I enjoy capturing life from time to time. I use a Cannon EOS 80D. Below are a collection of some of my recent Instagram posts. You can follow me for infrequent posts at @olingern.

I've stopped using social media (again) for the most part. I didn't like reaching for my phone just to fill time or not knowing why I grabbed it. Here's an outtake from my France bike trip that I liked — the Civaux nuclear reactor. It's, uh, gigantic in person. #nuclearpowerplant #france
I started this trip to get out of my head. Remote work has been a blessing for flexibility but it’s often hard for me to leave work. Burnout also seems to set in faster. I’ve always worked through “funks” physically and what better way than to do it in France?

I think travel is different for everyone. I intentionally don’t seek out tourist spots, but rather just enjoy living my life as I would in the US in France. When the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of France become the backdrop of my day-to-day — that is the experience for me. 

The pictured trees are a part of that experience. Nothing special,  I had just crossed a bridge, looked to my right and thought, “France is really good at composition.”

#france #france🇫🇷 #superfrance #repitition #tree #trees #bikepacking #lascandiberique #travelphotography #photography #canon
A quick pass through Tours. Legs are still holding up doing 40-50 miles per day. Wrists, though, are unhappy with my life choices. I’ve made some adjustments but nothing that could fix touring on a road bike. 

#toursfrance #tours #portraitphotography #sunset #france #cathedral
A quick stop a couple of days ago in Montargis. The struggle between putting miles in on the bike and stopping to see things is real.
Château de Sully-sur-Loire 

It’s been a rough couple of days with flats, rain, and my camera deciding to pop of my bag. Between the beauty of France, an amazing turn in weather, and the kindness of other humans I’ve kept my sanity and more. #castle #france #bikepacking #touring #lascandiberique #photography #chateaudesullysurloire
Passing through Melun, France just before sunset. I liked how each tree served as a canopy for people relaxing by the river.
#melun #france #lascandiberique #river
Vantage point of the Eiffel Tower from #trocadero square.
#eiffeltower #paris #portraitphotography
I took a long break from social media to figure out how to use it without the constant stream of notifications. 

Uninstalling the apps from my phone has been a pretty great life improvement.
I took a long walk in Rock Cut Park around Rockford, IL yesterday. It was nice to escape the concrete jungle for a while.

#illinois #rockcutstatepark
Chicago: I took my camera for a walk today along the north shore. I'm still getting my Chicago neighborhood lingo down.

When I moved to Tokyo, I often had to remind myself I was actually there. Something like, "Hey, you live in Tokyo." I would often get caught up in the day to day and forget that I was living a dream. Likewise with Chicago, I often have to remind myself that I live here because working remotely doesn't require me to commute anywhere. 

So, I've been trying to be more intentional about exploring while working remotely because the backdrop of each day becomes the walls of my apartment. 

Special shoutout to @ellie_streth for showing me around.
March 2019: I had biked from Kichijoji 吉祥寺 to Akihabara秋葉原 to pick up some bikepacking gear from TOKYO WHEELS for my goodbye trip across Japan. After picking my gear up, I turned north and found this bridge. It was empty and had this other worldly, cyberpunk glow to it. It felt like something out of Akira (アキラ, 1988). 

#tokyo #cyberpunk #akihabara
One of my favorite pictures I took while in Europe last year. There was something simple yet beautiful about this person painting alone in this cobblestoned alley with pastel backdrops.
A cold but fun day of hiking with old friends and new. #hiking #kentucky
An aerial view of the river at Ausable Chasm.
#naturephotography #ausablechasm #chasm #river
Hiking along the river walk at Ausable Chasm in the Adirondacks.

One of the things I love about nature is that it has all of the elements of good design. I find I’m drawn to depth and repetition in landscapes and walking along this ~12,000 year old chasm couldn’t have been better for searching for those. I really don’t do this hike justice with this picture, but I think it’s an amazing stop for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
#naturephotography #adirondacks #upstateny #design
Impromptu trip upstate New York. Decided to get off the interstate and drive 9N for a while. So glad I did 
#fall #roadtrip #naturephotography #upstateny

Morning ride from Williamsburg to Manhattan. 

#brooklyn #brooklynskyline #eastriver #morningride
Paris, round two.

Missed my flight, made some new friends, had great food, and great views.

#europe #travel #missedflight #paris #notredame
Amsterdam, the last stop in my small Tour De Europe.

I’ve never seen so much bike traffic in a city. This made me happy. The “coffee shops” are great.

Most of the world has reopened in limited capacity, but I learned that the Netherlands never lifted restrictions, not even partially, for dance venues but weddings and sports events are okay. Weird. So, I joined a “protest” yesterday that was sort of a “club on wheels.” I even met some amazing folks along the way who roped me into their party and showed me around. 

The Rijksmuseum is definitely worth a visit. The Rembrandt’s are a big deal, but I enjoyed the impressionist works the most. I’ve had a hard time getting into baroque art, so if you have some recommended reading on Rembrandt, send it my way. 

I’m so glad to have spent time in Europe and to have met all the people that I did. 

There’s definitely a round two in my future.

Back to the states I go!

#travel #thenetherlands #amsterdam

I didn’t take a lot of pictures here and tried to take the city in without a lens in mind. One night my phone died and I was without backup power. I was left making sense of the city with just a map. This was sort fun but a little intense in the moment. Much thanks to the store owner who obliged and gave me a map.

I typically try to walk most of each city I’m in which can add up to 10+ miles / 20K steps. It’s been an amazing way to take in each place but I’ve reached my limit physically and mentally. More espresso is needed for wakefulness and my IT band is really missing a foam roller.

Today’s my last full day in Europe and I’m spending it in Amsterdam!

#berlin #germany #europe #travel

I spent most of the day at The Zwinger which is an amazing museum that has been collecting art since the the 1800s. I really enjoyed the sculptures they had, some dating back to 200-300 BC.

I took this first picture upon arriving in Dresden. I thought, “What is that pipe doing there?”

I can’t find much on the internet about it, but Berlin also has their own which are used for water transport. The oddly placed pipe that’s above ground for probable utilitarian reasons grew on me. 

#travel #dresden #germany
A day in Leipzig, home of Bach.

It’s tough being in Europe — I keep falling in love with each new place. For the small area that the downtown occupied, there was so much music and busking.

My day (entire trip?) was made when four cellists serenaded a group of around 100 on lookers to a handful of Rammstein songs, Creep, Zombie, and The Unforgiven. A metal/alt dream come true. See story for more. If Akira was my gateway drug to Japan, Rammstein was that for Germany. 

It was especially serendipitous because only an hour earlier I was looking for live music.

Pictured are two exceptional accordion players who greeted me with classical tunes. They were even out playing again this morning.

#travel #germany #leipzig #music
A stopover in Nürnberg.

I loved this city. A city but very walkable. Nothing grandiose, but a place where I could see myself spending more time.

This is absolutely on my return to list when I come back with a bike.

#travel #germany #nuremberg #nürnberg #bike #cycling #europe #church #photography
I spent the last two days in Munich. Visiting Dachau’s concentration camp memorial site was one of the most meaningful parts of my time here. It’s hard to explain the weight you feel here. Pictured: a former barracks 

The exhibit goes into detail how Germany was driven into economic downturn through reparations that had to be paid as a result of WWI. Hitler’s rise was gradual and was built upon a long history of anti-semitism. I didn’t know that president Hidenberg and his dismantling of parliamentary power was instrumental in Hitler obtaining his rule. [1] for more info.

Otherwise, I scootered around this entire city, explored an amazing park, and ate good food. 
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#travel #germany #munich #dachau
I spent a couple of days in Heidelberg. It’s a city of ruins that has turned into a college/research town doubling as a tourist destination.

A lot of this trip is about doing less or even nothing and enjoying my surroundings while doing so. I relaxed quite a bit in Heidelberg. 

I read this piece, Burning out and quitting [1], and felt like the author had described my life in shockingly similar detail. It’s a really great piece of writing.

For me, life in COVID times has a strange numbness brought on by the daily anxieties that seem to compound overtime. In me, this manifested as irritability and disinterest which created a sort of negative feedback loop where I was genuinely not interested in interacting with others.

I think everyone has their “big guns” for knocking themselves out of a rut. Exercise, travel, and language are a few of mine. I had my first all German conversation this morning (no switching to English) and it was so fun to communicate and problem solve differently, albeit just ordering food and paying for it. I think these small, positive moments add up overtime and shape the outlook we have on our day(s).

The other part of this trip is poking around my ancestry. My last name, previously spelled “Ohlinger”, is pretty common over here. Today, I’m traveling from Heidelberg to Thaleischweiler-Fröschen to see where we immigrated from. Ironically, I’m probably more French/Irish than German but I netted out looking pretty German and don a German surname, so ... off to the countryside with me!

It’s also reminds me that we’re all immigrants in America at some point. 
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Day trip from Strasbourg to Colmar #travel #france #colmar

© Nick Olinger 2023