• Erica Vernet Knowles

(ep 13 - part 2) How can I have a more fulfilling life after 40? With Kitesurfer Sandra Christmann






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(ep 13 - part II) How can I have a more fulfilling life after 40? With the Kite Surfer and Art Powerhouse Sandra Christmann


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In part I of this interview, we got to know Sandra Christmann. We talked to her about her past, her career, her experience with kite surfing, the women who have influenced her, and the steps she has taken to help the people in need. We touched on the topic of her international travel experiences briefly, so let’s dive into it properly now! In part two of our interview with Sandra, she dives into her spiritual connection to Kenya; getting married in Venice, Italy; spending time with her best friend in Paris, France; and all the best places to visit in Düsseldorf, Germany.



Collective Drift is taking up AARP's challenge to reinvent what it means to age. Remember, what you do after 50 can be just as amazing as what you've done before 30. It's time to disrupt aging. This is the first of 3 episodes in partnership with AARP highlighting amazing women from around the world who have disrupted aging. Go to aarp.org/disrupt-aging to learn more.


Sandra Christmann is a 52 year old woman that disrupts aging by 1000%!


The place that Sandra feels the most connected to, out of all the places she has visited, is Kenya. This is because Kenya brings her a sense of freedom. The joy she feels when she lands down at Mombasa when she feels the ground under her feet, smells the crisp air, and takes in all the beautiful colors around her, it helps her connect to her inner soul. She feels freedom on her fingertips when she goes to Africa, she feels as if it brings her back to her roots despite being a European. Sandra believes that wherever you go, you have to accept the roots of the people there. When she’s in Africa, she feels like a world person, rather than just a German person.


According to Sandra, the women of Kenya are very strong. They do not have all the rights they deserve, yet they still remain steadfast and take care of their families, even in tough times. These women are very open-minded and are strong fighters as life is quite challenging there. Even though it comes as a challenge to connect with the people in Kenya considering that Sandra is white, she still respects their culture and identity a great deal to form bonds. She believes that if you don’t open your heart to the native culture, you close off your connection with the natives. And that it’s also very important to respect their culture if you wish to make any type of connection.


But Sandra’s favorite experience overall was giving her birth to her daughter Lana. Lana is Sandra’s favorite person and the only person that she would die for. Lana is her reason, she is her inspiration everyday.


Moving on, the second place she quite loves is Italy. Sandra loves spending a week or two in Italy every summer. Having a bunch of friends over there makes the experience even more amazing. She loves watching people have fun in Italy, the enjoyment they express while eating delicious food, living in the moment, laughing around, and just enjoying their life. She loves the laid back flow of life and heartiness the Italians possess. Italy has taught Sandra to cool down, to really enjoy what life is bringing you, to be more relaxed and open. What she loved most about Italy, is that everyone is welcoming. If you meet someone you can make fast friends and be prepared to be invited to their home for a great meal.


Sandra’s best experience in Italy was her marriage in Venice back when she and her husband were 30 years old while her daughter was 5. They decided to invite only their friends for this fun experience. The people at the restaurant where the married couple had dinner also joined in, the cook, his wife, and the others. This especially made Sandra happy, the liveliness of the people of Italy is what she loved. The two got married in an office near the Tre Archi bridge. It was one of Sandra’s best experiences in Italy.


Another place that Sandra’s quite fond of is Paris. She loves Paris a lot and goes to stay there at her best friend’s house from time to time. She adores the fact that most people there are intellectuals, writers and artists, who discuss their ideas all night long while drinking and smoking till 5 am. She’s truly a Paris fan!


For everyone looking to travel to Düsseldorf, Germany, Sandra recommends spending some time at the river Rhine. Considering that Düsseldorf is very rich in content regarding museums and can basically be referred to as an art city, you would love visiting various museums such as Kunstsammlung at the K21 venue. You should also go to Museum Kunstpalast. Then, from a cultural perspective, you should visit the operas, theaters like the in Schauspielhaus the area as well considering that all of these are extremely strong regarding the European culture.


Visiting the Old Town would be a great experience as well, it is filled with boutiques for shopping. A very famous street in the Old Town known as the Königsallee has all the authentic fashion designers, it will be a splendid experience for anyone interested in shopping. The Harbour has a very strong creative scene with a bunch of startups, media agencies, life communication agencies, and PR agencies like BBDO, Grey, and Ogilvy situated there. The Harbour also has several restaurants with a lot of festivals going on there including a dress festival, disco (music) festival, and ballet theatre.


Sandra lives in Oberkassel which is a lovely and peaceful place to have a home in. There are many restaurants and coffee shops around for you to never get bored, and the people are super friendly as well. Not to mention the area is very safe, even if you come home a little drunk at night!




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So, what is a question Sandra would ask other women?

“What is your challenge? And how do you feel as a woman?”


To Sandra, what is female strength and what does it mean to be a woman?

“A woman’s strength lies in her emotions, her bravery, and her delicateness. Being a woman gives you a natural charm that helps you exude friendliness and welcome people with a smile.”


Where to find Erica and Collective Drift

https://www.collectivedrift.com

https://www.instagram.com/collectivedrift/

https://www.youtube.com/collectivedrift


Where to find Sandra

https://www.instagram.com/sandrachristmann/

Art Düsseldorf https://www.art-dus.de/


Places mentioned


Countries mentioned


Cities mentioned



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The Collective Drift platform was created by Erica Knowles to celebrate all women, the beauty of their cultures, and international travel experiences. I believe that women possess magic, that gives them strength and grace to change the world. We learn how to tap into our power in various ways based on our cultural backgrounds and our journeys. Join me and an amazing collective of multicultural, multiethnic, and multigenerational women that are artists, cultural leaders and travel enthusiasts as they tell their stories about their culture, their tribe of women, their passions, their art, and their favorite international experiences. Welcome to Collective Drift.


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