Our trip

naturally sustainable!

Great, that you are part of our trip

We are will­ing to take you with us into a world full of excit­ing stor­ies about sus­tain­able travel, breath­tak­ing nature, inspir­ing people and projects.

Travel sustainably

We stay on ground, close to nature and people — and there­fore do not look down on our world from above sit­ting in an air­plane. For that view we have enough satel­lite images…. We don’t only travel as sus­tain­ably as pos­sible from place to place, but we also try to leave a small eco­lo­gic­al travel foot­print. For more details check out our Travel Codex. 

Marvel at nature

Des­pite forest destruc­tion, over­fish­ing the oceans and bil­lions of oth­er prob­lems, there still exist those amaz­ingly beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al places on our plan­et. We want to exper­i­ence those breath-tak­ing land­scapes firsthand, mar­vel at them and cap­ture them for you! 

Meet people

We meet people, talk with them and tell their stor­ies, espe­cially from people com­mit­ted to the pro­tec­tion of nature. Our adven­tures and encoun­ters should make you (more) excited about nature, inspire you to get act­ive and to travel and con­sume sus­tain­ably. It’s more fun! 

Get active

We also want to dirty our hands and get sour muscles from work sup­port­ing those people. We wish to sup­port ini­ti­at­ives, asso­ci­ations and organ­iz­a­tions with same goals as we set in our Travel Codex. Plant­ing trees, pick­ing up garbage from beaches, cook­ing food for refugees… Really, there are (almost) no lim­its to how we can dirty our hands to make this world a bet­ter place. 

Our travel experiences

We have been on our sus­tain­able tour since 1 June 2018. Take one was a bike trip from Ger­many to Montenegro. There we were two months, in order to work for the pro­tec­tion of a bird para­dise (take two). After­wards we sup­por­ted the open work­shop Habibi.Works in North­ern Greece for some weeks. On take three we were hitch­hik­ing, tak­ing buses or trains through Albania, Greece, Tur­key, Geor­gia and Armenia. On take four we cycled from Montenegro through East­ern Europe to Poland. On take five we’ll be in Dziemi­any at Vivi­ane’s Mum’s place for a few weeks to sup­port her with the hol­i­day cottages.

Have a look at our travel map to see which route we have already been traveled, what our exper­i­ences have been and where we are at the moment.

We also pub­lished some inter­views and blo­g­post about our trip. There have also been a few reports in the press. Also on face­book and Ins­tagram (@leafandsea) we post­ing fre­quently about our exper­i­ences in addi­tion to our website.

As you already know, we try to travel sus­tain­ably and have even estab­lished a sus­tain­able travel codex. We have writ­ten some of our blog post spe­cific­ally about sus­tain­able travel.

We would be happy if you look through our pages and con­tact us if you have any ques­tions or comments.

Take one:
Idyllic Danube and mountainous Balkan

On our first stage we cycled from Rad­olfzell at Lake Con­stance to Montenegro. Our con­tin­ous com­pan­ion until the Romani­an-Bul­gari­an bor­der was the Danube river (EuroVelo 6). We cycled along the Balkan Green Belt which is also the Iron Cur­tain Trail (EuroVelo 13).

We used our first stage to pro­mote the valu­able work of the nature con­ser­va­tion found­a­tion EuroNatur. Vari­ous pro­jects along the Balkan Green Belt are imple­men­ted by EuroNatur to pro­tect amaz­ing nat­ur­al land­scapes. Two of those pro­jects are the #SaveSalina- and the Save­Paradis­e­For­ests- cam­paigns. Please sign the peti­tion to SaveSalina. With this action you sup­port our efforts. Thanks a lot.


EuroNatur is com­mit­ted to pre­serving Europes nat­ur­al beau­ties with longlast­ing  pro­jects. The pro­jects are mainly loc­ated along the Green Belt Balkan, the former iron cur­tain. EurNatur imple­ments pro­jects in cooper­a­tion with loc­al organ­isa­tions for the pro­tec­tion of the pristine nature in the Balkans. Bears, wolves, lynxes and migrat­ory birds feel at home here. Two of the EuroNatur pro­jects are the pro­tec­tion of Ulcinj Salina and the primary forests of Romania.

Balkan Green Belt

The Green Belt stretches across 12,500 kilo­metres from the far north in Finnland to the Black Sea in the South. Until 1989 the Iron Cur­tain divided the East from the West. In the bor­der area nature could unfold undis­turbed by human activ­ity for dec­ades. Nowadays the former Iron Cur­tain strings togeth­er pre­cious hab­it­ats like green perls through whole of Europe. Two of those perls are Ulcinj Salina and the primary forests in Romania. 


The #SaveSalina cam­paign was ini­ti­ated by EuroNatur and part­ners to pro­tect Ulcinj Salina in Montenegro. The salina is a pre­cious bird para­dise which is threatened to be turned into a lux­ury resort. With our jour­ney we wish to make people aware of this threat. As many people as pos­sible should sign the peti­tion to pres­sure the gov­ern­ment to offi­cially pro­tect Ulcinj Salina. Please sign the peti­tion here!

For salt. For birds. For people.

Save Paradise Forests

Romania is home to the largest area of primary forests in the EU. Sadly, in the last years more and more of these forests were logged, although they are offi­cially pro­tec­ted by law! With the cam­paign EuroNatur and the Romani­an part­ner Agent Green fight for these valu­able forests.
Find out more about the vari­ous activ­it­ies on the cam­paign web­site.

Image carousel: Take one

Blogposts: Take one

No friends in the fairytale …

The Amazon of Europe

Interactive, charitable and …

From Guro to Little India

Let the adventure begin

Take two:
Endangered Salina and exciting sea

In Septem­ber and Octo­ber 2018 we were at home in Ulcinj in south­ern Montenegro. Here is Ulcinj Salina loc­ated, a true bird para­dise. Vivi­ane sup­por­ted the loc­al nature con­ser­va­tion asso­ci­ation MSJA in its activities.

Unfor­tu­nately Stef­fen could not make many dives as planned because the diving school in Ulcinj was closed for tech­nic­al reas­ons. Instead, he prac­ticed free­d­iving, worked on our web­site and con­tin­ued his edu­ca­tion in some eco-activities.

MSJA and the salina

In Septem­ber and Octo­ber 2018 Vivi­ane sup­por­ted the asso­ci­ation Dr. Mar­tin Schneider-Jac­oby (MSJA) in its efforts to pro­tect the Salina and oth­er nat­ur­al resources in Ulcinj. The Salina is a very spe­cial place as it is an import­ant rest­ing place for birds. At the same time it is part of a tra­gic his­tory of decline and cor­rup­tion. Vivi­ane helped to cre­ate a folder about Ulcinj Salina, updated the asso­ci­ation’s web­site and helped with numer­ous activities.


Glimmers of hope for Ulcinj Salina

The land of the black mountains

Since Montenegro, the coun­try of the black moun­tains, was our home for two months, we could exper­i­ence many per­culi­ar­it­ies of this coun­try and its people. In this pearl of the Adri­at­ic Sea there is much to dis­cov­er: breath­tak­ing nation­al parks and unique nat­ur­al treas­ures, thou­sands of years old cit­ies with their for­ti­fic­a­tions and ortho­dox churches, the extraordin­ary cul­ture and last but not least the robust people who go their own way in this wild Balkan country.


Montenegro — The country of black mountains

Image carousel: Take two

Take three:
Thumps up and go

From Novem­ber 2018 until May 2019 we hitch­hiked and took pub­lic trans­port­a­tion. There­fore fol­low­ing the motto “thumbs up and go”. We decided not to con­tin­ue with bikes (which was not an easy decision!). That we are not fly­ing has been already clear since the begin­ning and you can find it also in our travel codex. So we star­ted a new adven­ture: more wait­ing, more con­tact to loc­al people and more sup­port of great projects.


For a week we had to go to the street, thumbs out and wait. But most of the time we were lucky and were taken along rel­at­ively fast. Among the drivers were a mafioso, an archi­tect and a con­vert­ible lov­er. We met these and many oth­er inter­est­ing people and vis­ited three nation­al parks. Watch a video about the Divjaka-Kara­vas­ta Nation­al Park here and read about our exper­i­ences in Albania in our blog post.

Greece and Habibi.Works

In Greece we sup­por­ted the pro­ject Habibi.Works for 6 weeks. In the cre­at­ive area and in the met­al work­shop we’re help­ing refugees in pro­du­cing or repair­ing use­ful and beau­ti­ful objects. Here you can find our blo­g­post about Habibi.Works. After­wards we spent a week in Thes­saloniki with our lovely couch­surfer friend Orfeas. 

Turkey — Part 1

Since Vivi­ane had a cold and we had bad luck with the weath­er, we took the bus to Istan­bul. A met­ro­pol­is of mil­lions awaited us with great con­trasts — and many cats. Since the bad weath­er remained true to us, long bus rides became routine. But two abso­lutely great couch­surfers made our time in Tur­key unfor­get­table. Thanks Fatih and Sükrü!


Geor­gia wel­comed us with a day of bad luck, but it made up for it with hos­pit­al­ity, great food and beau­ti­ful land­scapes. Read the inter­view with Maka from WWF about nature in Geor­gia. We love this coun­try with its curved char­ac­ters, thou­sands of old stor­ies and oven-fresh Khachapuri! Found out more about Geor­gia in our blog post.


Armenia was a sur­prise coun­try for us. And we were very pos­it­ively sur­prised! In the cap­it­al Yerevan we strolled on his­tor­ic­al paths, tasted typ­ic­al food and watched people play­ing back­gam­mon. In the Sevan Nation­al Park we were able to wit­ness the begin­ning of a co-liv­ing pro­ject and were happy about the snow. Read more in our blog post about Armenia.

Turkey — Part 2

From the cold North­east of Tur­key to the warm South­w­est we could explore this coun­try much more intense than on our first trip in Decem­ber. We hitch­hiked a lot, couch­surfed at loc­als couches and fell in love with the vegan nation­al dish Cigköfte. Our video „3 minutes in Tur­key“ shows our experiences.

Greece and Workaway

With the ferry from Marmar­is our 3‑months affair with the islands Rhodes and Crete began. On Rhodes we just spent one week, how­ever, we could stay on Crete for a life­time. There we helped two fam­il­ies via the plat­form www.workaway.info — 2 weeks in Agios Nikolaos and 2 months on an organ­ic farm in Ano Kalesa. Now we can milk goats and make cheese and joghurt! 

Take four:
Cycling through Eastern Europe

We missed our bikes a lot! Start­ing from 1. of June 2019, exactly one year after we star­ted our tour, we were cyc­ling again! We explored East­ern Europe even more. We cycled through Bos­nia, Croa­tia, Hun­gary, Aus­tria, Czech Repub­lic, Slov­akia and Poland. Our final des­tin­a­tion for Take four was Vivis mom in North­ern Poland.

Take five:
Exploring the region of Kashubia

Vivi­anes moth­er man­ages hol­i­day cot­tages 100km south of Gdansk dir­ectly at a lake sur­roun­ded by two nature parks. Vivi­ane knows the hilly land­scape with pine and beech forests, clear lakes and mean­der­ing rivers already since her child­hood. Now she has time to show Stef­fen her second home.

We will explore the unique nature by kayak­ing on the rivers, swim­ming in lakes and cyc­ling through the forest. We will also exper­i­ence the his­tory of the region through vis­its of farms, museums and factor­ies. We will help Viol­etta clean the houses and do oth­er pro­jects. Last but not least, we’ll use the time to reflect the last 14 months of trav­el­ling and to work on the web­site, edit and pub­lish pic­tures and videos.