In our “Feel Good Five” interview format, we talk to exciting women and men who are at home in the cosmos of wellbeing and ask them five questions. This time with Jochen Schliemann, journalist, author and podcaster of “Reisen Reisen – der Podcast”.
Jochen Schliemann writes travel books and articles, including about music, conducts interviews and works for the radio. “Travel educates”, he says, “if you travel consciously.” In 2018, together with Michael Dietz, he launched “Reisen Reisen – der Podcast”. The duo reports there from their more than 100 most beautiful, adventurous and exciting trips. Also included: lots of humor, exciting anecdotes and an impressively lively language that turns your head on.
In the “Feel Good Five” interview: Jochen Schliemann
Brigitte: Your podcast “Reisen Reisen” follows the motto: Everyone can go on vacation, you have to travel a trip. What exactly do you mean by that?
Jochen Schliemann: I am of the opinion that traveling means more than just checking into a package resort, then spending my vacation there behind a fence and maybe lining up in the buffet line from the right instead of the left. But mind you: We don’t think that’s stupid. We understand if someone wants to do that. However, we think that traveling is much more than that: we want to discover other places, other people, other ways of life, other realities on the way.
For me, traveling is almost the best form of education.
Of course, not all people can go on vacation, we are also aware of that. But if you can, you should savor and appreciate it all the more.
What kind of (travel) feeling do you want to convey to your listeners?
We want to convey more to our listeners than just sights and hotel tips. Instead, we try to tell a story in our podcast and look forward to being able to go a little further. We are both journalists: I come from the print sector, Michael works for radio and television. We have seldom seen the opportunity to give a topic or a place the space it or it deserves. We can do that now in our podcast. Always in focus: the people who live there.
Traveling also means stepping out of your comfort zone, discovering new things and venturing on an adventure. What’s your tip for the people who struggle with this?
Two tips spontaneously come to mind. On the one hand: Make it as easy as possible for yourself and be guided by what your passions are. If you can already identify with the goal, stepping out of your comfort zone is no longer that difficult. My first book that I owned and had to do with traveling was a photo book about the animals of Africa – and that really touched me and it was clear to me: I want to go to Africa. I was aware that it might not be a simple or a package tour, but the decision to actually do it was not so difficult for me because I wanted to fulfill a dream with it. So if you’re a comic book nerd, for example, you could go to the biggest comic book fair. If you are a fan of pubs, you could plan a trip to England or Ireland just by visiting your dream pubs.
Travel isn’t exactly what the catalog tells you to be.
You can put your trips together individually and design them according to your passion. That makes the step out of the comfort zone a lot easier.
My second tip is: Look forward to the feeling afterwards – similar to jogging. Because whenever we have jumped over our shadow and left our comfort zone, we grow inside, feel better and take something with us for life. Especially when it comes to ‘traveling alone’. I couldn’t have fulfilled three or four of my dearest travel needs if I’d waited for someone else to come with me. And that is why my appeal is: Make your dream come true, travel to where you have always wanted to be – even if it takes a lot of effort and it is not always easy on the way. But you grow beyond yourself and you become more independent. Knowing you can be alone and you can travel alone is incredibly valuable.
If you just want to take a break from everyday life – where are you going?
Actually, I never intended to go anywhere twice. But one country managed to break this promise: Japan! This is mainly due to the people. I am fascinated by the way the Japanese treat each other and the values they use to shape their social lives. Humility, mindfulness, consideration and respect are very important there. I am also impressed by the love for food. In Japan I just feel completely comfortable and secure.
My other places of well-being are the North and Baltic Seas. I am originally from Schleswig-Holstein and in my childhood we spent many vacations on the North Sea island of Föhr. If I have the feeling that everything is getting too much for me or I just want to get away from it all, then I long for Föhr. Just look at the water and you will immediately ground me – it’s not for nothing that I always say: water is my mountains. By the way: When I talked about the Wadden Sea in Japan, I was allowed to look into incredulous faces. ‘You go from island to island on the sea floor?’ I was asked by a man in Osaka, for example. For him, the performance was totally crazy. I thought I was in a weird place in Japan.
Due to the current situation, more and more people are vacationing in their own country. Do you have a (secret) tip for Germany?
Personally, I think Heligoland is spectacular. It is the only German offshore island, you take a boat there for about two hours from the mainland and then you are on a small island in the middle of the North Sea between Great Britain and Germany. Helgoland has a lot to offer: The long Anna, a 47 meter high pillar of surf in the far northwest, the Oberland with the beautiful green area, the high sea wind, then next door the small island with the seals. You can find wild life here and what I’m looking for: abandonment. Because you only have a small community on Heligoland and are far away from everything – a completely different form of life.
Another insider tip is in Saxony: the city of Görlitz. I got there and I couldn’t believe how beautiful this small town and especially its old town is. To be honest, that was totally surprising for me. In terms of the cityscape, you can also find lived Europe here, because the city is located in both Germany and Poland. That is, some people cross national borders on a bridge on their way to work in the morning.
Sources used: own interview