ONCE THERE WAS A BAVARIAN GIRL NAMED SUSANNE...FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF SUESSILOVES.COM
„Follow your bliss and there will be doors where there were only walls“ is a statement of Joseph Campbell I end all my private emails with.
I am an international person who loves to travel and explore new places. Not by guide books but guided by my own guts.
My heart jumps when I discover the unique little shops and cosy coffeeplaces that can’t be found elsewhere. I am not the sort of T-shirt-collector that state ‘Hard Rock Cafè Vienna‘ nor like to meet up for a coffee at Starbucks. I much more prefer searching for the ‘perfect’ restaurant with decent prices and really nice atmosphere that makes this moment worth remembering. Inimitability is what I am constantly looking for.
I love taking the back streets like the locals do and sipping my coffee surrounded by the local accent from some grungy students or some creative-minded businesspeople. I much more enjoy buying my food from a market in one of the multicultural districts rather than the touristy Naschmarkt (although I DO fancy the occasional coffee or ‚Spritzer’ in the sun there).
Travel is an intrinsic part of my life
It fills my heart with joy and pride when I find a gift for family and friends that is unique and from a shop that only exists in Vienna and was NOT stated in one of the guide books (I stopped consulting them after my exchange semester in the Netherlands). It is so much more fun for me to embark on my own personal journey of discovering a city. Could it be that I am an explorer at heart? Thrilled by stepping into the unknown?
Friends keep asking me if I could recommend some nice places, shops, cafés and such in various towns and cities for „you always seem to know the cosy places off the beaten track that doesnt cost a fortune and are special in some way, like interesting architecture, fancy design, tasty menue, nice people, special products”,…
So how come you settled on Vienna, Suessi?!
HE lives in Vienna. Austria. I lived in Passau. Germany. (Luckily this is a bavarian city only 2.5hrs from Vienna by train). Love is the answer…
I had been in Vienna 3 times in my life before we met. The first time was at High School. We had just turned 18 and our class was doing the sort of cultural school trip that you do before finishing school. The accommodation was quite central and cheap. Not fancy or special in any way. In four days, we were ticking of the ‘must sees’ like St. Stephan’s Cathedral, the Secession and Café Sacher, spent our money in the touristy shops around Stephan’s Dome in the first district or with lads from Spain and the UK in the pubs around our hotel at night after just visiting another famous museum…
The second time was at university. I was studying interior architecture at that time and with one of the professors who was Austrian, a group of about 20 students did an excursion of three days in the name of architecture. This time we skipped all the touristy sights and I discovered there are more parts of Vienna worth seeying. It was then when I realized that Austria has more to offer than skying and mountains namely really great architecture. Both, ancient and contemporary. Especially the latter is what you won’t find in the average guide book. It has to be shown to you or you really have to pay attention to the details while wandering through the streets…
The third time I was visiting a friend from uni who was living in Vienna by then. I had just returned from living for more than 2years in Australia and was eager to explore my European Cultural History. With a friend at hand, a whole new world of seeing this city opened up. We shared the love for architecture, design and good food and she took me to those places where only the locals go. Again, this was another view on Vienna I couldn’t have asked for to gain within a weekend by myself (and maybe a guide book)…
Only a matter of time
Now, after finding love in Vienna mid 2013, I happened to be there quite often. In fact, almost all my weekends I did spend in Austria’s capital and it was only a matter of time that I fully moved here. Up till then, and with the comforting idea that I didn’t have ‘to do Vienna in 2 days’ anymore, I could take my time and really explore the city. By myself or together with my love or my friend from uni.
What a wonderful feeling
Do you know when you start to feel familiar with a place? When you realize which way is the shortest or most interesting one to get to the supermarket? Or when you know that the coffee place around the corner is NOT the first choice coz there is just a nicer one around the OTHER corner?! I am still ‘a foreigner’ but I don’t feel like a tourist anymore. I can go visiting exhibitions without a hurry and visit the café and restaurant I stumble across next time. Because for me there IS a next time. This is just wonderful.
I am writing this blog and posting my experiences and visual finds because I know there are more people like me out there who either are tired of meeting only other tourists when visiting a new city led by the classic guide books like Lonely Planet, ending up dining at McDonalds or KFC or Hard Rock Café, Starbucks, you name it, because sugar levels dropped faster than the ‘perfect’ restaurant with decent prices and nice atmosphere appeared.
I want to let you feel the vibe of a city
I am sharing my experiences because I know there are people like me out there who are interested to feel the vibe of the city and get to know her personality. By wandering about, leaving the beaten tracks.
I am posting my visual finds publicly because I wanna inspire the open-minded local and visitor alike by showing that walking down even that same street over and over again still reveals unique new (in)sights. You actually don’t have to go elsewhere to get excited. There’s bliss right down the road.
There is bliss right down the road
I am a collector-person – not so much a material girl any more – collecting findings, moments, memories…bliss!
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