Anyone that is able can travel, but living in a new country is a whole new challenge

For me, I like challenges. It was not enough to travel (solo, most of the time) at different countries. Travel is now just a few clicks away. The ‘Instagrammification’ of experiences has made anyone a travel ‘enthusiast’ so long as they have a good enough mobile or camera to catch the experience.

But, it’s a whole new challenge to live in a country. To talk to the people there, learn the language, learn the systems (from tax to health care), the culture (of work, pleasure, community).

2019 marked what was probably a year of moving and being a digital nomad type after several years spent (since 2011) – first working a bit remotely in my first solo trip which was Canada. Then followed by the UK, the first time I lived overseas fully. Then, back to Canada again, Ireland, Germany, France and finally back to Germany.

I treated the whole thing as this large, long term personal project. Pushing my own personal and professional limits, making sacrifices along the way to chase opportunities. A lot of advance planning took place, while helpful, made my place in the world a bit more fleeting. As it should be. I wanted to build a life that is just purely uncommon, a life that is clearly “21st century expat”. I’m sure and perhaps there will be more opportunities to come.

The journey continues.

Stasi Museum – Germans spying on Germans, psychological warfare (Zersetzung)

Zersetzung is a psychological warfare technique used by the Ministry for State Security to repress political opponents in East Germany during the 1970s and 1980s. Zersetzung served to combat alleged and actual dissidents through covert means, using secret methods of abusive control and psychological manipulation to prevent anti-government activities.

The museum is divided into three levels and several portions dedicated to a portion of the Stasi history.

The use of Zersetzung is well documented due to Stasi files published after East Germany’s Wende, with several thousands or up to 10,000 individuals estimated to have become victims,[3]:217 and 5,000 of whom sustained irreversible damage.[4] Special pensions for restitution have been created for Zersetzung victims.

One of the signs that you see when you first enter the area. The Stasi Museum is located in the former headquarters of the Stasi. The museum is operated by the Antistalinistische Aktion Berlin-Normannenstraße (ASTAK),[3] which was founded by civil rights activists in Berlin in 199
In this exhibition is a story of a woman who actually married an MfS (Stasi) agent who was assigned to conduct surveillance on her. The couple decided to defect to the GDR.
The family did not learn that they were being watched by the Stasi until 17 years after the Mauerfall (Fall of the Berlin Wall). It was only by chance that they realize that the Stasi installed a hidden wiretap in a discarded living room door for them to listen in on the family’s conversations.
In this are some fairly ordinary looking objects – a belt, flask, stereo (for music) but they all held devices to take photos. There were numerous other examples of these being modified by the Stasi to conduct surveillance.
A watering can and the camera installed within.
A shopping bag used to disguise a camera
The shopping bag from the above photo takes photos – here are some examples
This device makes it easy for the Stasi to scan documents found inside households that they have entered – either covertly or as part of an official investigation.

Other links:

Berlin Friedrichshain Weihnachtsmarkt

Really delicious dish – deep fried pastry with sour cream, shaved cheese, roasted garlic. Also a really hot gluhwein.

It’s actually my first time in the area. I arrived about 30 minutes earlier so I took a walk around Simon-Dach-Strasse around the shops including Bad Robot.