Happy Berlin Anniversary to Me


Today marks a small anniversary in my world. It was exactly one year ago — January 8th — that I moved to Berlin and started a new life-after-Malta. Life in Malta was barely tolerable at the best of times, and at the beginning of 2017 it was spiralling down into an increasingly ugly mess of political and societal corruption. I sensed that violence wouldn’t be far off, and I didn’t want to be there...

Christmas in Berlin


The Christmas Market tradition goes all the way back to the Late Middle Ages in the German-speaking areas of Europe. It’s normally held during the four weeks of Advent leading up to December 25th. I’m an unapologetic Scrooge when it comes to all things Christmas — especially the overhyped North American consumer craze version. And you won’t catch me making a yearly appearance at a church just for...

Potsdam: Palaces, Gardens and 18th Century Dreams


There’s a smallish town just outside the Berlin city centre that’s completely encrusted with palaces. It’s only 30 minutes away, at the end of the S7 line, on the River Havel. And it’s the most popular day trip from Berlin. Postdam was originally a Slavonic settlement, founded in the tenth century. But it was the Hohenzollerns who put it on the map. The house of Hohenzollern rose to prominence...

Life in Berlin


It’s been ages since I’ve published a blog. I think I’ve only written 3 this year. But I haven’t forgotten you, or vanished in a desert somewhere. It’s just that I haven’t been traveling at all. We moved to Berlin at the start of January, and I haven’t left the city since. To steal an image from Lawrence Durrell, I guess you could say we’re de-barbarizing and re-gilding after life in Malta. I’m...

A New Life in a New Town


I learned and experienced many things during my years in Malta, and I wrote around 30 articles about it — most of them were positive, about the places we discovered, from small village streets to the windswept heights of Ras ir-Raheb and the coast of Blata tal-Melh. But some were critical, too. I found the history to be quite fascinating. The present culture not so much. And this past year of...

Is There One “Perfect Place” For Everyone?


I’ve dedicated the past decade and a half of my life to traveling the world’s marginal places. I started off exploring forgotten regions, like Central America’s Mosquito Coast or the Mongolian Gobi. But I’ve also conducted a very long inquiry into expat life. I have a checklist in my head. It’s sort of a list of my ideal criteria: what would be the perfect place for someone like me? The place...

Gimme a Berlin Art Injection!


Berlin is a city where art lives and breathes. I went there recently for a dose of art and culture. My little Mediterranean island is piled with history, many stones deep. And beauty is present too, but art is scarce. And I need art to remind me of what my work could be. I was searching for a serious injection of creative inspiration. And so I began with the area I understand least: modern art...

Why Berlin is My Favourite City in Europe


I spent a week in Berlin right before the Christmas holidays. We rented an apartment in Mitte, near the Rosenthaler Platz U Bahn station. A gentrified neighbourhood of ethnic restaurants, dimly lit bars and newly renovated apartments with enormous windows, modern furniture, heated floors and soundproofed walls. Close to the fashion district, and to small galleries filled with big fringe ideals. I...

Christmas Markets in Berlin


I was in Berlin this past week, getting a huge dose of art and culture — something I’m starved for on my small Mediterranean island. I went there to soak up the gritty feel  of the city, and to hang out in museums and small galleries. But I also ended up wandering through a bunch of Christmas markets. They were everywhere. And they had good food. The Christmas Market tradition goes all the way...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


Sign up for my entertaining email newsletter

Get in Touch


Support the Personal Landscapes podcast with a donation

Recent Posts


WP AutoTerms Legal Pages