top of page

travel blog


I touched down at TXL into a dream of yellow. Berlin's favorite color was prominent from the start. From airport signage to colorful buses, the grey city was uplifted by the vibrant canary yellow hue. My first impression of Berlin was through the lens of the Kreuzberg neighborhood, a land of hipsters and no chain department stores or restaurants in sight. It was a 90's fashion scene with little vehicle traffic and bikes galore.


While I appreciate the local restaurant culture, it made the strange words on the menus, such as 'fleisch' and 'Spargel', that much more unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Everything being in a different language was a difficult adjustment. This should've been an obvious necessity to prepare for, but it made my reliance on random signage begrudgingly apparent. Luckily, I did not have to wade through this journey alone. I was grateful to have another intern that was as clueless as me to piece together the puzzle.


_Tegel Airport, _yellow doors of apartment complex, _first German beer

the fatherland
IMG_3246 copy.jpg

My view of Berlin expanded during my first week of work when I was able to take the bus and see a more bustling part of the city. I passed familiar glowing signs of H&M, McDonald's, and best of all Dunkin' Donuts (a luxury I lacked even in San Francisco). I felt more at home in the busy city streets. In this part of the city, the crowd contained a more familiar fashion style that didn't make me feel like I took a time machine back 20 years. I immediately felt more comfortable.


Although looking back, I wish I had spent more time uncomfortable. Adjustment to this large city did not feel much different than adjusting to a new city in the U.S. Especially since I could simply toss out a "Spricht sie Englisch?" and communicate in my own language right away. This is not a critique of the city or my experience, just an observation. I have definitely been challenged and grown to love the aspects of Berlin that are most unusual to me.



_Church steeple, _monochromatic dark Berlin outfit (blending in), _Berliner Fernsehturm

city of prussian royalty

Berlin days come at a languid, leisurely pace.


No one ever seems to be in a rush (unless they're about to miss their bus on a Sunday) and need to be Casual (Capital 'C') is a high priority amongst social and professional situations. Going out drinking does not necessarily mean going hard at the local bar but picking up a couple of Radlers at the local späti and enjoying them canal side. Going out to dinner means spending at least three hours talking about anything and everything over a delicious hot meal. 

If you're not stopping for three hours, your meal will be from a quick storefront where you can enjoy your meal on the grass, tracks or anything around. The most notable Berlin fast food is the Currywurst. This simple meal consists of a brat smothered in rich curry sauce paired with fresh french doused in a healthy serving of mayo and ketchup. Even though the currywurst is not the most appealing to look at, its distinct taste (and overall cheapness) make its a necessary dinner pick-me-up at least once a week. 

Although Berliners know how to take it easy, they also know how to party. Berlin's notable club scene only truly starting bumpin' at 2am or 3am (a.k.a. past my bedtime). While I may have managed a late night or two, it is generally customary for a Berliner to start partying late night Friday and going well into the next day (and sometimes even into Sunday).


_Currywurst, _Klunkerkranich Bar, _Brunch at Mocca


Vatertag _May 25

Father's day in German is a national affair. Even though it is a day reserved for "the guys", everyone gets the day off work. The German Father's day tradition is to gather up all other dad buds, then grab some cases of beers and ride bikes into the forest. There, dads enjoy a manly day of drinking, outdoors, and hunting. Since the men are gone, women take the time to get together and, well, also drink. Even though its less of a familial affair than in the U.S.A., it's still a day of BBQs, drinking, and warm weather.

Karneval Der Kulteren _Pentecost Weekend

The Carnival of Cultures is a huge affair that celebrates cultures coming together. Berliners all over come together to enjoy the huge weekend street market with different cultures represented in merchant stands and food stalls. The grand finale on Sunday consists of a celebratory parade from 10 am to 9 pm. Brightly colored figures dance across the street celebrating their cultures in whatever grandiose display they decide to portray from dancing, music, and even rapping... 

Fourth of July _July 4

The description for the Fourth of July in Germany will be brief, for obvious reasons. Even though the country was obviously not in a patriotic mood, I was fortunate enough to have some spirited German co-workers that were compelled to tolerate my classic American country music playlists and homemade buffalo dip. 


_Cincinnati interns, _Cortada & Uno, _Patch stand at Karneval

beach front lakeside

During this time I was able to experience the highly organized system that is Berlin public transportation. Walking shoes are recommended but not necessarily needed when there is a bus, train, or tram to wherever you need to be. The BVG (Berlin's public transportation) is an efficient way to travel and even though it's a huge system, all the trains and buses are well kept and reliable. In just a few short, fast train rides, I was able to travel to places further outside of the city at a fair pace. This made a car unnecessary in the city and I never felt like I needed to drive anywhere. This was a good thing especially since Übers weren't as common as they are in the United States. Even after long nights out, public transportation was still running late enough to use.


_Westhafen Station, _U1 Train, _Gneisenaustraße Station


Around Berlin

Berlin was so vast that I spent most of my time just exploring all the different things the city had to offer. I was able to travel to cities in the vicinity of Berlin like Potsdam and lake place. Potsdam was a refreshingly more traditional German city with beautiful gardens and a grand palace. The lake place was a great way to battle the heat that Berlin was throwing our way this summer. 


This German port city was a breath of fresh air, quite literally. Its many canals and location close to the Baltic Sea makes Hamburg quite a windy city, which was a nice change of pace from the humid Berlin summer. Hamburg had a lot to offer from unique boutique shopping to grand flea markets. Its biggest flea market being its Sunday morning fish market. This market has everything from greasy food stands, fresh fruits, and handcrafted Hamburg goods. This makes it a popular stop for those ending their Saturday night bar crawl as a place to relax and enjoy a fishy meal.


Budapest's rich history was apparent from the bus ride upon entering the city. Old buildings were adorned with grand statues and rich colors that had dulled over time. The windy streets would unveil new beautiful scenes around every corner. Its grand palaces and parliament buildings were as breathtaking as they were eyeopening to Budapest's struggles throughout the war and its effects on the city. Budapest's biggest surprise to all of us was the amount of Matcha Tea the city had. Matcha Tea, a rarity in the bustling city of Berlin was in about every cafe and coffee shop all around Budapest.


My visit to Southern Germany took me on a journey through my heritage as I was able to visit my grandparents home town and finally meet with family I've been hearing about my whole life. I was taken to a place with beautiful scenery and pleasant Southern German strangers. We climbed mountains and visited ancient castles while ending every night with a hearty meal that almost always included a groß bier and kartoffelsalat.


_Hamburg, _Schwarzwelt, _Budapest

de kulteren
capturing the chaos

My family and I left Zurich and one Avengers movie and three Toy Stories later we arrived at our layover in Atlanta. The transition home was a bit easier than the one to Berlin. I was once again able to slink away into the cool indoors with A/C blowing and a glass of ice water in my hand away from the humid weather hexing Northern Kentucky. Even though Europe was an amazing experience these were the two luxuries I missed the most. The biggest struggle transitioning back home has been the mountain of laundry sitting in my suitcase.


_Last German Beer, _New Puppy, _Final stop, Bodensee

hot and beautiful
employer profile

company name_ Nuri


when_ Summer 2019

location_ Berlin, Germany

overview_ Nuri is an organic baby food startup founded in 2016

position_ Design Intern, responsible for generating materials for social media, packaging, and miscellaneous flyers.


day to day_ I was primarily responsible for the packaging rebrand. This task entailed a totally new look on the packaging that would aid marketing efforts including the addition of three languages. I would work with the marketing interns to generate material for social media, primarily Instagram. 

workplace culture_ The workplace culture was primarily that of a start-up. It was a small office of rotating interns ran by two women, Josephine and Jana. Even though the interns were not permanent, each individual was dedicated to their position and supporting Nuri. Even though the atmosphere was casual and relaxed between employee relations, everyone was dedicated and worked long hard hours. These long days were usually broken up by trips to the grocery for lunch or ice cream runs at the end of the day.

comparison_ There were a lot of similarities between my two offices. They were both small offices run by dedicated people. My American firm ran as a consultancy, so there were more presentations to clients and architects. This created stricter deadlines and higher stakes within the office. Nuri only had their own product to worry about and creating material for marketing. This is more from a design perspective. My American office was also filled to the brim with designers where at Nuri, it was just myself and another intern.

bottom of page