Benjamin Schaller


Hi, I’m Benny.

I’m 26 years old, I live in a town called Leer in north Germany, and my favourite apple is Granny Smith. Here on Backyard Destinations, I will share with you my ideas, views and perspectives on traveling two times per month.

I met Agnes in August 2013 in a hostel in Banff. Even though it was just a brief encounter, we stayed in touch via numerous emails, Facebook & Whatsapp messages, and postcards till the current day. Both of us like blogging and writing, and the conditions for our pen pal friendship were just right.

For much my life I wasn’t much of a traveler. I liked to visit cities from time to time and go sightseeing. Basically, I was a tourist.

Things changed in the summer of 2013 when I started my first long backpacking trip through North America, which lasted several months. I saw the CN Tower in Toronto, the Bean in Chicago, and the Statue of Liberty. I also worked on a farm and as a dishwasher and got in touch with people whose life perspectives couldn’t be more different than that from most people in Saalfeld, the small German town where I grew up. Furthermore, I met plenty of wonderful, remarkable and inspiring people and made some of my strongest friendships during that trip. 

My perspective on traveling started to change when I was in North America. I realized what sustainable benefits traveling could give to my life, besides just taking a selfie in front of the Statue of Liberty.

In July 2015 I started working as a reporter for a newspaper in Leer, a town situated in the region East Frisia, which is known for being quite rural. I had never been to East Frisia before my job interview, so I just started to explore the area that has become my new backyard.

To be honest, East Frisia is not a popular goal among young travelers. I guess most would associate its rurality with boredom. But is that really the case? I want to figure out what this area has to offer because I’m sure there are things to appreciate here 🙂

I invite you to join me on my search for hidden gems in Germany, and together explore the question: Why one should travel? It’s worth it. The journeys to far away countries, just as the trips to striking destinations, might be much closer than you expect – maybe even in your own backyard.

You can find articles I’ve written by clicking here.