Updated on March 12, 2024 by Angelika

I used the predominantly wet and uncomfortable February to catch up on things that had been left behind, revise older blog articles and write a guest article as well as new posts.

The statistics showed a pleasing increase of about 25 % hits on my blog. I still have a few ideas and articles I've already started that I want to finish in order to reinforce this trend. I will use the time until my first major vacation of the year at the end of May to make further progress with my blog.

I was planning a tour to Berchtesgaden and Innsbruck in May/June, a road trip through Croatia in September and a long weekend in Regensburg in October. I can still take my time for the detailed planning.

Overall, February was characterized by a mixture of productivity, reflection and anticipation of upcoming adventures.

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My First Tax Return as a Freelancer

As I assumed that my 2022 tax return had to be submitted to the tax office by the end of February, I went full throttle at the beginning of February to complete my bookkeeping work. I put off this unpleasant task - who hasn't? - I put it off until the very last minute. As I had no income in 2022 (apart from the company pension from my previous job), but plenty of expenses, I had to sort receipts and enter them into an Excel spreadsheet. When I had finally finished, I was relieved to forward the spreadsheet to my tax advisor and called her to discuss whether everything was OK or whether I needed to break down the costs further. I found out that since coronavirus and due to the additional workload caused by the property tax reform, everything is different at the tax office and the 2022 tax returns only have to be submitted via the tax advisor by July 31. So my activism was superfluous - but I'm still glad that I was able to tick this box.

My Blog Achievements in February

At the beginning of every month, it's time for the statistics. Google helps with this and provides interesting evaluations.

I still can't believe that my homepage was viewed 721 times in February. My article about the Excursion destinations around Würzburg has been my most-read blog post for months, followed by the guide to the Route planning with Google Maps.

Month in review February 2024 - Google most popular content February with Weimar sights and Würzburg sights - angiestravelroutes.com

In January, I revised my detailed articles on Weimar and Würzburg. Both were read more often as a result, which I am very pleased about.

Month in review February 2024 - Screenshot Google overview of most popular content (1) - angiestravelroutes.com

Overall, the number of my new readers increased by around 25 % in February.

A "Thunderstorm of ideas" in a Blog Decade

In the blogger community The Content Society there is a blog decade twice a year. This is a challenge in which the participants undertake to write 10 blog articles in 10 days. The 6th Blog Decade took place from February 11 to 20. Full of good intentions, I took part in the first Zoom meeting, where suggestions for blog articles were collected in a "thunderstorm of ideas" for the participants who were still looking for ideas for blog articles. For me, it's more a lack of time than ideas. I have so many topics in the pipeline that I want to blog about that I can't even keep up with them😅. So I published my post on the first day 50 Fun Facts About Me, in which I tell a few things about myself that not everyone knows. The next day, I went on a trip to Calw in the northern Black Forest to take lots of photos for the article 12 of 12 in February 2024: My Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) in Calw .

Calw - View of the old town and the northern Black Forest from Schillerstrasse - angiestravelroutes.com
On Rose Monday I went on a lovely day trip to Hermann Hesse's birthplace Calw

Since I had promised Caro from WE TRAVEL THE WORLD to deliver a guest article by the end of February, I decided to use the remaining days of the blog decade for this post, which is about five worthwhile UNESCO World Heritage Sites around Erfurt. I put a lot of effort into this article and also created new Google maps, edited around 40 photos, downsized them and added ALT text, captions and descriptions, which somehow always takes much longer than expected😅. As soon as the article is published, I will of course report on it in the monthly review.

I only published two posts during the blog decade - so I can't say in good conscience that I took part. Nevertheless, I think that the resolution to work on blog articles for 10 days in a row has helped me a lot. The guest post meant that I revised my big article about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany in advance. I also came up with a concept for future blog posts about my travels and road trips in Germany. Since then, I have continued to work on my "pillar content", the most important articles on my blog, which will hopefully bring me new readers.

Vacation Planning: Three Journeys of Discovery with Loved Ones

In the past (= before Corona), I always knew a year in advance where I wanted to travel. That has changed completely. I've become much more flexible and "open-minded" - it's hard to believe that, in hindsight, I can take some good things away from the pandemic, although I definitely wouldn't wish that time back for myself or for any of us.

At the end of May/beginning of June, I'm going to Berchtesgadener Land for a week with my friend Jutta. Then we'll go to Innsbruck, where my daughter lives, for a few days. This is a good opportunity to visit her, as she usually comes to me because the rest of our family also lives near my home in Sindelfingen.

In February we found out that my Australian friend Paula is coming to Europe in September and we can plan a trip together. We have decided on a Road trip through Croatia in September decided. We will meet in Split, pick up a rental car and first drive to Šibenik to explore the city and the Krka National Park. We will then travel to Split for a few days, then to Makarska and spend the last six days in Dubrovnik. From Split and Dubrovnik, we also want to take day trips to some of the islands, as well as a boat trip to the Bay of Kotor. It will be a varied trip to my taste - with lots of culture, but also beautiful nature experiences. You can find out how I plan my road trips in the blog posts How to Plan Your Road Trip: 3 Steps to the Perfect Tour and How to Plan a Route with Google Maps - the Complete Guide and 3 Extra Tips.

At the beginning of October I will be traveling to Regensburg with my sister. For a few years now, we have treated ourselves to a sisters' trip once a year and travel to a beautiful place for about four days. I already visited Regensburg two years ago on a Road trip through Bavaria and find that it is one of the most beautiful cities in Germany I'm really looking forward to getting to know the city even better. A particular highlight for me is that we are going to stay at Hotel Golden Cross* on the beautiful Haidplatz, where in the 16th century Emperor Charles V resided when the Imperial Diet met in Regensburg.

Hotel Goldenes Kreuz on Regensburg's Haidplatz - castle-like building with battlements and tower - angiestravelroutes.com
Emperor Karl V stayed at the Golden Cross in Regensburg in the 16th century. I will be there with my sister in October.

My Reading in February

As I told you in my Month in review Januaryr I have already told you in detail, I radically changed my reading habits at the end of 2023. I no longer read novels, but have them read to me - cleaning, cooking, vacuuming etc. is much more fun for me since I always have a pleasant voice read to me from a novel. The Audible subscription* costs me €9.95 per month. For this, I can choose a new release or a bestseller every month and listen to unlimited (mostly older) titles included in the subscription.

Reading has always been one of my favorite hobbies, and I'm so glad that I'm finally taking the opportunity to "read" beautiful and interesting books in parallel with other unavoidable activities. In February, I read the following books to myself, all of which were great:

Iris Wolff: Glades (Lichtungen)

Iris Wolffs tells in Clearings* the story of Lev and Kato against the backdrop of the political and social changes in Romania during the Ceaușescu era and after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The story is told in reverse chronology, beginning with the reunion of Lev and Kato in Zurich. It takes the reader back to their childhood in Transylvania on several narrative levels to a tragic event that marked the beginning of their friendship. Wolff's prose explores the nuances of human existence, the search for belonging and the often painful confrontation with one's own past.

Bernhard Schlink: The Late Life (Das späte Leben)

In Bernhard Schlink's novel The late life we accompany 76-year-old Martin, who is confronted with the fatal diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. With his usual sobriety, Schlink tells how Martin tries to make sense of his last months, how he tries to organize his life and say goodbye to his much younger wife and six-year-old son. "Das späte Leben" deals with profound themes such as love, faith, transience and coming to terms with old age. With this novel, Schlink delivers an unsentimental, reflective and poignant examination of the end of life. Chapeau!

Florian Illies: The Magic of Silence (Zauber der Stille)

Florian Illies explores in The magic of silence sensitively and with anecdotal vividness the life and work of the painter Caspar David Friedrich. Illies' prose provides insights into Friedrich's emotional world and his relationship with nature, while telling the fascinating and often turbulent story of his artwork through the ages.

"Magic of Silence" is far more than a biography - it is a literary journey through the life and work of one of the most important artists of the Romantic period, inviting the reader to rediscover Friedrich and his art in a very personal and emotional way.

Daniela Krien: Someday We'll Tell Each Other Everything (Irgendwann werden wir uns alles erzählen)

While the previous three books were new releases, each costing 1 Audible credit, Daniela Krien's debut novel from 2011 Someday We'll Tell Each Other Everything is included free of charge in your Audible subscription. If you haven't read it yet, you should do so as soon as possible. You won't regret it! The audiobook is narrated by the wonderful Anna Thalbach.

That's what "Someday We'll Tell Each Other Everything" is about: In the summer of 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, seventeen-year-old Maria lives with her boyfriend Johannes on his parents' farm. While her life ripples along in the rural idyll of a small village in the former GDR, she immerses herself in reading Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov". Maria's life takes a dramatic turn when she meets forty-year-old Henner from the neighboring farm, who is considered an outsider because of his rough nature and his past. The political and social upheavals of the time add an extra dimension to this intense coming-of-age novel. The story is told from Maria's point of view and is a real hit in terms of language and content! After a delay of almost 13 years, I have finally discovered this great author.

My Blog Posts in February

50 Fun Facts About Me

One point in this article is a reflection on my encounter with Arthur Goldreich, a fellow campaigner of Nelson Mandela. In the article you will learn 49 other interesting, unknown or curious facts about me.

12 of 12 in February 2024: My Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) in Calw

February 12 fell on Rose Monday of all days. I went for a walk through the picturesque streets of Hermann Hesse's birth town Calw. I also ran into a few jesters along the way.

How to Plan Your Road Trip: 3 Steps to the Perfect Tour

In this article, you will find out how to proceed step by step to make your road trip a success.

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