We’re back with another Travelette of the Month interview! Each month, this is where you can find out more about the ladies behind the website. Even though every Travelette is unique, bringing her own perspective, travel style, and point of view to the team, they are all sharing their passion through writing and photography.

This month, we find out a little bit about Tabea Mathern, the newest member of our crew. She has not just been bitten by the wander bug, but is also a talented photographer and currently lives in Berlin.


How did you get involved with Travelettes?

I’ve been following Travelettes as a reader for a while and really dig the fresh approach towards travelling and the diverse and authentic female points of view. Busy, working fulltime as a freelance photographer I somehow figured that I was missing my love for words and started looking for a reason to verbally discover again. I love my camera and expressing visually, but I used to frequently write down my ideas and experiences and somehow lost this along the way of maintaining my own business. Since I like the idea of a shared blog and was curious to meet the ladies behind it, I got in touch with Katja. Luckily she was just looking for a new team member and one thing led to another. Very excited to be on board now!


Have you always been travelling, or was there a particular moment when the travel bug bit you?

I always had this hunger to discover, so on my family’s long camping vacations I would be the girl with scratched legs, strolling through pine forests and along the beach, collecting things I did not know from home and cheerfully wondering how many other places I would see in my life and how they would look. In hindsight you could probably say that this is where it all started. And lightning struck again when I moved to Canada for a student exchange. This was when I learnt to just go for it. Even if it’s all by myself. Even if I may not know the outcome yet. Even if I may be broke or somewhat lost. I am very thankful for this experience and for the great privilege it is based on.


You’re also a great photographer – what do you love most about taking photos?

Thank you so much!

I got my first camera when I was 10 and quickly figured that this was something I really loved doing – for different reasons and with different results. The camera enables me to capture moments I want to remember, people, who impress me, colour combinations that I find inspiring, shapes I love, thoughts I have… basically almost everything. When I’m en route, I enjoy shooting found sceneries that speak to me and am aiming to re-narrate the story they belong to. Or at least my version of it. Going home with a full SD card or film then feels like I went on a treasure hunt. Unpacking those visual valuables is a lot of fun and very rewarding! On the other hand I like making up stories, using my camera more as a tool to create, as if it was a paint brush. Those set ups may be artificial, but are often inspired by things I actually experienced.


(Photo by Florian Reimann)

Could you imagine to go on a trip without your camera?

Yes, totally. I think it’s very important to not lose the ability to just be in the moment and memorize the way it makes you feel, rather than seeing everything through the filter of your camera and kind of only looking at a distorted reflection of the experience later.


What are the three items you always pack for every trip?

Ok, after bragging around about the distorted reflection thing I will probably kill my credibility if I tell you, that I mostly do bring a camera. In defense: When the occasion of my travels is private I often just take my little 35 mm camera and a limited amount of film with me to choose wisely whether I want to just experience or capture. In the end both are fun and I do love photography! Apart from that I always bring a notepad and a favourite piece of clothing – mostly it’s a dress, even if that does not make sense and I will end up not wearing it or staining it on the first day.

Beach or Mountains?

Definitely beach!


What has been your favourite destination so far?

That’s a tricky question, because I like them all – for very different reasons. I guess Canada has a special place in my heart, because it worked as that kind of a milestone for me. It still feels like coming home when I’m there. I also really like the south of France, because it reminds me of the good times I had there as a child. The pine wood smell and the rattle of the cicadas still always gets me.


Solo travel or travel with friends/family?

I really enjoy travelling on my own. It allows me to let loose and just go for what is there and feels right in the moment without having to justify it to another person or planning ahead. On the other hand I am very much into sharing. Experiencing special moments with people you care about is extremely precious and something I don’t want to miss out on. A good traveling buddy is a keeper and can turn a shitty hotel or a fully soaked tent into the most magical place. So I guess the answer would be: both!


What’s on your bucket list?

To save you some (a lot of) time here’s an extract: I have never been to South America, but would really like to – Petting alpacas, dancing with the locals, eating avocados, that actually taste like avocados, swimming in Nicaragua, climbing the Andes… Ideally I would be able to take a bigger chunk of time off and travel around. I also want to see more of the West Coast of North America. I’ve only been to San Francisco yet and really liked it. Felt like I was in a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. Something I would also like to try out is doing a bit of a longer journey via bike. And I want to visit a coffee farm some day and get to know the people who produce my favourite drink of all time…  Oh and Australia! Ok, I’ll stop it now. So much to do.


What are your travel plans for 2017?

I’m very excited to go to Sri Lanka (on my bucket list for quite a while now) in just a few weeks and can’t wait to discover the beautiful nature there. Since I’m really into cooking and learning about other food cultures this is something I’m looking forward to as well. I guess the spice usage there is pretty wild and the traditional dishes are mostly plant-based, which really appeals to me. Other than that I have not booked any other trips yet, but will for sure. We’ll see what the next destination will be… hopefully Canada at some point.

Thank you, have fun discovering and take care!


You can follow Tabea around the world on Instagram @tabea.mathern for a somewhat frequent update on where she’s roving around, and find out more about her photography work on her website.


All images if not declared differently © Tabea Mathern

This is a post by Kathi Kamleitner.

Kathi Kamleitner was a regular contributor at Travelettes from 2013 to 2019. Originally from Vienna, Austria, she packed her backpack to travel the world and lived in Denmark, Iceland and Berlin, before settling in Glasgow, Scotland. Kathi is always preparing her next trip – documenting her every step with her camera, pen and phone.

In 2016, Kathi founded Scotland travel blog WatchMeSee.com to share her love for her new home, hiking in the Scottish Highlands, island hopping and vegan food. Follow her adventures on Instagram @watchmesee!