2015-08-05 - German photographer, frequent traveller and single parent Katja Hentschel treats us to a whirlwind tour of the city of Berlin, with her one-year-old son Atlas in tow.
From child psychologist to professional partygoer to photographer, thirty-something Katja Hentschel now travels the world as a Travelette. From her home base on the Eberswalder Straße in Prenzlauerberg, Katja and her son Atlas spend half the year travelling (often with friends) to destinations around the world, from the white sandy beaches of the Maldives to South Tyrol and Poland.
Katja and her son Atlas in their Berlin apartment
“Travelettes is a platform for and by girls who love to travel,” says Katja of her website which she founded in 2009. "I feel that women tend to need role models, especially when it comes to traveling alone, and we aim to fill that shoe."Now a team of ten strong, Travelettes is monetised and allows Katja and company their choice of trips. “Although I don’t mind paying for my own trips occasionally,” she says with a smile. "Atlas has taken to traveling like a fish to the water,” explains Katja of her son whom she raises alone – his father lives in the US. “He loves meeting new people and, unlike me, often enjoys the journey of getting from one place to another more than anything."
In Katja’s apartment, that is full of references to travel and personal souvenirs, we are treated to coffee, croissants and the happy chuckles of one-year old Atlas. We spot three strollers lining the hallway of Katja’s apartment as we walk up; she’ll later admit to owning of all of them, “four in total”. After growing up in a small town in Germany – “I hated it, and wish I had moved to Berlin when I was like, 16” – Hentschel began her career in child psychology. Her studies took her abroad to Paris, and London before settling down in her adopted city Berlin in 2009. That’s when Katja’s first blog – Glamcanyon – was born. It started as a nightlife blog and developed into a highly-praised and well-visited street-style blog, leading to more and more professional work as a photographer. With travelettes.net she has made her passion into her work, travelling around the world and going on adventures with friends. “It started because I wanted a place to document my many travels, and I dreamt of incorporating my favourite hobby into my professional life as a photographer.” One of Katja’s adventurous trips includes a road trip of the US, driving from New York to Miami, Boston and Austin, documented on the website.
In addition to photographing, filming and writing about her adventures, Katja’s online and offline presence boomed and the Travelettes became a book, called Around the World in High Heels, filled with tips for lady travellers and stories of faraway lands.
After having her son, Katja developed her interests and searched for a new platform to share her ideas with likeminded souls. Glowbus is the latest project: a lifestyle blog aimed at women over 30 Written and run by four successful entrepreneurs, Glowbus is a no-nonsense platform that doesn’t shy away from real-life issues. Some topics include combining motherhood with a professional life, stay-at-home dads, and single parents, but you’ll find just as much about food, fashion, interior, and travel. “You know, it’s quite shocking, but Germany has the lowest birth rate in the world! It’s really not that bad to be a mother in Germany thanks to government benefits. Through Glowbus I want to show women that it’s perfectly fine to combine work and motherhood, to travel with your child(ren), and to talk about themes like feminism.”
Berlins landmark: the Fernsehturm (TV tower), and typical East Berlin traffic light: Ampelmännchen.
Mogg & Melzer, one of Katja’s favourite food stops located on the Auguststrasse 11-13. “I just happened to find it one day and loved the atmosphere. You’d almost walk past it though from the outside.”
One of the best ways to get around in Berlin is public transport. There is enough room inside the trams to travel with your stroller!