The Beauty of “Tapetenwechsel”: Life as a Globetrotting Writer

The Germans have a word for “change of scenery” (“Tapetenwechsel”). As a full-time freelance writer, I make the most of it.

Photo credit: Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

I have been making a living from writing for ten years, five of them freelance. I like to joke that I got into remote working before it got trendy. Telecommuting has gotten easier thanks to tech improvements (hello, Zoom!) and a greater openness to remote collaboration in general (thanks, COVID, I guess?).

As a writer and editor, I love having the freedom to pick up and go with my laptop anytime, anywhere, without having to request time off or alert people that I’m offline. So far in 2022 I’ve been to the Seychelles, Dubai, Berlin, Vienna, and Washington D.C. — and we’re only three months in.

The change of scenery doesn’t just give me a chance to explore the world. It’s also good for my writing. New surroundings keep me alert, motivated, and inspired. The Germans have managed (as often) to boil down the idea of a “change of scenery” into a single word: Tapetenwechsel. It’s one of my favorite words and one I come back to when I’m feeling stuck, in writing or life — it’s time for a Tapetenwechsel, I tell myself.

Now, that’s not to say it’s all fun and glamorous jet-setting. There’s the constant hunt for plugs (don’t forget the travel adapter) and steady wi-fi; I often work at odd hours to accommodate client needs (last week I missed cocktail hour for a Zoom call, wah); and travel can be exhausting (I’m writing this at 3:00 a.m. Dubai time, thanks to jet lag). But for me, the benefits of the Tapetenwechsel far outweigh the drawbacks. So, for now, I’ll continue to pack my laptop and enjoy globetrotting while writing, thankful that I can.

Thank you for reading! This is a space where I share personal thoughts — an opportunity for self-expression that has nothing to do with my professional writing. None of the thoughts or opinions expressed in this blog should be construed as anything but my own, nor should they be affiliated with any company or person I contract with or write for.

NOW that that’s done… I’d love to hear from you about this blog post in the comments! You can also connect via my blog:



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Alison Kilian

I’m Alison & I tell stories! ​I’ve been writing professionally for 10+ years, crafting everything from CEO blogs to bestselling romcoms. I ❤ a good story!