Wanderlust will not let go of me

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"Wanderlust will not let go of me"

Anja Beckmann was in South Africa with the 16-300mm Megazoom lens for your travel blog "Travel on Toast"

Your travel blog "Travel on Toast" has been around since the end of 2012. How many countries have you visited since then?

I do not know the total number exactly. But in the past year alone, I was in 17 countries.

What were you doing before that?

I come from the field of journalism. During my studies, I was already working for various newspapers. After that, I did PR voluntary service and worked as a press officer for several companies.

Has travel always been your passion?

Yes. In 2007, I then took a time-out between jobs and travelled the world for one year. For the most part, I travelled alone. During this time, I wrote a private blog for friends and family. Later, I decided that I would continue writing about my travel because wanderlust was still in me.

What do you enjoy most about travelling?

The contrast to everyday life and to Germany. I think it is great to be here in Cologne and working. However, I love to go out into the world - the further away and more exotic, the better. It is always exciting to see how other people live. To experience other cultures firsthand, to try unfamiliar food, and then of course to explore the strange countryside and wildlife - all of which I enjoy to the fullest while travelling. 

One of your recent trips was to South Africa. What was your impression of the country and people?

It was very different from what I had imagined. It almost seemed European to me at times, which is of course due to the many visitors. What I found great was this bright light. Primarily because I was flying out of the German winter into the African summer - and totally without jet lag, since there is only one hour time difference. Cape Town is a fantastic metropolis. And ideal as the base for beautiful excursions. For example, to the penguins at Boulders Beach or to the beach of Muizenberg, where I photographed wonderfully colourful beach huts. We were also on the "Wine Route", where several wineries can be visited and in a national park. Then we also visited a township and we were on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.

How important is it for you to record your travel in photos?

Very important. Personally for me, anyway. I also took many pictures on my trip around the world. Those are great reminders that put me back in the situation again. Of course, pictures are very important for my blog. I always post pictures via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Instagram while travelling and receive much positive feedback from readers. People find them great and feel like they are travelling with me.

What do you primarily photograph on trips?

I take photographs everywhere. Colours and patterns are magically attractive to me. For example, we were in a market where young designers were selling stuff. The colour was striking. Then, naturally, animals in the wild, such as penguins or ostriches. And I love beaches! In South Africa, there is a beach in the West Coast National Park that looks like the Caribbean. White sand and turquoise sea - a wonderful image.

Do you come into contact with the people of the respective country via photography?

Yes. You ask people whether you can photograph them and you are already having a conversation. You learn much about the country and people by simply talking with them. 

What type of camera do you use when travelling?

I use different cameras. I have a single lens reflex camera, a Canon EOS 70 D. When the light is weaker or if I need a large zoom, it is perfect. I use the iPhone for snapshots which I then often send directly via social media channels. And I also have a GoPro in order to make films. 

What is most important to you in a travel camera?

I like high quality pictures and much focal length, but not too much weight for me to carry around. Therefore, the combination of camera and lens should not be too heavy. Since my single lens reflex camera is relatively heavy, it is important for me to keep the weight of the lens rather light and still cover the widest possible zoom range.

Which lens do you take with you on your trips?

I have used a Tamron 17-50mm for a long time. I then had the 16-300mm from Tamron for the first time in South Africa. I set it up and did not take in down again during the entire trip. 

Why do you like the lens?

I am not a techie and got some advice in advance. I was primarily interested in the telephoto. I immediately liked the 16-300mm because it is so light and has such a huge telezoom. The fact that it covers so much in the wide angle range makes it the perfect "always on it lens" for the trip. In addition, it also has a very reliable and fast auto focus. This lens has especially proven itself with animal pictures of zebras, ostriches and penguins. And last but not least, the price-performance ratio is very good.

About the author: Anja Beckmann

Anja Beckmann founded the travel blog "Travel on Toast" in 2012. With her team of seven authors, she has published up to 378 articles there to date, primarily about long-distance travel, sunshine destinations in Europe and city travel. The focus is on the sun, beach, water sports, adventure, major cities, delicious food and relaxation with wellness and yoga. Her web site registers up to 20,000 readers per month and 28,000 social media contacts on all channels. In 2015, her blog was awarded the Blog Award of the Spanish Tourism Association.

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