This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Hi, I am Stefanie, my passion is my passport and travelling makes me smile eversince I have started exploring the world for the first time on my own, back in 2007. Since then I have travelled almost 50 countries and counting. I think you can call me travel-obsessed, because I have never ever really felt homesick, but more often “suffered” from intense wanderlust. As I love exploring, writing and photography, my mission is to share my experiences, individual travel tips and personal insights combined with eye-catching pictures on my Blog and Instagram (German & English).
Born in Thuringia (Germany), literally on the boarderline to Franconia, I am a naturekid, enjoying idyllic sceneries. But at the same time I even more so feel the constant urge to be carried away into far away countries and the big metropolises of our world. That´s also one of the reasons why I enjoyed it very much to call Frankfurt / Main my home for six years, working as a Online Editor and PR Manager for one of the biggest German tour operators and travel the world from Germany´s largest aviation turnstile, after I had finished my studies of Media Management in Würzburg and had spent time in Cape Town (South Africa) for an internship. In 2015 I moved back to Franconia (Nuremberg) for private and professional purposes, before shifting my life and travel hub to Asia – into the buzzling Chinese metropolis Shanghai to be precise, where I´m currently living and exploring together with my hubbie. For more details about my +8 years of professional experience as a PR and Social Media Manager in the tourism industry and B2B tradefair branch, just hop over to my LinkedIn-profile.
How it all began
My passion for travelling I discovered long before I even had the opportunity to leave my comfort zone for the job. Travelling, preferably individual-style, only equiped with backpack and camera, has always fascinated me. So once I just left to explore the world, which back then I only knew from and admired out of (picture) books. Since that moment I am driven by getting to know foreign cultures and ways of living, trying out the unknown and growing beyond myself.
My first big transcontinental trip all by myself in 2007 took me to picturesque Cape Town, South Africa for an internship. I was only 21 years young and hungry for an escape, distance, freedom and something extraordinary – which I should definitely find in South Africa. For the first few months I went in-and-out the parliament on a daily basis. In the further course of my engagement I worked for a documentary-making agency and had the opportunity to enter the local townships, met the poorest of the poor and joined the campaign-team for local elections. I cannot really state how much it benefitted my studies of Media Management, but one thing is for sure: This journey helped me to see my own life with different eyes. I felt this was my first real journey – but definitely not my last to countries far far away.
Post graduation in spring/summer 2009 I went on a four-month backpacking trip across Central America. My unique experiences while travelling countires like Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama I started documenting in a personal travel blog, basically for family and friends as an opportunity to follow me along my trip.
Even if my disposable time for vacations decreased after entering worklife to 2-3 weeks periods and weekend-trips of course, this couldnt hold me back from travelling. In 2013 I estbablished Smile4Travel, first-and-foremost to share my travel experiences and to proof that also with only a few weeks of time at your hands everyone can explore the world and discover its beauty. In the meantime my homebase moved to Asia, a location far away from home obviously and on Smile4Travel I will continue to make you a part of my daily discoveries, challenges and travel experiences in and around Shanghai and China.