original title

The project #barmen2bozeman

This project, #barmen2bozeman, is about retravelling my great-great-grandfather’s 1880 journey and exploring German-American heritage and culture.

From May 2016 until October 2016, I will retravel the route my great-great-grandfather Otto Dahl travelled from 1880 – 1882 from Wuppertal-Barmen in Germany to Bozeman, Montana in the United States of America. During my trip, I will explore how alive German culture is today in the US and blog about that.

contact via email:

The name ‘Explories’
At first, I called the blog and all channels “barmen2bozeman”, but realized that this is not a smart long-term-decision and somewhat a long name. After a night of brainstorming, I decided on “Explories”, a merger between the words “exploring” and “stories”.

The great-great-grandfather: Otto Dahl

Born in 1854 in Barmen (now a part of the city of Wuppertal in Germany) he became a leather manufacturer just like his father.OttoDahl

In 1880, he decided to travel to the US after an argument with his father. He left Barmen on December 4th, 1880 and returned on March 3rd, 1882.

He started in the 1920’s to write his memoirs which my grandmother later typed up and printed a book from for every family member. I am publishing the part of his America journey on this blog.

  • You can see the chapters here.
  • You can find his US-travel-route under “Map”.

He married 1885 and had five children, his third child was Victoria (born 1889), who is the great-grandmother of Sibylle.

The great-great-granddaugther: Sibylle Victoria

Born in 1989, raised in the Stuttgart area in southern Germany.
Studied business and tourism management and worked in destination marketing.

– born almost to the day exactly 100 years after Otto’s daugther Victoria
– named after Otto’s daugther (her great-grandmother) Victoria
– is 26 years old, the same age that Otto was when he

photo by Katie Leum

left for America
– plays Ultimate Frisbee & Fistball
– recently developed an interest in historical costumes

The victorian dress from 1880

This was actually my mother’s idea. She asked one day “you are recreating an 1880’s journey, why aren’t you doing this dressed accordingly?” – And here I am, travelling with my beautiful victorian dress.

Ellis Island
Ellis Island

Here is the video about the creation of the dress:

10 thoughts on “About

  1. Ann says:

    Can’t wait to read more. I’m an American living in Germany, so this is a natural interest point for me.

    1. Billie says:

      Dear Ann,
      thank you very much for your interest. I will try to publish my first article very soon.
      Best regards, Billie

  2. Hartmut Pätzold says:

    Ein Gruß aus der Heimatstadt Wuppertal soll dich auf deiner Reise begleiten. Gesundheit und ganz viele Eindrücke auf den Spuren deines Ururgroßvaters, das wünscht ein alter Barmer.

    1. Sibylle says:

      Vielen Dank Hartmut!

  3. John says:

    Your YouTube video of Queen Mary 2 brought me here to your website. The story you are telling is captivating and it’s great that it includes my favourite ship! Looking forward to reading more as the tale unfolds.

    1. Sibylle says:

      Thank you John! Glad to hear that the project is interesting for you!


    Hallo Sibylle,
    hoffe Du bist gut gestartet,
    eine spannende Reise die Du vor Dir hast,wünsche Dir auf Diesem Wege eine erlebnisreiche Zeit,mit interesanten Begegnungen und schöne Erfahrungen in den USA.
    Werde selbst mit einem Freund vom 29.5-16.6. die USA bereisen,unser Roadtrip führt uns über Seattle,nach Oregon,Idaho,Boulder,Colorado,Memphis,CMA-Country Festival,Nashville,Blue Ridge Parkway,Washingnton D.C.
    Habe Dir schon 2 Mails versand,diese sind leider nicht raus ????
    Grüsse aus VAI,
    Joachim Herter

    1. Sibylle says:

      Hallo Joachim,
      vielen Dank für Dein Kommentar! Ich wünsche eine tolle Reise, is ja auch eine ordentliche Tour!
      Mails habe ich keine erhalen, meintest Du vielleicht diese Kommentare?
      Beste Grüße

  5. Flo says:

    Happy to meet you in the Philadelphia Subway. Have a nice trip. Have fun, bye.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *