Moving abroad

Why you should move abroad at least once in your life

Whether it’s for an exchange semester or you got a thrilling job offer abroad, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make the move and get out of your little comfortable bubble. Moving abroad changes you forever. It might not always be the perfect experience you were looking for, but it’ll definitely teach you a valuable life lesson or two. So what are you waiting for?

The first time I moved abroad, I was going to the US for one whole year to be an au pair. I was terrified. One year was a really long time back then and I was regretting it as soon as I stepped on the plane. What have I done? I thought multiple times. What if this happens, what if that happens, etc. I was already destroying it for myself before I had even given it a chance. So when I finally landed in San Francisco and I allowed myself to just be excited about it, things quickly changed for the better. It’s not too shabby to live in one of the most amazing cities in the world.

It’s also good to note that I have lived in way less popular and smaller cities such as Cluj-Napoca in Romania and it was just as exciting as San Francisco. So it really doesn’t matter where you move, it’s about you taking the risk and allowing yourself to have fun with it. Moving abroad made me much more independent because I didn’t have my family or closest friends to rely on anymore. I had to do it all by myself. It was challenging and frustrating at times, but boy did I learn a lot. When we are faced with a situation where we just have to do it, we will do it. Moving abroad also helped me put things into perspective. You appreciate the things you have at home so much more, which is a really good thing.

Even though you’re far away from everyone you know, you’ll get to meet so many new people that’ll become your family. You might even befriend a few people you wouldn’t normally hang out with at home (let’s be honest here). Some of my best friends, I met while studying or working abroad. But don’t get me wrong – there were many moments when I felt lonely. Especially in the beginning. But I learned how to deal with it, I even started to enjoy it and it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. It was just all part of the process.

So besides getting the chance to see something outside of your hometown, you also gain valuable lessons, friends for life, a new home, and you become more independent. You might even want to permanently move abroad.

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Travelling while underfunded

What to do when you have no money but want to travel

We’ve all been in this horrible situation where we feel like we don’t have any money to travel for but we desperately want to. We look at everyone else’s Instagram photos and we long to be where they are too. But did you know that you can actually travel with very little money? It is possible! Although your trip won’t consist of 5 star hotels perhaps, you’ll still be able to fulfill your dream and travel. And in the end, that’s what you’ll remember, not where you rested your head for the night, but all the sights you’ve seen and all the people you’ve met are what’s going to make your trip worthwhile. So let’s take a look at how you can travel with little money (because let’s be honest, there’s no way that your bank account is at zero).

Couchsurfing

The first step is to sign up on Couchsurfing. It’s a popular website where you can host travelers and also be hosted. Let’s say you’re going to New York and don’t want to pay accommodation – then you go on Couchsurfing to find a host! Do remember that most people who are on this site doesn’t just see it as a way to get free stays. It’s a community that brings together travelers and it’s a way to give back to people. Your hosts will most likely want to get to know you as well and maybe even spend the day with you and show you around. So be respectful, kind and thankful to your host who invites you into their home for free.

Grab all the free food you can!

If you’re staying at hostels, you’ll most likely see a bin that says “free food”. It’s usually leftover food that other travelers has left because they can’t bring it with them or for some other reasons (do check the expiry date!). But what’s good about it is that you can grab whatever is there, cook a meal and voila! You’ve saved money. Even if you can’t find free food, try to cook as much yourself and avoid eating out! That’ll most definitely make your wallet slimmer (that is, if you’re not in Southeast Asia because sometimes it’s even cheaper to eat out).

Walk, walk and walk!

Get your energy going by walking! Don’t rely on public transportation too much. You can save a lot of money by walking instead of always catching the bus or subway for example. Besides, it’s so much nicer to walk around when you’re somewhere new. This way, you’ll get to discover neighborhoods you’d just pass by with the bus. Perhaps you’ll even find your new favorite cafe along the way! So walk, burn some calories and sightsee at the same time.

Don’t party so much

I know, this one’s hard for all you party people, but drinking alcohol and partying tons won’t exactly make you richer. Imagine if you skip one night of going out, you’d have saved at least 10-50$, depending on where you are (and how hard you party!). So if you’re on a really tight budget, try to skip the parties or just have a beer and then go home. You can party at home as well.

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Staying healthy while you travel.

Why you’re gaining weight while traveling

It’s not uncommon to come home from a trip and feel like you’ve gained a bit of extra weight. Almost everyone does it, if you’re not very careful with what you eat and you try to exercise daily. But to be honest- who has the time to do so when all you want is to eat that pizza, down a few cocktails and lay on the pool all day long?

But still, if it bothers you that you always seem to be gaining weight when you’re traveling, here’s a few reasons why.

You overeat

“Treat yourself” is something you constantly think when you’re on vacation, so you order that extra side dish, you eat ice cream every evening and you love trying all the new snacks. But before you know it, you’ve gained those extra vacation kilos that you were trying to avoid. It’s easy to overeat when you’re on vacation, but if you want to avoid gaining weight, you have to start thinking about what you’re ordering. You should definitely treat yourself, but perhaps not do it every day. Instead, make a plan and decide to perhaps order whatever you want to once or twice per week instead of every day. Just that small change will make a big difference.

You’re stressed

Stress is a huge factor to why you gain weight and most people who are traveling has felt stress at some point when they’re on the road. Stress wreaks havoc in your metabolism. Stress may cause your body to burn less of the fat you’re eating, so aim to include some healthy fat in your meal. Try to

You don’t drink enough of water

When you’re on vacation, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water. This might result in you overeating. There’s many times when we feel hungry, but what we’re missing is water. Hunger can mask dehydration. So make sure that you hydrate, always bring a bottle of water with you and remember to drink, drink and drink! Especially if you’re in a tropical country where you’re always exposed to the sun.

You drink a lot of alcohol

Who doesn’t love to party when we’re abroad? Especially when the alcohol is so much cheaper than at home and you can buy as much cocktails and beers as you want to without breaking the bank. But alcohol contains a lot of sugar, so you’ll definitely gain weight if you keep drinking every day. If you’re going to keep drinking a lot, make sure that you at least try to exercise, or give your body a few breaks from alcohol from time to time. You don’t always have to drink alcohol just because it’s cheap. There are other ways to have fun as well!

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What to see in Berlin

The most touristy things to see in Berlin

Most people are trying to get away from doing the most tourist things in place. People want “authenticity”, they want to find the hidden gems and they want to be the people who’ve found the places where there are no tourists. But people also forget that the places that are frequently visited by tourists usually are important landmarks that has made the place to what it is. So when I visited Berlin, I knew I wanted to go to the most touristy spots in the city because I was genuinely interested in seeing all the main attractions. And I’m so happy I did! Because it showed me that Berlin is quite a beauty. Here are the three most touristy places you must visit when you’re in Berlin.

Brandenburger Tor

Perhaps the most iconic spot in Berlin, the Brandenburg Tor (or Brandenburg Gate in English) is a military monument that symbolizes peace and unity. It is here where Berliners gathered to celebrate the fall of the Wall. The gate stands for reunification of East and West Germany in 1990. Although it got heavily damaged during the Second World War, it withstood it and is still standing strong. Close to the Brandenburger Tor is the Memorial for the Jewish who were killed during the war.

Berliner Dom

The Berliner Dom is located in the heart of the city in Mitte, surrounded by other iconic monuments. It’s an evangelical church that dates back to the middle of the 14th century, but was only completed in 1905. The church got damaged during the Second World War but reopened again in 1993. The Berliner Dom nowadays also serves as a venue for concerts and readings – yes, that’s right! It’s never been a traditional church in any sense, and perhaps that’s what makes it such a fascinating place to visit. Besides, it’s an icon for Berlin and one that’s pretty hard to avoid seeing. It’s massive! And there’s a park just in front of the church where both locals and foreigners alike sit and relax after a day of walking around Berlin.

East Side Gallery Wall

The East Side Gallery Wall is located a bit outside of the first two sights, but you could walk it if you feel like you’re up for the challenge (it’s about a 40 min walk) or you could take the metro or bus. It’s the world’s longest open air airt gallery and is a remaining piece of the Berlin Wall. What’s now filled with colorful graffiti used to be grey. It was the most visible symbol of Germany’s partition into two separate states. But when the wall fell, artists from 21 different countries went to Berlin to turn a section of the wall into a celebration of art and freedom. Nowadays, travelers love to walk around the wall and look at all the art that’s displayed here for free. It’s a beautiful reminder of what has happened in the past and how the Berliners has moved forward from it. Even if you’re not a big fan of art, it’s still an incredibly important place to visit. It’s touristy – that’s for sure – and it’s great.

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