In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we spoke with Yvonne Reichert, the blogger and world traveler behind Lovely For Living! We chatted about a wide range of topics including what it’s like to live in Germany, the time she spent living in New Zealand, her passion for green and sustainable living, and much more. Learn more about her travels around the world and find out where she’s going next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
I’ve always been very curious and passionate about seeing the world. When I was 14, I did my first overseas trip to the USA with a friend. When I was 15, I decided that I wanted to do an exchange year in New Zealand and after living there for a year, my passion for travel became an essential part of my personality and life.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places you like to visit?
I always travel, when I get the chance to. Many of my friends live in different places and countries, so to be able to see them, I already need to travel. In 2017 and 2018, I went traveling the world as a travel blogger exploring more of Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia. Now with a full-time job, I do micro-adventures about every second weekend and have just traveled to Brazil in February for 3 weeks. To me, traveling means being curious about the world and I also get just as excited to explore my own backyard as I do with other places and countries.
You’re currently living in Frankfort, Germany. What makes Frankfort, or Germany in general, such a great travel destination? What should people do when they visit?
Frankfurt is one of the cities that many people only go to as a transit, but it has so many different sides to it, it is very multicultural and has lots of history. So, when going to Frankfurt, there’s 3 things I would advise: 1) Don’t choose accommodation close to the main train station. Even though this part of town is getting better, it’s still a little dodgy and not a nice place. You can reach the train station easily from anywhere in the city, since there is great public transport. 2) Don’t do the mistake and only stay in the city center, there’s much more to see like the old Opera House, having a stroll along the Main, going up the Dome for a great view or even doing a day trip to the beautiful Taunus area. 3) And also not to forget: you need to try Frankfurt’s famous green sauce! Germany is an amazing travel destination, with really good food, great public transport, beautiful nature, lots of culture, good bread+beer and has much more to offer than Berlin.
You recently spent some time living in New Zealand. What did you learn or gain from living there? What should people know about New Zealand that they might not expect?
I lived in New Zealand for a year when I was 16 and I returned last year to stay a little longer again. New Zealand is famous for its breathtaking landscape and its great hospitality. Kiwis are very friendly and open minded, but you can also tell that they are far away from “the rest of the world”. In Europe, we are very used to have access to public transport, any food we like all year around or being able to travel quickly to another country and culture. In New Zealand, there’s many people that have never visited a different country or experienced a different culture from overseas. It makes you realize how privileged we are in Europe to live so close to so many new travel destinations.
In addition to travel, you’re also passionate about green living. What exactly is green living? Can you share some tips on how we can all lead a greener life?
My mom has raised me to be well aware of my surroundings and about how precious food and resources are. The older I get, the more my consciousness grew about our responsibility to live a greener lifestyle and I learned more about the different co-relations of any aspect in life. In my opinion, I think it is very important to try to be aware that everything we do, has an impact. We, as a single person, and as a collective, can make a difference to preserve our fragile earth and to keep it beautiful. Whenever it’s a distance up to 5 hours on the train/bus, I don’t fly. But even right now, I’m sitting on a 9 hour train ride. I always try to emission my flights, but of course there’s so much more we can all do, starting by bringing your own bag, use a reusable cup and try to be more conscious about every step in life.
What do you want audiences to gain and learn from your work?
I have a very positive mindset and I want my audience to feel alive, to be curious, to see the beauty in the little things, wanting to learn and see more, to overcome little fears and to realize that the meaning of travelling is not a number on your bucketlist, but makes you leave your comfort zone, makes you grow as a person and always brings value to your life. Since I studied for many years, I never had much money and had to work hard for my life expenses and travels. But once making travel a priority, saving up money for the next trip isn’t so hard. The biggest step is to simply do it. It might sound like a cliche, but not waiting for tomorrow or for things to figuring itself out, it is best to just go out and simply start and do it.
What are the top three destinations you’ve visited?
Of course New Zealand since it holds such a dear place in my heart and is simply stunning. I love the diversity of Brazil, the incredible nature and the drive for life people have overthere. Another country I really enjoyed, was Iceland. Its nature is rough, but incredible and people are very friendly.
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of your top 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best sightseeing, etc.
NZ: love the vegan burgers at Laundry in Wellington, Breakers Bay just outside of Wellington is stunning, I love the area of Hawke’s Bay, Milford Sound, Nelson Lakes and Waikaremoana. Also, try and learn more about the Maori culture.
Brazil: Absolutely love the little paradise called Ilha Grande, the Nationalpark of Chapada Diamantina, Lagoinha do Leste at Florianopolis, Foz do Iguazu is really stunning and you def gotta try some Acai. Also, one of my fave things to do was learning Samba in Rio de Janeiro. Iceland: Iceland is simply beautiful wherever you go, but I really enjoyed the black beach at Stokksness, the famous Skogafoss, the many natural hot pools you can find around the country, Akureyri in the North and the glacier lake Jökulsárlón.
How many countries have you visited so far?
To be honest, I don’t even know, because I don’t think it’s important. I can tell you, that I’ve made countless memories.
What are your top 3 favorite cuisines?
I really enjoyed the food in Asia, especially in Indonesia and Vietnam, and its many different varieties. Also really like the Portuguese and Italian kitchen.
What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
I just came back from a trip to Amsterdam and me and my friends hat dinner at „De Plantage“ – a gorgeous restaurant that looks like a winter garden close to the botanical gardens. Any dish we had was delicious! Big fat recommend!
What is your favorite travel movie?
I really like the life of Walter Mitty. I like the photographic scenes and his way of making life an adventure. Of course, I also enjoy watching the Icelandic landscape, which makes you want to go on your next adventure right away.
What is your favorite international airport?
To me, airports mostly look the same, but Singapore airport had many cool features as in a movie theatre, an indoor waterfall or a pool.
Which city had the friendliest people?
When thinking about a city or country that really surprised me, was Cambodia. The country has such a sad history and people are very poor, but there was always a genuine smile on their faces and everyone I met was incredibly friendly.
Who is your favorite travel companion?
I would say myself ;-). Just kidding, I love solo Backpacking and meeting lots of amazing people that become your friends, I also love sharing the memories and travel with my friends or mom, who i just as excited about everything as me.
What is the best way to kill time while traveling?
Read a good book. Whenever I travel, I have a book with me. I used to read loooads when I was younger and always feel like it’s something I miss the most in my daily routine. Also, I mostly use waiting around at the airport by editing photos or already writing some notes down for new blog posts.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
I really enjoyed places like Western Australia with its endless horizons, amazing landscape and the gorgeous Ningaloo Reef. Also one of the most special trips I ever did was a trip up to Lapland, in the North of Sweden! Seeing the Northern lights dancing in the sky was a memory I will never forget.
What is your best bit of travel advice for someone who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
Don’t be scared, there’s always a solution for everything. So get out of your comfort zone, go for it and make the best of it.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
My camera, a good book, a pillow for the neck and my reusable water bottle.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Always wanted to go to St Lucia in the Carribbean, Peru – South America in general, Antarctica or Greenland. Mongolia is high on the list and really want to visit Montenegro, Scotland and Rarotonga.
What is your favorite travel quote?
“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Where are you headed next?
Since I was traveling for quite some time within the last two years, I’m doing lots of catch ups with my friends in Germany and Europe. I just came back from Amsterdam (I’ve never been before, even though it’s only about 4 hours from Frankfurt!) and in July I travel to Austria for a little break in the mountains.
I’m Yvonne, passionate about life and traveling the world. After University, I traveled around the world for two years, mostly exploring New Zealand, Australia and Asia, before starting a full time job in Frankfurt – of course in the travel industry. But even now, I use every chance and weekend to explore more. There’s always a way to make your dreams come true.