to give away the best parts but simply point you in the direction of these five talented bloggers and their excellent posts.

Here I also want to stop and thank all of you for being such a great sport by writing about topics that might have been too personal for some. Thank you, dear bloggers, I really appreciate the time you took to sit down and think about my challenge!

The very first to respond was Amanda, the fast shot! Her blog Amanda P Overseas is mostly about her life in Germany, specifically Heidelberg, where she moved with her husband, an enlisted Army paramedic. I even happened to meet her in person once when I paid my hometown a visit (read more here). Whereas her stories about how she experiences the other culture, restaurants, and towns in Deutschland are already interesting enough taken by themselves, I had a very different question for her. So I asked her how she met her husband and how she experienced her relationship to someone in the Armed Forces. Based on my own experience, it can be quite difficult to be engaged in a relationship with someone who never knows when he will be pulled out to fight a war or go on undefined assignments. Read her great answer here!

Next, the Sweetkitten from Cosy Travels of the Viking and his Kitten happened to raise an eyebrow with her equally fast response towards the challenge I had set out for her. While I am not too familiar with her blog yet, since she is what I consider a “new” reader, I went through it a bit and found some humorously composed stories on how she and her Danish husband experience life together in Brussels. I also found that she is engaged in a high amount of interesting matters (find more on her UNESCO project here) and am thrilled that she took her time to sit down and briefly write an answer for nosy me. The question was: Why did you decide to move to the country you live in now instead of staying in the Viking’s home country? More on this topic here!

The Sweetkitten probably stumbled over my blog when I published a post on Bucketlist (read more here, and yes, another Heidelberg post – alas!). Bucketlist belongs to Lesley Carter, a writer, traveler, photographer, and who knows what else(sounds like a good description for all of us, right?!). I am not sure she fully understood the purpose behind the Game but her response still deserves to be mentioned here. While I had asked her travel-related questions, she lengthily responded in a comment only a few minutes after I had posed my question! How could I ignore her efforts on this one? Exactly! So here is the link towards her post and comment (hint: it’s on the very bottom of the page)!

My Russian friend Elena has been inactive from her personal blog for a very long time already. While certain circumstances might have played a big role (she is pregnant AND moved back to her hometown St. Petersburg = move, new job, baby – what do you think the stress level could be?) I was happy to see that she revisited her blog and scraped together her English skills she most likely is hardly using at all in Russia at the current moment. Elena, great job! Thanks for coming up with that splendid post on 1) What you missed most when being in New York and initiated your move back to Leningrad and 2) when you started traveling and which culture/country you found the most interesting so far. I know, some questions might appear repetitive here, but that is just because I am asking folks whose interests overlap. Read her sweetly written response here, composed two days ago.

Lastly, Liz from Be.Love.Live took me by surprise. She published this great write-up just today. The busy bee is blogging at least once a day it seems and is completely immersed into challenges such as the Photo A Day and other Blog Awards. However, she seems to really enjoy writing and I know for a fact that she has outed herself as a social media addict. Therefore, I concluded she would have the most fun with this and maybe by conclusion was right, eh? Either way, I really enjoyed reading your original response on moving to Sweden and how you experienced your initial time in a foreign country. I also deem this has been the longest reply I’ve gotten for the Game so far.

Yup, you’ve heard correctly. I am thinking about recruiting five more fine bloggers and to hear their life story. So unless one of you folks wants to chime in and find someone you want to challenge, you will have to wait until the next time.

The Game: Play or Lose. But it would be rather nice to play, right?

The Game : An Insight into Other Bloggers’ Worlds

Recently I have come across quite a few projects and challenges swarming around in the World Wide Web. I find some of these ideas excellent and very effective towards getting to know other blogs and exploring a variety of worlds. Being part of an on-going project which includes the entire blogger/ instagram/ facebook scene is a great way of connecting to people around the globe. People who perhaps would have not stumbled across my writings or whose Web page I would have probably not found as easily as I did recently through these media.

So with all these Photo a Days, Versatile Blogger Awards, and What Nots going on, I have decided to come up with my very own interpretation of providing readers’ feedback. My idea is based on something I have not yet been able to find while surfing the Internet, therefore I want to fill in the gap. After all, isn’t blogging about creativity and introducing new ideas to the crowd? And what better way to share your thoughts on another person’s write-up if not commenting on various posts? Or even better, giving the specific blogger a challenge?

Such was my thought process, when an idea crossed my mind. Which then again turned into a whole new notion until it ended up in a final plan. And this is where I proudly present to you: The Game! A concept based on digging deeper into a blogger’s life (as long as he or she is willing to participate) and posing several little challenges in the form of so-called autobiographical articles.

The way the Game works is relatively easy: I will be selecting up to 10 bloggers who have been following German-American Abroad in the past few months (10 makes out for a good start, don’t you think?!). On their latest post I will comment and pose a challenge. It can be a question anywhere from How did you meet the love of your life and Your move to a foreign country to A life-changing story from your high school years. I then challenge these “authors” to write a separate post on these topics. Of course this is done on a purely voluntary basis from the to-be-challenged and all in the favor of the challenger. I just thought it would be fun and also informative to get to know the person behind the blog a bit better. I also find that even though these questions can be answered in a personal e-mail, it has more appeal to inquire via a blog and to spread the word to others who might have a similar interest in getting to know the person behind the creative words better.

The Game can be seen as a form of readers’ wish list as to what they want their favorite author to talk about occasionally. I sometimes find it hard to get feedback from my readers on what exactly they want to know about my life in New York, so maybe this will break the ice. I also have a ton of questions on the blogs I follow, so I am eager to see if this will be answered in my favor.

Like I mentioned, this challenge is absolutely voluntary. Under the current motto The Game: Play or Lose (insight into an interesting life) there is really not much to lose, I promise. Let the fun begin! I hope you guys find this worthy to participate in!

Photo A Day: May 14 Through 17

What a busy week it has been! Monday and Tuesday passed in a fling. Wednesday was dedicated to catching up with an old friend from DC who visited New York. And today, well today I had a pretty good dance lesson at the Y – Zumba class has become one of my favorites!

So noooow, before I go to bed, it is time for the Photo a Day Challenge, or at least what is left of it. Isn’t it crazy how May has already passed its middle number? Meaning from now on there will be less days towards June, the ultimate summer month. I am kinda sad, I had a good time this May. But let’s not get distracted by nostalgia and petty memories. Let’s get the daily picture show on!


Here it is. Freshly chopped off lawn from Prospect Park. You will see many more Prospect Park pictures for the remainder of the month, so please forgive me if I repeat myself. I tend to do that, especially when I am very thrilled. Prospect Park is simply amazing, especially during spring, summer, and fall…


To wake up and already missing the person you just left. To share a meal together. To travel. Love is many things.

[What you’re reading]

Books! I to date do neither have the luxury nor interest in possessing an e-book or iPad. I like the tangible feeling of books. The flipping through one page and another phenomenon. The only downside to books can be that they are too heavy on occasion. That is why my shoulder sometimes hurts, especially after carrying the little brick with me all day long. Still, nothing can replace a good old-fashioned book and the sensation of touch, feel, smell. Yes, smell! Remember when you used to smell your text books back in school? Well, I used to do so, so I remember it fairly well. The fresh ink scent with a new book or the moldy stink with a used one. The book will never be replaced and I am glad I have the choice to choose from an array of interesting stories I can carry around with me.


Trader Giottos (how they like to be called) have come up with a peanut butter filled granola bar. So awesome! I know, it’s bad, too much sugar and stuff, but I still like to replace it with my breakfast. That’s why today I snacked a granola bar from Trader Joe’s. Sometimes I eat it with fruit, that’s the healthier way of doing it. I guess I really don’t have much to say about snacks but I hope you enjoyed the four pictures and tune in for the next Photo A Day picture show!

Photo A Day: May 12 and May 13

The weekend has almost come to a close, so it’s the best possible time to get this post out before heading to the Park again to catch some more sun. The beginning of next week is supposed to be gloomy and rainy, that’s why I am striving to appreciate the last rays of good weather which is finally here.

Let’s start with something easy aka as something that makes me happy:

Prospect Park just yesterday

Lying around on a lazy day in Prospect Park/Brooklyn. As for now, I still live an easy 5-minute-walk from this amazing park. Designed by the same people who have constructed Central Park, it is smaller in size than its Manhattaner Big Brother but nonetheless beautiful. Matter of fact, so beautiful, I’d prefer it any minute over Central Park. Lots of fun things go on here during the summer, such as Celebrate Brooklyn (read more here), an equivalent to the Summer Stage in Manhattan. The only difference: You actually get a spot here and can easily jump up and down to some great vibes of numerous artists.
Yesterday the temperature hit a satisfying 24 degrees (75 Fahrenheit), so it was the most ideal time to wander the ways, sit in the grass, and watch families trying to start a kite. Not enough wind for this, but I saw a cute shark kite I’d definitely would have bought my child, too.

Let’s not forget what this weekend is really about: It’s all about you, Mom!

My Mom being slightly annoyed with me playing a photo journalist

Happy Mother’s Day to all the great mothers out there! And the mothers-to-be.

Unfortunately I am nowhere close to mine, so I really hope that the folks who are make the best out of this day. I am sending virtual kisses over to Germany, where my parents reside and hope that you had an awesome, pleasant, fun, and loving day with the rest of our family!

Photo A Day: May 7 Through 11

Don’t say it! sigh Yes, I know … No 3-day-blogging this week. But I sure as heck made the best out of it! Five Four wonderful pictures for five eventful days. So, let’s start with:

[Someone that inspires you]

This could really be you! If you love to travel, experience every inch of the world, embrace new cultures – inspire me! If you have an interesting hobby, are creative, can see in different spheres – inspire me! If you have dreams, have fought for these, and lived these out – inspire me! If you help others, are not too egoistic, and take care of others – inspire me!

Is it really that hard? I don’t think so! Anyone who is not wasting away or only thinking about himself, does not feed a small-minded brain or is near-sighted about other people’s attitudes could make it in this list.

Unfortunately, there are about as many people inspiring as uninspiring.

I chose not to post a particular photo as I cannot combine all the inspiring characters I have met throughout my life to one big picture. I therefore leave it up to your imagination.

[A smell you adore]

Body from Burberry. My first present to myself in a while. It came late, I only discovered it last fall. The funny part is that it smells like spring and summer. When I wore it in the winter it reminded me of the warm, fresh, and exciting days yet to come.

[Something you do everyday]

I take the F. I take the G. I take the Q, A,B,D… I rely on the NYC subway. And I also love it! I like all the different people on it and the vibes you get sometimes when you are among the good people. I have to date never felt unsafe or threatened in a car. I have instead felt very entertained and especially street performers always manage to make me smile. It’s much better than driving to work in a car and listening to your own music all by yourself. Every car is different, every ride eventful. It belongs to New York like the homeless do.

[A favorite word]

Fantastic! The whole wide world should be f a n t a s t i c !! If you are having a bad time, just say that word out loud. Sooner or later you’ll start believing it. If people ask you how you’re doing say Fantastic. They will feel a lot better than if you mumble a I am fine. Fantastic triggers positive thinking and positive thinking is just …! You got it!


I have been out of my kitchen lately. Long working hours, happy events thereafter – summer has finally caught up with me! I am doing my best to try out new things. This picture is from way back then, when ahorn squash was still in season. I still think it’s a nice shot, eh?!

Photo A Day: May 4 Through 6

What a fun weekend has passed! And thanks to the new challenge I have the chance to update you a bit more with pictures from my personal life and thoughts on it…

I still haven’t figured out if I want to post a picture every day or every week, so maybe I’ll just keep it at the three-day-cycle. It comes quite in handy for the schedule I have going on right now!

A fun Friday night at my very first store launch party in SoHo. More to come soon in a separate post but this is the scene in which I take a shot with some random Asian girls during the evening. We ended up going to Williamsburg after this and I stayed out until late, but that particular Friday started with a bam!

A tribute to my 2 and a half days spent in London last September. I had so much fun exploring the Brit capital, I immediately had to think of this picture when the photo challenge mentioned the word bird. Pidgeons next to the London Eye – who would not feel travel sick?

This is it! The most recent picture you’ll be seeing of me! Shot today in Coney Island, after spending a fabulous Sunday afternoon there. And no, summer is not here yet, but it doesn’t mean I cannot go to the beach, right? Despite the weather, I still had to bundle up a bit… I am quite confused as to how and when summer will start in the City but I am happy once it does. Getting rid of the rainy weather is a must!

Photo a Day Challenge for May

They’re doing it, so I am doing it!

Last month, while I was gone and away on my trip overseas, some interesting little project started:

The Photo A Day Challenge (April).

And although it says on the poster that “Fat Mum Slim” came up with the idea, I cannot seem to find this mysterious slim overweight mother on the World Wide Web. So I am referring to Ginger and Liz, who have both taken part in this challenge last month and on whose pages I have discovered that there is a spectacular round 2…

The Photo A Day May Challenge!

So even though I do not have the slightest idea of how exactly this works (again, a shout-out to Fat Mum Slim or anyone else, help pleeease!), I am planning on being an active member of the community of daily photographers showing their lives in journal-like fashion through the eyes of any type of camera.

(And, for the sake of it, I will for now ignore the striking resemblance of name to my very own blog A Picture Every Day.)

If one of those three? two bloggers above could maybe help me out as to what exactly is expected in the challenge, I’d be more than grateful! Do you post a picture every day? Do you post 7 pictures a week? Do you post 31 pictures a month? And do you write much about your pictures? Do they have to be recent or from the same day?

I am leaving those questions up to interpretation right now. Below please find my very first shots of the past three days of May:


Never grew up around it. Never really lived close to it. But for some reason this calm sea always makes me wind down. I love the ocean. I love how it can change its mood suddenly, how it can become a stormy place but then a peaceful haven. It makes me feel that there is so much more out there, so many more opportunities to pursue. And it also makes me think about its strong history. How many people have sailed on it centuries ago.


Of course it had to be New York. The city I’ve been in for two long years. Manhattan view from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Something you wore today:

Only two weeks ago I bought two pairs of comfy jeans from American Eagle. They are to date the only ones that really fit and which I hope to spend a long time with! And the awesome part about it: They are really inexpensive compared to Levis or the GAP.

Writer’s Update, May 4:

Please visit FatMumSlim’s blog to see more creative ideas of how to use instagram and create sweet photo collages!

A Word on Creativity

Creativity is triggered by an unbelievable amount of things. Once in this phase of seeing everything in nothing, there is truly no limit to what your head can come up with: A simple word, a thought crossing your mind, a picture you’ve seen in your early childhood years, a long-lost idea you worked out in your dreams.

But one thing I have come to find is that albeit creativity can be easily triggered, it can also be harshly suppressed to a degree at which the artist feels locked in a room or caged in a situation, wanting to escape but not knowing how.

My current job is a great example of the feeling described above. It’s mind-numbing work with not too much upwards-crawling and does not suit my current needs of expressionism. We all know what kind of job I am talking about: Whoever has been stuck in a dull position without any prospect of growth or inflexibility to learn other sides of the industry, whoever has strived to achieve great results and then has frustratingly dealt with the crushing outcomes, whoever has been committed to work not aimed towards a career but simply moneymaking or paying the bills – whoever has done all of this, knows what it feels like to be on the wrong path of life.

What I have come to find is that even though I have plenty of downtime in my current position, I barely get two thirds of the things done I would be able to achieve if I were to have a fully challenging work. Absurd enough the amount of free time I have, but even more paradox the fact that I’d rather spend it on mindlessly surfing the internet, facebooking, or checking out other social networks. Rather than actively using it to my own benefit and applying for other positions or writing up some high-quality blog posts.

This being ironic by itself I have discovered that whenever I have been fully challenged the entire day, I am able to write about topics in about half the time I am here and I achieve more things throughout a two-hour period (perhaps in the morning before I leave the house) than I do here in twice the time. I dwell well on pressure – have always been this way, one of those fellows who wrote up their college papers six hours before the deadline. However, when I know I will do exciting things throughout the day or something that has a high fun factor, I am more willing to focus on the works I want to achieve that particular day.

Has anyone else ever come up with the logic to this absurdness? I guess creative situations stimulate you to a higher degree then dull circumstances which you know are just wasting your time in New York.

Perhaps there is a good explanation to all of this. We all have times during which we feel we can come up with new ideas in a second and then we have times during which we cannot figure out a simple thought or draw a stroke on a blank piece of paper. An article I read recently gave some great tips on how to improve your writing and one of these was to read challenging works before hopping into the writing process (Go to James Altucher’s blog to read them in depth.) . Others’ creativity has the potential to inspire you. Such as other’s indifference and unoriginality can pull you down, if you’re not displaying the right strength to resist the negative influence…

A glimmer of hope is that at least I am still using my valuable but wasted time to produce something I can express myself with and keep for future references – yes, even interact with people all over the world. When I look at my fellow coworkers, who simply utilize this time for dull internet shopping or talking to their friends on the phone, I feel fortunate I am not trapped in their mind set – yet.

So, to all of those fellow artists, writers, bloggers, who have been experiencing difficulties in expressing themselves lately: No worries, I am sure it will fade soon enough and give way to something superior.

You just have to trust your qualities of being creative and your ability to create. Both of these which we need so badly in our world today!