This presentation will provide a snapshot on the journey of a materials scientist from Germany moving via Japan to Canada. It will not only tell about the geographical, but also about the scientific and academic journey, and how studying materials science and engineering can lead to an academic position in a chemistry department, conducting research on multifunctional lanthanides in molecules and nanomaterials. In this context, some experience from the time being a PhD student, from the period discovering new countries and research areas as a postdoctoral fellow, and the recent ongoing adventure of starting an independent research group as assistant professor will be shared with the audience. Also, first teaching experiences will be illuminated: another potential (and unexpected) source of culture shock. While the search for the ultimate recipe for the straight forward achievement of a scientific and academic career is still going on, some of the basics that may be required for a scientific trip by any young researcher or scientist will be suggested for discussion. These basics clearly include curiosity, self-motivation and an open mind, not to forget about endurance as well frustration tolerance, while great mentors are found to play a very important role at each stage of career.