Kerstin Bürk is happy. That can be seen in her eyes. Even though her work these days is literally over her head, she never forgets her smile. Four pallets of 3,000 travel books are to be delivered by the end of the week.
Packing more than 500 books, labeling them and preparing them for shipment to Germany and abroad requires concentration, but “it’s also a lot of fun,” she said enthusiastically as she continued to pack diligently because the books needed to be shipped in time for Christmas.
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Kerstin admitted she didn’t think her book would have such a reach. Many of her packages go to Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, and Austria. She is happy about that. Each one is lovingly individually packaged and the label is inscribed by hand. Kerstin Bürk also wrote dedications in some of them.
That there is a book at all and that so many people are interested in her story is something that Kerstin wouldn’t even have dreamed of when she set off two years ago in her minivan for her very personal “journey into happiness.” After completing her bachelor’s thesis, she actually only wanted to “go on holiday by the sea,” said the enthusiastic surfer. And so she set off for France in her minivan, which she had converted into a motor home as part of her bachelor’s thesis. “I wanted to try out whether my design was suitable for everyday use,” she said.
Bürk learned to cope with everyday life in the smallest of spaces and with only a few things. She liked the way she traveled so much that she headed for more destinations. “Between Ireland and the deserts of Africa I searched for the hidden treasure of bliss. The return to the essentials has made me rich in creative power, inner peace, and contentment,” she added.
She met many interesting people during her journey, some of them accompanied her on her way. She is still in contact with many of them. She was particularly impressed by the hospitality in many countries. “It was very special in Morocco,” she reminisced. Before she traveled to the North African country, she had been warned by friends and family that it was dangerous.
But at some point, she had overcome her fear and simply tried it out. “I had my rolling home with a family in the garden and it was a great time. She learned a lot from the landlady—”even if we could only communicate with hands and feet,” she said, laughing.
Inspirations collected on 272 pages
At some point, she decided to write down her travel experiences. Together with the illustrator Alexis Skerman, whom she met on her journey, she designed the 272-page book. It has been available in bookstores since Friday, Dec. 13.
Her travel book, which bears the title “Happiness is Homemade,” is as bright orange as her minivan, and is impressive. Her book is richly decorated with pictures, hand-drawn illustrations and lots of inspiration to do it yourself and find your own path to happiness. In addition to the detailed travelogue, she has written down many recipes, tips, and pages to create yourself. “The book is dedicated to all travelers of life,” she emphasized.
Kerstin Bürk launched a crowdfunding campaign at the end of November to finance her major project. The goal was $27,842 (€25,000). The result is impressive. She received $28,699 (€25,781) all over the world. More than 500 books have already been sold. “If everything goes well, then maybe I can go back to Morocco in January and start my second book,” planned Kerstin Bürk happily.
But before it starts, she wants to present her work at Rottweil. And so a book presentation is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 14. On this evening, those interested will have the opportunity to talk to the author and listen to her exciting travel report. A reading tour through Germany and other European countries will then be on the program this summer. But before that, Morocco will be the first place to go.
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First published in Schwarzwaelder Bote, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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