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Next in the Travel Traits series is the fantastic, inspiring Jennifer Neal. A genuine chameleon, Jennifer can design you a digital marketing strategy that will knock your socks off and make you laugh till your belly aches. Sharp as a tack, she does not suffer fools. Especially fools that are ignorant of basic human decency. Read on to discover her travel style.
Writer and comedian: Jennifer Neal
Jennifer’s travel traits
About Jennifer, by Jennifer
Same old story but with a twist at the end. I had a job that paid a lot of money but made me slowly hate myself and everyone else. I quit said job and travelled through Europe for a month. I went back home, gave notice on my flat, sold my stuff and moved to Berlin six weeks later to write the novel I’ve always wanted to write and work as a freelance writer. Will there be love? Will there be schnitzel?! Will my German ever not sound like it’s been passed through a blender?? Only one way to find out…You can read about all my misadventures, bureaucratic headaches and the progress of my new life between the digital pages of my heart – Orijenn of Species.
What do you like about the way you travel?
I like to travel on my own, because it provides me with the flexibility I need to meet new people, socialise and get into various misadventures. If I get a good feeling about someone or some event, I go with it without needing to consult friends or loved ones, and it’s those misadventures that come to define places like Berlin, Tokyo and Melbourne for me.
Where did you go on your first trip abroad? What impression did that make on you?
I was 14 when my parents first took me to Costa Rica. At the time, I hated the idea of going, because I was leaving behind all of my friends and I just discovered the internet. So my entire world existed within cyberspace, but I didn’t realise how much of a lasting impact that period had one me during such a formative time. I started learning Spanish [in which I’m now fluent] I spent all my time in the selva [jungle] and learned to speak with people from completely different ethnic and socio-political backgrounds. That was critical.
How has the way you travel changed over the years? Do you seek out different experiences than those you did previously?
Now, I tend to wing it. I book my flight and for accommodation, I always go with AirBnB [unless I can stay with friends, which is the best way to travel anywhere]. I seek out experiences that resonate with me personally. So, because I’m a writer and I do street photography, food photography and stand-up comedy, I like to explore those scenes wherever I go. I meet with other writers, photographers and comedians and try to see the city from their perspectives, and allow it to shape my own.
How do you research your travel plans?
I’m constantly researching, without knowing it. Lol Because I know people all over the world now, they’re always telling me about their homes and what’s going on, and those subtle marketing techniques stay in my brain until I’m able to physically visit. Next on the list: Athens, Krakow, Basel and Accra, all because of friends who rave about those cities.
Where do you choose to splurge on your travels and why?
Always, always, always…food. You get to know the culture, beauty, social norms and richness of a culture by the food. But that’s just a fancy way of saying that I LOVE to eat. Give me all of your funny-sounding delicious dishes!
Favourite places and spaces
For the fresh air and resplendent beauty
Same as above + The Haka
For the hanami [cherry blossom festival] amazing sakura mochi, daifuku and the stunning temples that are thousands of years old.
For being the perfect place for a writer to make the kind of life she wants, in a community that’s supportive, creative and constantly evolving…that’s why I moved here!
Insider tips for visitors to Berlin
In Friedrichshain. It’s a cool, funky par of time with a lot of counter culture, cool bars/cafes and it’s close to Mitte, the city centre.
Papá Pane in Mitte. It has the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Tarantinos! It’s a bar where all the drinks are named after characters from Tarantino films, and it’s amazing. Also check out Klunkerkranich, an amazing rooftop bar in Neukölln, where you have the best view of the city and can watch amazing sunsets to live music.
Roses Bar is a classic Kreuzberg haunt. It’s queer friendly, plays catchy electronic music and is covered from floor to ceiling in red fur! Take care not to take photos, however – otherwise you’ll get tossed from the venue! What happens at Roses Bar…
The Victory column monument and Brandenburg gate. Cliché to some, but still breathtaking when seen up close and personal
Travel as inspiration
How has traveling inspired your work?
I blog about my travels a lot more now, and my time in Berlin has especially been influential on my creative projects. I moved to Berlin specifically to write a novel, which I write about and update on periodically on my blog: Orijenn of Species.
Thanks Jennifer for being part of the Travel Traits series on Untold Morsels
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