The best travel tip I have ever received is to travel locally, and on this trip this meant that I deliberately chose places away from the cities. Places that travel guides don't tell you about. Places that the locals go but the tourists have never heard of, or better, even locals have not heard of it yet. Places where your google search might only come up with one reliable website as a resource.

I cannot recommend enough that you have to visit Ottenhöfen im Schwarzwald in the northern part of the Black Forest when you're in Germany. I've been stared at by the locals. I've bushbashed through tracks that hadn't been walked on in years. I've boiled hot water in lieu of a a hot water tap in the shower. There are so many beautiful hiking trails around here, that I had to check my offline map every minute, to make sure that I'm still going in the right direction. The options are endless here!

Another thing that I would recommend is to hike to another town. I'm based in Ottenhöfen, which is in one valley. There are also other villages nearby like Seebach, Ruhestein, Karlsruhe Grat. I don't know. There's just something so pleasing when you see a village full of half timbered houses with the Black Forest in the background.

I have to thank my Airbnb hosts Carlo and Bigi. They gave me a touch of what life is like in the black forests. I'm starting to believe the fairy tales. I'm starting to appreciate the relaxed and zen way of life. These inspiring people believe in a world of change, and that comes from doing. Their music academy holds regular concerts that raise awareness and funds for a partner organisation in Burundi. And rather than just raising money and donating them without knowing where they are going, they're the ones who meet government officials. Thank you. Now I know there is something else that I want to do with all the music that I'm making and teaching.

IMG_6563.JPG A hike recommended by my hosts

Thank you, Ottenhöfen. You have been the best temporary home I could call. Please. When you're in Germany, visit the northern parts of the Black Forest :)


Note: This article has been directly copied from my blog at​

Published by Jessie W